May 19 2008

What are soap nuts?

Soap NutsThree months ago I came across a new product that sounded to good to be true. I was looking for a more natural way to make the laundry, since I read a lot about the negative health effects from regular laundry detergents. A lot of people are concerned about their food, but they don’t even think about the dangerous chemicals they come in contact everyday through common cleaning products. Since I wear my clothes on my body every day, I felt it was time to do something to get rid of the brand name detergent I had bought up till then.

I visited the local health food stores and found a couple of green cleaning detergents. I tried them, but was not fully satisfied since I noticed that they left white stains on some of my clothes. It was at this time that I read about soap nuts for the first time. The term soap nuts refers to the seeds of the Sapindus tree that grows mainly in India and Asia. These seeds contain saponin, a natural detergent which can be used to clean clothes.

At first I was skeptical since I never heard of nuts cleaning clothes, but I was ready to give it a try. I ordered a smaller package first to test the effectiveness of the soap nuts. With the package I received a small bag that would hold the soap nuts during the cleaning process. For the first load of clothes I used 2 soap nuts and nothing else. I expected my clothes to be not really clean and maybe to have a weird smell.

I was surprised to find that the clothes turned out perfectly clean and had no smell to it at all. Since that first time I have used the soap nuts over and over gain and so far I can’t complain. These nuts clean my laundry like any other detergent would without the smell and the chemicals. Sometimes I add some Borax, if the clothes have heavy stains on them.

After I used up my first small container of soap nuts I decided to buy a big bag, since this should last me for a while and also saves on the price. This big 1kg bag can be purchases at Better Life Goods. Smaller test packages for a good price can be found at Maggie’s Pure Land. Since I read that soap nuts can also be used to create soap and other cleaning products my next goal is to find more ways to use soap nuts in my home. This is by far the most natural and at the same time effective cleaning product I have found and the price is good too. Makes me almost want to grow my own soap nuts. I wonder if they would like the weather here in California?

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