Have I got something absolutely amazing to share with you!! It’s yet another gift from nature. A totally green way to do laundry that grows on trees! “SOAP NUTS” are actually the deseeded drupe, or fruit so to speak, of the Indian Soapberry tree.
A beautiful large leafed tree, Sapindus Mukorossi is a member of the Sapindaceae family, which also includes Maples, Horsechesnuts, and Lychee. The fruits contain saponins, whose soapy foam cleaning effect has been used by people for millennia, because it works amazingly well.
They are easy to use…..just put five to eight little nuts worth into a little muslin bag, tie it shut, and throw it in the washer with your clothes. Add nothing else. You will get five to 8 washes from those little nuts. Yes, that’s right….five to 8 loads of laundry, sometimes more if you try.
Throw it back in load after load or simply let the bag of soapnuts dry out between washes. When the fruits are spent, you can throw them in your compost to nourish your plants. Green from start to finish!!
Soapnuts cost one third or even less for the same amount of washes as any of the common leading brands of laundry detergent. Unlike them, Soapnuts contain no cloying, toxic chemicals, actually intended to bind potentially toxic fragrances and brighteners to the fibers of your clothes, sheets and towels; capturing dirt and detergent in the process! So if you are using regular mainstream laundry supplies, unless you are naked, your being continuously exposed to dozens of toxic and irritating chemicals!
Soapnuts just leave your clothes completely, actually clean with no smell to your clothes other than perhaps that of having been dried on a line. The clothes are so clean there is no need to use fabric softener, and rinsing can easily be limited or even eliminated for water conservation. Really.
Almost funny, commercial detergents contain dozens of unnecessary, undesirable ingredients including “fillers” that help make 40lbs of regular laundry powder do no more washes than a pound of soapnuts. Wow. That’s at least 39 pounds of dubious stuff that didn’t go down the drain or have to be packaged and shipped if you use soap nuts.
Soapnut’s saponins will rinse out the binders and all the dirt and toxins they are holding to the fibers of your clothes and linens, leaving them fresh and body friendly. Soap Nuts are also a wonderful odor eliminator. Hang the clothes out to dry or put them in the dryer….no fabric softener sheets required…. Nature has already taken care of that for us. Really clean really does smell good!!
Soap Nuts are perfect for your delicate silks and wools. Because Soap Nuts are so gentle, they will not cause your colors to fade and the fabrics will last much longer.
Soap nuts have a slight vinegar smell when wet and washing. This smell leaves with the rinse. Warm to hot water draws out the most saponins, and thus is the most effective, although cold water works perfectly well. Although probably not necessary, to ensure full effectiveness when doing a cold wash, I simply shake the soapnut bag in a small jar of HOT water to get them activated and dump it all into the wash after it has cooled a bit. This is also a great way to check if your nuts still have enough juice to go another round: If you are getting creamy foam, they will wash some more.
What’s more: Soap nuts can be used to make superlative hair and body care products at home!
So, Ladies and Gentlemen, let us stand up for Mother Nature and give her a round of applause. Show her we are paying attention and utilizing the gifts she has given us, and not squandering precious resources like clean water and our health.
Just put your old detergent away for two weeks and try soap nuts. I think you will be thrilled and almost certainly will never look back.
Your satisfaction is guaranteed.
The Soap Nut Lady