Soap nuts are a natural, nontoxic cleaning agent.
These dried berries are often used to clean dirty laundry. You just pack a few in a little muslin sack.
Then, you throw them in your wash cycle.
They clean nicely. Without a lot of suds. Without potentially dangerous chemicals.
Out of all the natural laundry solutions available, soap nuts are easily the most cost effective.
But there’s more good news. You can use soap nuts for many other cleaning projects. Household as well as personal care.
You can also use these little dried berries to make an all natural body wash.
Soap nut body wash takes just a few minutes to make. You can then use it like you use regular body wash. This can save you a lot of money.
Because natural plant-based body wash is expensive. (I currently pay less than $10 for a 32-ounce bottle of liquid Castile soap, which I often use in the shower.)
Truth be told, I prefer Castile soap to a DIY soap nuts body wash. But the latter is an option if money is tight.
How To Make Soap Nut Body Wash
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I was so happy to find soap nuts. Because these little berries are a truly nontoxic way to do laundry.
Safe, easy and effective. I don’t think soap nuts will take out heavy stains. That’s why I use them only for lightly or moderately dirty clothing. (Which is the vast majority of laundry loads anyway, for an average family.)
It is a little disconcerting when you realize soap nuts don’t really later. So you’ll be washing your body with something that doesn’t create a lot of suds.
But rest assured these little berries still get the job done. (I’m used to bathing and showering without a lot of suds because I’ve lived in California. Our house had what’s known as mineral rich “hard water.” Suds were something I remembered from the East Coast.)
Soap nuts are considered “saponified.” Even though they don’t produce a lot of suds they have a detergent-like quality. When you boil the soap nut berries to make your DIY body wash, you can see they do release a beige colored liquid, which cleans.
You can also add a few drops of essential oils (of your choice) to your DIY soap nuts body wash. This will add a nice scent. Despite the fact they are berries, soap nuts don’t smell very berry like. Instead, when you boil them, the reserved liquid has an odd smell. Lavender essential oil will help.
Essential oils may also help preserve the mixture. Try to use it up within two weeks. That’s why you’ll want to make it in small batches. You can use it for other cleaning projects. I used it on my body and I also used it to clean my kitchen floor.
Another potential use for this body wash is to put 1/4 cup in your laundry cycle, just as you would regular detergent.
Soap Nut Body Wash Recipe
First you need soap nuts. You probably can’t find them in the grocery store. But you can find them in some specialty stores. Since I haven’t seen them locally, I order my soap nuts online. They come in different sizes. I’m showing one of the smaller boxes here. I ordered the large size because it was more economical.
Here’s how to make your own soap nut body wash
10 soap nuts (You can find them here)
4 cups of well water or bottle spring water
1 drop of lavender essential oil (You can find it here)
Add 4 cups of water to a sturdy sauce pan. Boil on medium heat for about 10 minutes. Then add the remaining cup of water. This will add more liquid to the mixture.
When nearly cool add the essential oils.
Store your soap nut body wash in a clean container with a lid, away from heat and light. Better yet, put it in the refrigerator to preserve it.
You can use the soap nuts again to make more body wash. Or you can use them in your wash cycle. You don’t have to stop using soap nuts until they become paper thin. (Approximately 7 to 8 wash cycles.)
DIY soap nuts body wash is more time intensive than just using a ready-to-use plant-based body wash. But you will save a lot of money over time if you make your own body wash.
Making your own nontoxic personal care items is almost always much less expensive than buying them. Because you pay for labor and packaging.
You can also use your soap nut body wash as a shampoo. But I will warn you. If your hair is anything like mine it doesn’t respond to some natural cleaning solutions. I’ve tried using nontoxic liquid soap on my hair with terrible results.
We’re all different. So use what works best for you.
Since the soap nut recipe contains essential oils, do a 24-hour patch test on the inside of your arm. This means putting a small bit of the solution on your arm. Keep it there for a day. If you notice redness or irritation don’t use it. If your skin is clear you should be good to go.
Omit the essential oils altogether if you plan to use this body wash on a baby or toddler. Essential oils are too strong for young children. Here’s an earlier article about why essential oils should only be used on children aged two and older.
These statements have not been approved by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Pregnant women should not use essential oils unless under medical direction.