The botanical name of a soap nut is Sapindus Mukorossi. They’re not actually a nut, but a berry! Grown and harvested India, they’re a completely renewable product. Soap nuts contain saponin, a natural detergent used for cleaning clothes and other washables.
When I first read about them, admittedly I became very curious to learn more, and was determined to try them. To be honest, I figured they’d turn out to be nothing more that snake oil and that I was likely throwing my money away, but that was just not the case… They really work.
Just a few nuts can be placed in a cotton drawstring bag in with a wash-load and reused several times. Soap nuts are safe for washing silk, woolens and other delicate fabrics.
One small cotton bag of soap nuts will clean 5 – 7 loads of laundry. The soap nuts end up somewhat mushy and turn a grey-ish colour when they’ve reached the end of their washing ability. Simply compost them, bag and all. I chuck them right into my raised bed gardens.
Soap nuts have many benefits to detergent. First of all is the clean and very fresh scent! Most notably however is the fact that soap nuts are one of the best ‘detergents’ to use in a front loading High Efficiency machine. Since they create a very low amount of suds, they can help keep your machine running very efficiently. They also aid in removing odours that can develops in the front loading washing machines. They’re also easier on a septic system. Another reason I was so keen to try them out.
Soap nuts are 100% natural, certified organic, chemical-free, fragrance-free, biodegradable and hypoallergenic. Because they are considered hypo-allergenic, they are not likely going to irritate sensitive skin.
Add 1/2 oz. soap nuts (4-6 berries) in a unbleached muslin wash bag with a drawstring.
Simply tied it shut and tossed it in washing machine. That’s it!
The bag can be used at least 5-6 times, and then chucked into the composter
Note: For really stubborn stains, presoaking the bag for a few minutes will release the saponin (the active ingredient). Then the whole bag of soap nuts can be scrubbed on the stain, helping to release dirt from your clothes.
I like using them so much that I offer them for sale in my shop! If you’d like to know more, stop by the store next time you’re in Minden. Alternatively, we ship worldwide.