I'm now using nuts to wash my cloth diapers.  It's true!  A friend recently told me about soapnuts and how they can be used as natural soap.  It's actually a berry (related to lychee, which we eat here), but the berry part is removed and only the shell is used.  My friend sources them from India, from where the plant is native.  People there use them in the villages.

This is what they look like: 

They have a vinegary smell to them.  Hard to imagine that this will clean dirty diapers, isn't it?

Here's how it works:

Put four shells in a little cloth bag.  Because we don't have hot water for our washing machine, I soak the bag in a cup of hot water for 5 minutes.  Shake it up and check out the bubbles!


Then throw it in the machine with the dirty diapers.  The nuts can be reused for four loads of laundry before they need to be thrown out and replenished with new ones.

Verdict: Awesome!  The diapers smell better with the soapnuts than they did with my other detergent, Rockin' Green.  I might have to start doing a second cycle without the nuts as a post-rinse, because I can feel a residue on the diapers, which will build up over time.   I probably won't be using this for our other laundry, though, because we need something a bit stronger for Reuben's our extra stinky clothes.

You can read more about soapnuts here.

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