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Frequently Asked Questions about Soapnuts

I don't have a credit card, can I still purchase SoapNuts?
Yes you can. If you don't have a credit card then choose direct credit (bank transfer) as the payment option. As soon as the money shows up in our account we will dispatch the products.
Where to I place the washbag?
Just place the washbag with your clothes into the drum. Add a few drops of any essential oils if you like to have a fragrance on your clothes. One washbag will be provided with any bag of SoapNut shells or powder. You can purchase more washbags from our website.
What is the Oxygen bleach made off?
The Oxygen bleach is a made off 100% sodium percarbonate. Find out more about it here or buy it here.
What to do when I get brown stain marks?
It could be that you had a seed left in one of your SoapNuts. Unfortunately thats what the seeds are doing, they leave brown spots on your fabric. Just wash the clothes again as normal by using SoapNuts. Another possibility is that you have used too many SoapNuts. Just try to use a bit less for your next load.
Are the SoapNuts fair traded?
Yes, the SoapNuts we are selling are fairly traded (the fair trade isn't certified). Our supplier is also involved in contract farming. It means that they are suppling the farmers with selected input including technical advice if required. They also supply the farmers with the basic necessities like food, shelter, clothes, money and medicines.
Are the SoapNuts fumigated?
No, they aren't fumigated when we bring them into the country. MAF inspect the berries to ensure they are clean and don't have any additional debris attached which maybe harmful.
If I plant a SoapNut will it grow?
No, the SoapNut used for washing is the berry casing, which has been dried and deseeded. Occasionally you may find a seed still attached to the berry in your bag of SoapNuts- it is a small, black, and hard, it looks like a solid blueberry. If you find one soak it overnight in warm water and then plant into seed mix and keep damp, warm and in bright light, it will take time to germinate but you can grow yourself a SoapNut tree. Find the information on how to plant a tree here.
Where do your SoapNuts come from?
We import our SoapNuts from Northern India. Our SoapNuts grow wild around villages. This means at harvest time any villager may collect SoapNuts and receive an income for them. This also reduces the number of trees chopped down for firewood sale. We believe this has a greater good for local people and the planet than buying from any farmed sources.
Do I have to use a washbag?
Washbags are provided with any purchase of SoapNuts from The SoapNut Shop. These are for your convenience only and additional washbags may be purchased from the shop. You can choose to use a sock, a handkerchief, or a delicates washbag to hold your SoapNuts if you choose.
Can I use too many SoapNuts?
If you washing feels stiff after washing with SoapNuts, try reducing the number of SoapNuts until you no longer has this effect. Less SoapNuts are required for a hotwash as this releases more saponin. Use less SoapNuts if you only have half a load.
Should I remove SoapNuts during the rinse cycle?
No, because SoapNuts do not leave a soapy residue. Any remaining saponin adds softness and body to your clean laundry.
Can I use SoapNuts in a front loading washing machine?
Yes. SoapNuts produce low suds and are suitable to use in all washing machines.
Are the seeds any good for washing?
No. The seeds are the round black balls. They contain no saponin. So the only thing that might be of any use is to plant them. Depending on the climatic conditions, it might grow. However, it normally takes 9 years before you will see any results. If you still want to experiment, then soak the seed in warm water for 24 hours and then sow it about an inch into the ground. Click here to find out more information about how to plant a tree.
Will SoapNuts clean really dirty clothes?
Use warm/hot water for washing soiled clothing, this releases more saponin (soap) from the SoapNuts. Also reduce the clothes in the machine to allow clothes to move freely. SoapNuts won't remove stubborn stains but will remove general grime. You may presoak clothes in liquid SoapNuts prior to washing for extra cleaning power if required. Or your could presoak the clothes overnight in Oxygen bleach and then wash as normal with SoapNuts.
Is SoapNuts liquid ok to use in my washing machine?
Yes. Depending on the concentration of the liquid, you can add it accordingly. It is best to experiment and see what works best for you.
Are SoapNuts safe for my machine?
Yes. It is a 100% natural product without any harsh chemicals. The life of the machine will only be greater if you use SoapNuts. If you are switching to using SoapNuts, it will even clean your machine of any chemical residues from any previous washing. Always put the SoapNut shells or the powder into the cotton bag provided. Otherwise it could block up your machine and you definitely don't want that to happen.
Why do people claim that SoapNuts are water and energy saving?
Commercial detergents need to be rinsed out of the clothes completely as they leave a soapy residue. Since SoapNuts are a 100% natural product with no soapy residue, you can stop the rinse cycle and go straight to the spin cycle, hence saving valuable electricity and water.  
Do SoapNuts have a shelf life?
No. In humid conditions SoapNuts absorb moisture and become sticky. If this happens it won't affect the product or its cleaning capabilities, it will still wash brilliantly. We recommend you store your SoapNuts in an airtight container to prevent getting sticky nuts.
What should we do with the SoapNuts once they have been used?
Put them in your compost bin or throw them in the waste bin. They are 100% bio- degradable.
Can I reuse SoapNuts?
Reuse shells 4-6x and dispose of in your compost bin. You will find that you will get more washes from doing cold washes than hot. Hot water washes (up to 40 degrees) release more saponin, we find that we get 2-3 hot washes. The berries get very shiny and fleshy when they have done their dash.
Does it matter that the nuts are in pieces and not as a whole?
No. Actually it is better if the nuts are in smaller pieces. Many people crush the SoapNut shells into smaller pieces so that the contact surface with the water increases.
There are not that many visible suds, is that a problem?
No. Your cleaning will be just as effective without the presence of suds. There are no commercial foaming agents or chemicals added, which are commonly used in commercial detergents.
How many SoapNuts are required per wash?
It all depends on the size and quality of the SoapNuts. But on average, around 6-8 shells are sufficient. This is based on a washing machine which can take 5 to 6kg of clothes. If the water is soft, then even 3-4 shells will do the trick. A bit of trial and error will help you understand what best suits your washing conditions.
SoapNuts smell a little like vinegar, will my clothes smell like this?
Your clothes will have no scent at all. If you like scented laundry add a couple of drops of your favourite essential oil to the washbag. Try using lavender oil for sheets and pillowcases for a relaxing sleep, lemon oil for work clothes to make you feel fresh and sharp, and tea tree for cloth nappies for a little bit of extra antiseptic and antibacterial protection. Check out our website for a whole range of different essential oils.
Are SoapNuts a problem if someone is allergic to nuts?
No. You will be perfectly safe. SoapNuts are a dried berry and aren't a nut at all - it is a fruit that grows on trees. The dried berry looks a little like a nutcase hence the name SoapNut.
Are SoapNuts safe for people with sensitive skin?
SoapNuts are the perfect cleaning product for sensitive souls. They are chemical free and hypoallergenic. We recommend using SoapNuts if you are allergic to soap and laundry powders and if you suffer from eczema or psoriasis.
Are SoapNuts able to soften clothes or do we need to add any fabric softeners?
No. SoapNuts leave clothes gorgeously soft and fresh, say goodbye to purchase fabric softeners.
Are SoapNuts able to maintain the brightness and whiteness of my clothes?
Colours will be brighter because SoapNuts contain no bleach. Whites will experience some greying over time. We recommend washing whites and colours separately. Add an eco friendly laundry bleach such as our Oxygen whitening powder or 1/2 cup of lemon juice with your whites to keep them looking crisp and white.
Are SoapNuts safe to use on my delicate clothes?
Yes, they are suitable for washing the most delicate of fabrics such as wool and silk. Its gentleness maintains the fabric structure of the material and it doesn't leave a build up of residue on fabrics.

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