Going Soap Nuts

Soap Nuts are not nuts at all really, they are actually berries of the sapindus tree.
When the berries ripen and drop to the ground they are collected and dried naturally
in the sun free of any pesticides or chemicals. This entirely eco-friendly, chemical free,
and hypo-allergenic laundry soap comes from the hard outer shell of the berry that
contains saponin (a natural detergent with anti-microbial properties) that is released
from the soap nut when it's agitated in water. The saponin acts as a water surfactant,
which enables water to penetrate fabric and mix with the dirt and oils so it can be
removed when the water is drained resulting in clean clothes without
the need for a rinse cycle.

Soap nuts are low sudsing so they are safe for HE washers, are gentle enough to
use on cloth diapers, and do not have added perfumes. However, if you prefer your
clothes to be scented you can always add a little of your favorite
essential oil to the wash bag.


To use them is as easy as can be, you simply pop 4 to 6 soap nuts into a wash bag
(which is usually provided with your order, but you can use any drawstring cloth bag),
and pop it into the washer. These same nuts will wash approximately 5 loads of laundry
(cold water allows for more washings). When the soap nuts have released all the saponin
(you will know because they will be shiny), go ahead and  toss them into your compost.

Not only are soap nuts much more eco-friendly (not requiring extra packaging, using
less energy, and require less water without the need for a rinse cycle) and 100% biodegradable, they are also MUCH cheaper than traditional laundry detergents. While traditional detergents average $11 for a 64 load bottle (17¢ a load) a $22 bag of soap
nuts yields on average approximately 300 loads of laundry equaling .076¢ a load

 The sapindus is native to Nepal, India, and some parts of Asia but will thrive in most
tropical regions inculuding some areas of the US. You can find out more about growing
your own sapindus here.  But be warned, if you are thinking of re-landscaping,
it takes about 10 years for the tree to produce the berries. 

No comments:

Post a Comment