A while ago I stumbled upon Soapnuts. I never actually knew that anything like this actually existed! The idea is brilliant, but I wondered just how well they actually work?? Do they actually get your clothes (or other things) clean? I was so excited when Cindy over at Superior Soapnuts offered me a chance to try out a 100g bag of their soapnuts. When I got them in the mail I was so excited to try them out. Soap nuts are a completely renewable, environmentally friendly, biodegradable material, that can be put into your compost once they are used! So you don't have any huge plastic laundry soap containers to throw away after you are done with them. All you have left are the empty shells from the soap nuts that will decompose.
Soapnuts are a highly effective way of cleaning, yet gentle at the same time. If you or your little one have super sensitive skin, these will work great for washing clothes or using for a cleaning substance. Soapnuts leave your laundry incredibly soft, fresh, and clean (it will "smell" clean too after washing without having to use any scented detergent) compared to other detergents. You get all of this without having to use laundry soap/household cleaners that are full of chemicals, dyes, and other nasty stuff that is added to cleaners and detergents. The mildness of soap nuts keep the colors bright on your laundry and help maintain your fabric for a long period of time. The soap nuts can be used for any temperature of laundry water, although the saponin (soap) is released best in warm water initially.
My first time trying out the soap nuts I used them to wash stinky stinky cloth diapers. I put 4 soapnuts in the provided muslin bag, cracked them open(you can use a hammer or any other hard object to crack the nuts open), and threw them in with the wash with no other added detergent. After they were done the diapers came out perfectly clean, no stains, no stinks. They even came out smelling fresh and clean without having to use scented detergent (they dont smell fragrancy clean.....just fresh and clean). The soap nuts lasted for 4 washes and every time they came out clean and without any stinkies.
HOW TO USE SOAPNUTS (from the website)
Shells: Place 4 or 5 soapnuts in a small pouch of cotton or a sock tied at the top. Put this into your washing machine load with temperatures up to 90 Degrees.
-Soapnuts are not a heavy stain remover. Although the liquid can be sprayed directly on fabric and successfully remove minor staining, heavier stains will still need to be pretreated with a stain remover.
-Soapnuts are both ecological and economical when compared to other forms of detergents. A 500g bag of soapnuts can be used for 200 or more loads of laundry.
-Soapnuts will leave your clothes fragrance free. If you'd like to add a fragrance, just add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to the wash.
-Shells can be used for more than one wash but the number of washes per shell bag will depend on the water temperature used. Washing at lower temperatures, the soapnuts can be used more often. You will know the soapnuts need to be replaced when they become thin and dull with no shiny pockets of saponin left in them.
Fill the soap dispenser with soapnuts liquid (see liquid soap instructions below) for washing your glasses, dishes, cutlery and pans. Don't be deceived by the lack of bubbles on the effectiveness of the cleaning. There are no artificial foaming agents so there will be very few if any lasting bubbles but your dishes will be cleaned effectively even if left to soak. Soapnuts can't quite handle baked on food (i.e. casserole dishes). As with most dishwasher soaps, some prewash may be necessary. Alternatively, just put 3 shells in the bottom of the cutlery holder and some vinegar in the rinse dispenser and your dishes will come out sparkling clean.
LIQUID HAND/BODY SOAP, PEOPLE, AND PET SHAMPOO
Add about 50g (a handful - or about 8 to10 soapnuts) soapnuts shells to approx. 6 cups of water. Crush the shells into smaller pieces before adding - this aids in the release of the saponin. Bring to boil, then simmer for approximately 30 minutes. The boiling process extracts the saponin from the nut shells and combines with the water. You can use the liquid immediately, or let it steep overnight. Strain into appropriate container and compost the remaining shells.You now have a concentrated, chemical free detergent that can then be used as a laundry soap, all purpose cleaner, car wash, liquid soap, people/pet shampoo (the characteristic smell of the saponin will keep parasites at bay for some time. It is very effective against lice, fleas and ticks), or anything else you would normally clean with a liquid. Experiment with longer boil times and water to shell ratios for stronger and weaker concentrations. Fill a spray or pump bottle with the liquid and use to wash hands, body, hair or fur. Soapnuts leaves your hair and your pets fur soft and manageable. Make sure the liquid does not get into the eyes as it will burn.
CLEANING & DETOXIFYING FOOD
Soak your fruit and vegetables for approximately 10 minutes in the soapnuts liquid. Rinse off and enjoy this food free from harmful chemicals and residue. The soapnuts solution can then be reused for household cleaning.
