Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Soapnuts - Before & After Pics

Soapnuts With Laundry Bag
Can you actually wash your clothes with these things?...YES!...with:  


In fact some of you have gotten some sample laundry bags like the one in the picture.

What Are Soapnuts?

The little muslin bag in the picture above contains about a half ounce of those brown acorn-looking things, called soapnuts. The official name is sapindus mukorossi, the latin root, sapo, meaning 'soap'.  In fact, it is the outer shells that contain high levels of naturally occurring saponins (or "soap") that act as a natural detergent.  The trees that produce the soapnuts originate primarily out of India and Nepal where they have been used for centuries to gently and effectively clean their fine fabrics.  They have also been traditionally used in Ayurvedic medicine as a treatment for eczema and psoriasis.

These soapnuts are 100% natural, certified organic, completely biodegradable, from a renewable and sustainable source, and require no fossil fuels or chemicals to produce!  They are extremely gentle on skin and are a perfect solution for people with sensitive skin, babies and those with chemical sensitivities to regular detergents.

Do you want to see some before and after pictures of my daughter's school uniform shirts?  Check it out...

Soapnuts Before Picture

 Here you can see the prominent tomato sauce stain on the shirt before I washed it with soapnuts
Soapnuts After Picture

And here you can see how awesomely it came out of the laundry after I washed it with soapnuts! 

And the SMELL...it came out of the dryer with the freshest, hung-outside-on-the-line-all-day smell ever...and all without chemical detergent or fabric softener!  It's hard to believe they can come out smelling like so much fresh, sweet nothingness like they do, considering the smell of wet soapnuts is like a milder version of apple cider vinegar (not all that pleasant), but somehow they do!

How Do Soapnuts Work?

The natural saponins in the shell are released when hot/warm water hits them, turning them into a natural surfactant (surface active agent) or detergent that circulates in the water, which breaks down the surface tension in the water, freeing dirt, grime and oils from the clothing and rinsing away in the rinse cycle.

One bag lasts 4-7 washes, depending on the temperature and hardness of your water, after which you just replace them with new ones.  And since they're 100% natural and biodegradable you don't have to worry about them polluting the ground or water.  I do still pre-treat any stains as needed with a stain remover, but then that's it.  Just toss the bag in with the laundry, remove it to air-dry when the cycle is finished and put the clothes in the dryer.  And soapnuts are perfect for HE (High Efficiency) washers that require low sudsing detergents. 

  • anti-microbial properties
  • anti-fungal properties
  • hypoallergenic
  • gentle on fabrics; effectively clean, naturally soften
  • multitude of other household uses (counters, floors, sinks, windows, dishwasher, carpets, jewelry, pets, handwashables)
  • environmentally safe
Of course for me, the most exciting feature of all has to do with their potential and promise for use in personal care products.  I've been working on a foaming handsoap and a 2-in-1 cleansing hair conditioner...stay tuned!

Please comment below and tell me what you think of soapnuts.  If you have tried them, we'd love to hear how it went.  Or if you haven't tried them and think they sound like something you would like to try, let me know that too!


  1. That sounds awesome! Definitely going to buy some.

    1. I'm glad they sound interesting to you! I haven't actually decided to offer these for sale yet; I'm trying to figure out if there is an interest in them for doing laundry first...so check back, as I may decide to offer them for sale on a trial basis. My main interest is in creating some personal care products with them (right now I'm experimenting with a cleansing hair conditioner and foaming handwash).

    2. UPDATE!!...I've decided I AM going to sell soapnuts as laundry detergent! They should be ready by next week. Stay tuned and check the website (skinkissednaturals.com)

  2. Michelle EllevoldMay 26, 2012 at 7:06 AM

    I'd like to try the soapnuts! Can I just stop over and pick some up?

    1. Yes. Right now I've just got the sample bags (good for 4-7 washes) available. I'm going to have the full size (1/4 lb.~40+ loads) available next week, but if you want to come see me at the Park Art Fair next weekend, I'll be offering a free sample bag of soap nuts with the purchase of a bag.

  3. Knowledge giving Article! I appreciate you. I completely agree with you. If we talk about current scenario then it is must be update. I enjoyed reading. I would like to visit more for more queries.

    1. I'm glad you enjoyed the article. I'm finding the more I use soap nuts the more I love them! And I do have them available for purchase now at http://skinkissednaturals.com/body-care.php#laundry-time-soap-nuts
      I do plan on doing more articles hopefully some time soon.