Friday, 4 May 2007

Soap Nuts: a Review

Ocassionally, if I try a new and unusual product, particularly a green product, I'll post a review here. This will be the first... and it's about soap nuts.

Before you ask, no, soap nuts is not the name of a niche-market homoerotic magazine. Soap nuts are real nuts that grow on a tree (Sapindus mukorossi) from Asia. The husk of the nut contains soap in it, and can be used for laundry. They are gaining popularity here in England, and they are very popular in Germany right now, where more than 20,000 kg are sold every month. Recently, we (the Green Society) were giving them out free at our Green Fair, so I thought I would take a few home and try them.

The nuts came in bulk a big plastic bag. They had a slightly gummy texture and a mild, not unpleasant earthy smell. I took about five and put them in a smaller muslin-cloth pouch. I put the pouch in with my laundry in the washing machine, and did not use any detergent or anything else. For fragrance, I added a drop of lemongrass and sandalwood essential oil to the pouch. I considered cedar oil, but I was concerned that if I used cedar I would smell like a giant gerbil. I washed as normal - regular cycle with lukewarm water. It got quite sudsy in there, and definitely looked soapy. When I took my clothes out, I was surprised at how clean they were. They were definitely as clean as or cleaner than with ordinary detergent. They also smelled slightly of lemongrass/sandalwood, but the original mild earthy smell was gone. I can reuse the same soap nuts for three washes before composting them and putting new nuts in the pouch. Although I don't have senstive skin, I have heard they work very well for people who are sensitive to normal soap products. I was very pleased with the results, and will definitely be using them again!



Benefits:
  • Cheap
  • No chemicals
  • Cleans very effectively
  • Compostable - no waste
  • Using different essential oils allows you to choose any fragrance.
  • Supports producers in India and Nepal
  • Makes you cooler than your friends
Disadvantages:
  • Only available online and in certain shops
  • People not familiar with using nuts as soap may think you are a bit funny.
  • Don't taste nearly as nice as so-called "edible" nuts.

The cost is in the UK is about £5 for enough to do 25 washes, though they are probably cheaper in the US. Click here to have a look.

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

I tried maggie's Soap Nuts and couldn't believe how well they worked. I have sensitive skin and have always been mildly irritated by all laundary soaps, even the eco-friendly ones. The soapnuts made my clothes really soft and clean, but most importantly they didn't irritate my skin at all. thank you so much

Christopher Chandler said...

Hey, Anonymous, I'm glad to hear they worked so well for you! That's really great to hear and made my day. Although I don't have sensitive skin, I know how debilitating it can be.

karatebartender said...

I ordered 7lbs of soap nuts the other day, and I have just finished a load of laundry with soapnuts. I put some essential oil in a daunny ball with some water and have it set to release the fregrance in rincing cycle. WIth a little dash of essential oil, the clothes smell really good this way!

dick_fitzwell said...

I use bodhi soap nuts from better life goods. Awesome. They clean better than detergent, imo. If you use really hot water, they run out more quickly, but they clean very well. You can use them the clean your house, and even yourself. Ive been washing with them in the shower, and they work great. They have been used to wash produce, clothes, and babies, for hundreds of years.

Soap Nuts said...

Soap nuts are great at getting musty and mildewy smells out of clothes, dishtowels, dishcloths, etc..

Soap Nuts Natural Laundry Detergent said...

Soap nuts helped me get rid of the eczema across my belly.

Soap Nuts For Your Hair said...

Ever wash your hair with soap nuts? They leave it feeling thicker and clean.

ocean said...

Wow, the soap nut folks really found you! Thanks for the review- I will now give them a try. One comment on your site made me wonder, but I looked up Jack Handey and realized- it wasn't seriously suggesting to tell a kid "lucky guess!" I tell my kids, "You're so smart!" :)

JRV said...

hey.. this is been used in our country(india) for years!!! especially for washing pure Silk clothes!! its called "poongangai" (Tamil language)and used as one of the ingredients for making hair wash powder (shikkakai) made at home! smart ppl are just making a business out of these... as far its eco friendly... I'm very much happy!!!

fireplug said...

Yep, it's amazing but soap nuts have been around for thousands of years. Guess P&G doesn't want us to know about them, huh? I've been using them to clean about everything in one form or another!

Don't even bother with any sellers except NaturOli or Laundrytree. They are hands down the most consistent in high quality and very reliable. You don't have to worry about getting screwed. (I have been before. - Yuk.) I seem to always lean to NaturOli because of so many options and their customer service. They also have a real mission to green-up our world. They aren't just about selling things. That's exceptional these days.

I sure don't need to say much more than has been said. If you haven't tried soap nuts yet - you've got to! You don't know what your missing.

If you have a hard time with the whole concept of using a dried fruit for cleaning (can't say I blame you), just try NaturOli's 18X soap nut liquid concentrate. Fabulous product!!!! Don't use too much. A little goes a LONG way.

Soap Nuts said...

Soap nuts are the best detergent I have ever used. They get the laundry clean and fresh smelling.

Soap Nuts Reviews said...

It's hard to find a bad review of soap nuts. They are great!

Samruddhi Parmar said...

hi,

this is a great information that you have provided. I m an environmentalist and like to promote natural living. I do supply soap nuts and soap nut powder. kindly visit the following link

http://soapnuts-online.blogspot.com

or you can directly email me at
samruddhi.parmar@gmail.com

Acer Laptop Computers said...

I tried soap nuts and really like them. I will use them from now on.

Green Guy said...

If you want to try the best soap nuts at the lowest prices you have to get Green Virgin Products soap nuts. They have the best customer service, and they even answer their phone late at night. I have not been able to find soap nuts for less anywhere. The quality is amazing and they even include extra of the little wash bags. You won't believe the results you will get with Green Virgin Soap nuts. Go to http://www.greenvirginproducts.com

Meera said...

Hi,

The soap nuts also act as an excellent conditioner. Soak 4-5 nuts in a cup of water for half an hour and use the water to rinse your hair. Your hair will be very silky and shiny. This natural conditioner works well. Get rid of chemicals!!

HELEN said...

How to use these soap nuts for washing hair?

maria7 said...

how long do the soap nuts last?

Anonymous said...

I am in Canada and sell Soap Nuts wholesale to friends and family. One note that I have had to let some people know about is that Soap nuts are NOT a "nut" they are actually the shell of a fruit - so there is no "nut allergy" to be on the look out for.

Rose said...

hi,Soap nuts (sapindus mukorossi) liquid can be used to clean hair in place of your regular shampoo. Soap nuts naturally help prevent dandruff and keep your hair soft and strong. When using to treat dandruff apply the liquid soap nut on your scalp and leave on for 5-10 minutes.

Herbal Hair Care said...

Simple guidelines to the homemade recipes for hair...

Anonymous said...

Good Afternoon

Can I link to this post please?

Unknown said...

Thanks for the review. That is indeed very helpful.
Salon

MadiLyn Mree Sperry said...

Thanks for the review! I had wondered about Soapnuts, they almost seemed too good to be true, a natural fruit shell that secrets soapy and sanitary foam? UM COOL! hahaha I came across this page:
http://purogenics.com/purogenicswp/
right after I read about the best ways to buy them- look for weight not load, seedless, mukorossi tree verses trifolioutus, etc. and these were by far the most promising looking!
Good Luck with your Soap nuting:)

Barbie Chiu said...

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