WINDOWS AND GLASS CLEANER
Fill a clean spray bottle with 1 1/2 cup water, 2 tablespoons vinegar and 1 tablespoon soapnuts liquid. Spray and wipe windows or mirrors clean. Polish with a dry cloth or newspaper.
ALL PURPOSE CLEANER
Keep the liquid in a spray bottle and use to clean the bathroom, kitchen, floors, etc. Add a few drops of essential oil if you prefer a different scent.
Soapnuts are commonly used in Indian households for cleaning and shining jewelry due to its effectiveness. Jewelry is soaked in soapsuds liquid and then rubbed with a cloth to give it a shine.
NATURAL PLANT WASH AND PEST REPELLENT
Add 1 cup water, 1 tablespoon soapnuts liquid, and 1 tablespoon Neem oil (optional) to a clean spray bottle. Shake well. For plant wash, spray leaves and wipe clean. To repel pests (i.e. aphids and greenfly), spray plant thoroughly, covering all surfaces, and allow to air dry. Your left over soapnuts liquid from washing or laundry can be used for this purpose.
MOSQUITO REPELLANT: wash or smear your exposed parts with the liquid and the mosquitoes will leave you alone, repelled by the smell of saponin. Give it a try!
Apply the soapnuts liquid on scalp and leave on for 5 to10 minutes. Make sure the liquid does not get into the eyes as it will burn. Rinse hair with water. Following this procedure regularly will not only help prevent dandruff, but will also keep your hair soft and strong. You can also replace the soapnuts liquid with soapnuts powder.
Soapnuts absorb moisture very easily. They become dark & sticky in a very short period of time if left exposed to air. Ideally the nuts should be packed in an airtight container or a plastic bag tied tightly. However, sticky soapnuts do not mean that they have gone bad. They will still wash & clean perfectly. Soapnuts powder, however, if not stored in perfectly air tight conditions, will become lumpy very easily. Once in lump form, the powder is difficult to use, even though it still retains all its original washing properties.
"Our soapnuts are the dried fruit from the Ritha (sapindus mukorossi) tree. There are other types of trees that produce a poorer grade of soapnuts. The ones we import contain very high amounts of saponin. Saponin is the substance which gives the soapnuts their cleaning power.
This giveaway will close on April 22nd, 2010 at 9pm CST and is open to U.S. and Canadian addresses. The winner will be drawn via random.org - Winner will be contacted by email when their name is drawn and will be given 48 hours to claim the prize before another winner is drawn. I will also post the winner to this blog when name is drawn. Thank you to Superior Soapnuts who gave us the 100g bag of soapnuts for free in exchange for our review!
Many of these trees were once logged for income. Happily our supplier, among others, is harvesting the soapnuts which is a renewable resource. This is creating a sustainable income for Nepalese people in local areas."
Go HERE to see all of their soap nuts recipes.
WIN ONE HERE!!! Now for the best part!! Cindy over at Superior Soapnuts has offered one (1) 500g bag of soapnuts to one of my wonderful readers!!
- Mandatory Entry: First you need to be/become a public follower of my blog (on right sidebar- click follow) and then head over to Superior Soapnuts and tell me what one of the recipes they have that you would like to make with soapnuts. Come back here and leave me a comment saying that you follow and what recipe. Make sure to do both parts! (Mandatory entry has to be done before ANY others are valid)
- Subscribe to my blog by e-mail
- Blog about this giveaway for FIVE extra entries-Make sure that you link back to this giveaway and to Superior Soapnuts on your blog post and leave the link for your post in your comment so that I can verify it if you win)
- Tell me how you found my blog (1 entry)
- Grab my blog button (1 entry-on right side bar)
- Follow me on Twitter and tweet this giveaway (you may tweet twice daily (must be at least 2 hours apart) for extra entries- leave a comment for each tweet including the perma-link) Just copy paste from below-
"WIN a 500g bag of Soapnuts from Superior Soapnutsand @Gravsie3
Enter Here: http://bit.ly/czAOSx (Ends 4/22)"
- Purchase anything from Superior Soapnuts from March 25th-April 22nd and recieve 5 extra entries. (This will be verified if you win)
- Enter in my other current giveaways (list on left side bar-1 entry per giveaway)
- Leave a relevant comment on any non-giveaway post (1 entry per comment-tell me which post you commented on)