Saponin, the 100% natural detergent
Soap nuts, also known as soap berries, is a fruit produced by small trees; the most common is the Sapindus mukorossi tree. When the fruit of the tree is ripe, the nuts are picked, then the seeds are removed and the shells are dried in the sun. The skin of the fruit contains a natural soap called saponin that can be used to make cleaning solutions that are completely free of chemicals! Soap nuts are versatile and can replace many conventional detergents, soaps and detergents. Despite their name, soap nuts are actually a fruit and will not cause nut allergies.
Don’t be fooled by expensive cleaning products
These wonderful nuts in hot water gives their cleaning power by releasing a surfactant called saponin. Saponin makes soap soapy water that removes dirt from clothing, plates, floors, countertops and even glass. Major detergent brands also contain surfactants, but these are aggressive and chemical. On the other hand, they are mild and hypoallergenic. This makes them ideal for young children, pets and anyone who is sensitive to chemical additives. Unlike commercial soaps, which contain artificial foaming agents, these nuts do not produce much bubbles or foam. Commercial detergents and soaps use this visual property as a point of sale, but don’t be fooled, the foam is not an indicator of cleaning power!
Cheap, reusable and compostable
These nuts are a great, affordable and environmentally friendly alternative to your current detergent product. 300gr organic soap nuts of Ecozone cost €8. That is very cheap if you consider that you can wash 100 times with it! The easiest way to use the nuts for washing your clothes is to place 4 or 6 nuts in a bag in the washing machine. The bag is not necessary, some people just throw the nuts among their items of clothing. The advantage if you use a bag is that the nuts stay together so that you can easily remove them from your wash in one go. This nut has been used by the Indian population for centuries as a detergent for washing cotton, wool and silk.
Do not immediately discard the nuts after one wash. You can reuse them a few times. When they are completely used up, then you can throw them away. No, not in the trash, but in your compost!