Wash With Nuts…Soap Nuts!

Wash With Nuts…Soap Nuts!

Reading Time: 3 minutes

By Rebecca Snowden

Want to save a ton of money on laundry detergent and household cleaners? The long unnoticed soap nut is nothing but 100% natural and has a plethora of uses. Truly the only laundry detergent and household cleaner on earth that is not man made. They grow on trees, they are then picked and deseeded before use. They are naturally hypoallergenic, odorless and do no damage to surfaces or fabrics. And there are countless ideas on how to use them, making them sustainable and versatile.

What Are Soap Nuts?

Soap nuts are known worldwide by many names such as soapberries, washing nuts, wash shells, and many more. Botanical Name: Sapindus Mukorossi.

Very simply, soap nuts are the dried shells (or husks) from the soapberry (or soap berry nut). These berries are the fruit from a quite unique tree species. These shells contain a substance called saponin that produces a soaping effect. Saponin is a 100% natural alternative to chemical laundry detergent and cleansers. It can replace many chemical detergents such as those containing sodium laureth sulphate (SLS) that are becoming well-known by consumers for being a skin irritant and health hazard.

Soap nuts have been used for centuries throughout the world as a laundry detergent, as soap for personal hygiene, and as a cleanser with a plethora of other uses. It is most commonly used in India, China and parts of Europe. However, only in recent years has the soap nut and its many benefits made its way to the shores of the U.S. It grows primarily in northern India and Nepal. It grows uncultivated in poor quality soil and helps fight erosion, particularly in the Himalayan foothills. It also provides needed income to the local population.

Uses Of Soap Nuts/Berries

Laundry detergent: Place five to seven berries in a muslin bag, tie it closed and let it run under the water for a few minutes before adding your clothes. You can do up to seven loads of laundry with only five to seven berries! Removes dirt and odors, naturally. It’s so gentle it’s perfect for sensitive baby skin.

Household cleaner: Boil the nuts down with water and you get a soapy cleaning solution. I add eucalyptus, peppermint, tea tree oils to help with disinfecting and making a nice smell. It can be used to clean bathrooms, kitchens, wood furniture and more.

Car wash: Use up to a dozen soap nuts and allow them to soak in a gallon or more of hot water for 30 minutes or fill the bucket with pressurized water from your hose to release the saponin from the berries. The wash water can be reused on trees or plants.

Dishwashing & hand washing: Dishwasher: Put two to five berries in the soap door of your dishwasher and run as usual. Be sure to add white vinegar as a natural rinse aid.

Glass cleaner: Add two tablespoons of white vinegar and two tablespoons of soap nut solution to a 16 oz spray bottle of water. Add several drops of essential oils for smell. Shake well.

Shampoo for humans and pets,body and face wash,dandruff treatment,shaving cream…

And the list goes on and on!

Soap Nut Tree
Soap nut tree. Photo courtesy of Jeff McMillian

The Benefits Of Soap Nuts

If you’re not yet convinced of their benefits keep reading:

Sustainable: It’s a renewable resource, easily grown organically.

All natural: No funky or harmful ingredients.

Affordable: They can replace multiple cleaners, and last longer.

Reusable: Each berry can be used up to six times before it’s spent.

Not actually nuts: They’re totally safe for those with nut allergies.

Gentle: Their mild nature won’t damage delicate clothing or surfaces.

Front-loading friendly: No suds are perfect for high efficiency machines.

100% biodegradable and safe for gray water systems.

You can even grow a soap nut tree yourself!

Where can I Buy Soap Nuts?

A small family owned and operated company, Wildroot Naturals. Wildroot Naturals uses 100% organic, Fair Trade berries. 450 Seabreeze Dr, Indialantic, FL 32903; 1-321-265-0855; www.wildrootnaturals.com.

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