Soap making in Nepal

We haven’t posted a lot about our daily life in Nepal partly because it becomes normal so quickly that we’re not sure what’s interesting or unusual anymore.  But today I’m making my own soap.  And I’m certain I would never have done this in the States.  So I’m posting about it.

Why am I making my own soap?  Because we use cloth diapers for Abyala almost exclusively and we don’t have access to detergent that doesn’t leave a residue and that can really get that nasty urine smell out.  Wow can those diapers reak after a while!  Even with a couple rinses.

So how do you make your own soap in Nepal?  Soap nuts!  They’re available locally and they’re crazy cheap.  For 2 lbs, it’s about $1.  And that makes enough soap for a few months of diaper washing.  Impressive.  But it also takes a little work.

soap nuts

So today, I’m going through the process.  You crack and remove the nut, keeping only the outside shell.  Then you add about a dozen shells to half a liter of water.  Boil.

pan of soap nuts

Let cool.  Strain through cheese cloth.  Then pour into a glass or plastic container for storing in your fridge and voila!  You have your very own organic laundry detergent that has been used for thousands of years here in Asia.  It’s hypoallergenic and chemical-free — removes harsh odors and doesn’t leave a residue behind that can make your diapers ineffective over time.

Very happy about this soap making venture… and here’s a photo of our sweet one because I know she’s what draws most of here.  I love that you love her so!

abyala play


3 thoughts on “Soap making in Nepal

  1. I would love to know if this stuff really, really works Melanie. very interesting. One time I made soap, but it was using commercially produced ingredients, and it was not so great. Eric actually had a reaction to it, so I never pursued it after that. Keep us posted.

  2. Hi you Dears. Really appreciated the soap making instructions. What you have to go through! Guess I should be glad you have the ingredients at hand. Abyala sure is looking changed and as always, alert and happy. Prayers for all of you constantly, Marti

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