Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Soapnuts

Upon my no poo journey I keep hearing one word crop up: soapnuts. So after a bit of Googling and talking to the lovely ladies on the no poo/low poo Facebook Group I decided to give them a go. Here is a little bit about them:

Soap nuts are a completely natural fruit that grows in India, they aren't really edible so the locals dry them out and use them for cleaning. Because they contain saponin, a sort of natural soap, they make a great great cleanser. They can be used for :

  • Washing clothes
  • Washing hair
  • Dish washing 
  • Washing body 
  • Bubble bath 
  • Nappy cleaner for reusable 
  • Baby bath
  • Household cleaner 
  • Hand wash


And much more, they really are fabulous.
So here is what they look like:
 They are slightly sticky to touch which apparently is the saponin. Now, you can use these on their own as they are in a muslin wash bag. You need about 6 for a load and all you do is put them in the drum with your washing and away they go. If it's a cold wash though you do need to soak them first. The best thing? You can reuse a bag of soapnuts around 5 washes, or until they look pale. Once they look pale you can then make them into a liquid (how to underneath) and use to water plants/wash car. Then, when you are done, compost them or distribute the shells into your plants.

Here's the best bit, you can make these bad boys into a liquid to use all around the home, you can do freeze it into ice cubes trays and use in the washing machine too (use 2 per load into the drum) or you can store in an airtight container in fridge for about a week.

You use about 2 nuts per 1 cup water and all to you do is boil for around 30mins or until it's a nice amber colour. Some people suggest to boil until they are almost white to get the most saponin but be super careful because it boils up quickly and will froth over if not watched. Here is how it looks boiling:


Out of 6 shells I managed 48 ice cubes, a full jam jar plus 200ml left over for cleaning with. I am truly amazed at the power of these little nuts of joy. Have you tried soap nuts? What do you think?