What are Soapnuts?
Soap nuts/ Soap berries are the fruit of the tree sapindus, from the family Sapindacea. This tree is found primarily in India and Nepal where they have been used for centuries as a washing detergent. The fruits called soap nuts/ soap berries, is a small fruit with 1-2 cm diameter, yellow ripening brownish containing black seed. The skin of the shells contains 15% saponin which is similar to soap. Saponin is the active cleaning ingredient in Soap nuts/ Soap Berries, and it has a dermatologically sound lathering and cleansing effect.
Soap nuts/ Soap Berries have many uses but most commonly can be placed into your washing machine instead of detergents and fabric softeners and it will leave your clothes, clean, soft and without scent. Soap nuts/ Soap Berries removes dirt from clothing - it is not only highly effective but also gentle. Because it is mild and natural, it preserves the colors and the structure of your valuable clothing longer than chemical detergents. It's very gentle so you will no longer need to use laundry softener. Soapnuts can also be boiled and used as a liquid concentrate for many purposes such as all purpose cleaning agents, shampoo, hand soap etc.
Using soap nuts/ soap berries instead of lots of different chemical and over packaged cleaning products in and around your house is better for you, your family and the environment. The trees on which the soap nuts/ soap berries fruit is grown helps to improve the world's environment by removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as well as supporting local communities in Nepal and India. Expensive shampoos, conditioners, shower gels, soaps and body lotions can all be forgotten once you start to use Soap nuts/ soap berries.
Soap nuts/ soap berries have also been used traditionally in India to reduce the symptoms of psoriasis, eczema, chronic itching and other skin conditions. Its also good for skin because its allergy free.
Uses for Soapnuts
Place 4-7 soap nuts/ soap berries (or equivalent in pieces) in a washbag (or old sock knotted at top) and place in washing machine. Wash as normal. Soap nut/ soap berry shells can be reused 3-4 times depending on temperature washed at (hotter washes have less rewashes). Then just put them in your compost.
Put a handful of soap nuts/ soap berries to 500 mls hot water and boil for 10-15 minutes. Allow to cool, strain and add liquid to empty spray bottle. This can be used to clean the house from top to bottom - including windows. You can add few drops of essential oil (optional). Dispose of shells in compost.
Place 3-4 Soap Nuts/ soap berries in a washrag or old soak and allow to steep in hot bathwater for 5 minutes. Add a few drops of your favourite essential oil.
Mix up a mild Soap Nuts- soap berries/water solution (3-4 soap nut/ soap berries with 1 litre hot water) and use to soak jewellery before rinsing, drying and polishing.
Place 3 Soap nuts/ soap berries in 500ml water. Simmer for 10 minutes and add cornflour to thicken if desired as well as any essential oils to scent. The shampoo will not lather as you may be used to but it will clean your hair. PLEASE KEEP AWAY FROM THE EYES.
Mix up a Mild solution of Soap Nuts- soap berries/water (3-4 Soap Nut shells with 1 litre hot water.) Spraying the mild solution on garden plants can help keep some parasites away.
Mix up a mild solution (3-4 Soap Nuts/ soap berries with 1 litre hot water.) PLEASE KEEP AWAY FROM THE EYES (can also be useful for prevention of parasites).
Delicates Handwashing solution
Place 6-8 soap nuts/ soap berries in 500ml boiling water. Allow to simmer for 8-10 minutes and add essential oils if desired. Add to sink/bucket and use to soak and hand wash delicates.
Certification: Organic FDA
Origin: India and Nepal