Soap nuts, also known as soap berries, are a plastic free, natural and vegan-friendly alternative to traditional laundry detergents. They come from the Sapindus tree, usually found in regions like India and Nepal, and they contain saponin - a natural surfactant that creates a mild lather to effectively cleanse fabrics. But soap nuts aren't just great for washing clothes! They have a wide range of practical applications - read on for 8 eco-friendly uses for soap nuts in your daily life.
1. Washing Clothes
Soap nuts are hypoallergenic, making them excellent for laundry purposes as they offer a gentle and natural cleaning solution. Here's how to use them effectively:
a. Place 3-4 soap nuts or shells in a small cotton bag or sock.
b. Add the bag into the washing machine with your clothes.
c. Select the desired wash cycle and temperature.
d. Once the laundry is done, remove the bag and let it dry for future use.
e. The same soap nuts can be re-used for approx five washes before replacing.
How do they work?
Soap nuts release saponin when they come into contact with water. This natural detergent-like substance penetrates fabric fibers, lifting away dirt and grime. They work well with both cold and hot water, making them suitable for all types of laundry.
2. All-Purpose Household Cleaner
Soap nuts can be transformed into a versatile household cleaning solution. Create a liquid concentrate by soaking approx 15 soap nuts in 6 cups of water overnight OR using the same recipe, bring to the boil before keeping close eye while simmering for another 30 mins, then leave to cool. Strain out your soap nuts and leave them to dry to use again. The liquid can then be added to a spray bottle, and you'll have a mild and effective cleaner for various surfaces like counter-tops, floors, and glass.
3. Natural Shampoo
Bid farewell to synthetic chemical-laden shampoos and embrace the natural goodness of soap nuts for your hair. Soak a few soap nuts overnight in a cup of water. Next morning, strain the liquid and you can use it as a shampoo alternative to wash your hair gently, leaving it clean and nourished.
4. Pet Shampoo
Another benefit of soap nuts is that they are pet friendly, so you can extend their natural cleaning benefits to your furry companions. By preparing a mild soap nut solution as above, you can create a gentle pet shampoo that effectively cleanses without irritating skin. Ensure that the solution has cooled before applying it to your pet's coat.
5. Dish Washing
Soap nuts also work wonders for cleaning dishes in the dishwasher. Place a handful of soap nuts in a muslin bag and place in the dishwasher's cutlery holder. The saponin released will help cut through grease and leave your dishes sparkling clean.
6. Fruits and Vegetables Wash
Remove dirt, pesticides, and wax residues from fruits and vegetables by washing them with your soap nut solution. This natural wash helps cleanse produce without leaving any harmful chemical residues, ensuring a healthier meal for you and your family. Rinse produce with clean water after washing.
7. Jewelry Cleaner
Restore the sparkle to your favorite jewelry pieces with soap nuts. Create a soap nut solution and let your jewelry soak for a five minutes. Next, gently scrub with a soft brush then rinse thoroughly and pat dry.
8. Plant Pest Repellent
Soap nuts can act as an organic pest repellent for your indoor and outdoor plants. Pour your soap nut solution into a spray bottle and apply to your plants to deter common pests such as aphids, mites, and whiteflies. This solution is safe for your plants and environmentally friendly.
Disposing of Used Soap Nuts
When soap nuts have been used to their fullest, they can be composted or added to your green waste bin. As they are a natural product, they will break down without any harmful impact on the environment. You can also reuse the shells by adding them to your garden soil as a natural fertilizer.
As you can see, soap nuts are such a versatile and sustainable alternative for so many household needs. From laundry to cleaning and even personal care, these natural wonders offer an effective, safe, and eco-friendly option. Fancy incorporating soap nuts into your daily routines? Shop our organic soap nuts here - each cotton bag contains 200g of soap nuts (that's enough for around 100 laundry loads!).