Nuts about Soap Nuts
I've been reading about soap nuts for a while now. After a long winter, I finally have my hands on some. Meet Sapindus mukorossi, also called Reetha fruits, and known as Indian Soapberries, Wash Nuts, or Soap Nuts.
These berries have been used for centuries in India to clean and wash as they contains secretions called saponins. Saponins are what make all soaps work, in that they will bind to both water particles and dirt oils to basically make them water soluble allowing them to be washed away. These Saponins make these dried fruits a wonderful, natural detergent for washing the body, hair, and clothes, and it is used as a natural surfactant as well as contributing anti-microbial qualities making them work well as disinfectants.
Are you convinced yet of their value?
Well, here are some ways to start using these super cool plant berries.
Shelled Soap Nuts are great for septic and HE systems and anyone who has sensitivity to standard laundry detergent (which should be all of us!).
For normal washing, place 6 soap nuts into a bag and tie tight and place into the washer. I like to add an 1/8 cup of borax, but not necessary. Leave the soap bag in for the entire cycle. This 6-pack can be used for 6 loads of laundry like this, after which you can empty out in the mulch or wood lines of your home and refill with another 6. This formula will allow for approximately 185 wash loads per 1 lb of nuts.
*for best results use with only warm/hot water washes*
Wanna go further and make your own products?
Liquid Concentrate Recipe
Add 10 seeded soap nuts to a pot and add 6 cups of water. Hard boil for 20 minutes. Watch Closely and stir. Turn off the heat and allow to cool. Once cool, cheese cloth filter out the soap nuts. This liquid soap will lasts 1-2 weeks in room temperature, longer in the refrigerator. This can be used for cleaning and cold laundry cycles at 1/8 cup prepared liquid soap nut concentrate per load.
Wanna keep going? How about these??
Liquid All- Purpose Cleaner Recipe:
Mix together: 2 cups Water, 1/2 cup White vinegar, 1/2 cup Soap Nut Liquid Concentrate (recipe above), Optional: add 25-30 drops of your choice of Tea Tree, Lemon, Orange, Rosemary, Oregano, Thyme, Clove, or Cinnamon essential oils
Shampoo/Shaving Cream Recipe:
Take 1 cup of Soap Nut Liquid Concentrate and use and immersion blender to create a whipped cream-like foam to use on hair or to shave with. Keep in refrigerator when not needed.
Ok - Now that we are all nuts for these little suckers, I can't wait to get my laundry on! If you want to get your hands on some, you can check out a link here to our online store and brick and mortar home, The Caldarium, where we now offer bulk soap nut purchases. More options coming soon!
Peace and Love to all.
Your now 2nd Favorite Nut,