Can you actually wash your clothes with these things?...YES!...with:
NO FABRIC SOFTENER
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...
Here you can see the prominent tomato sauce stain on the shirt before I washed it with soapnuts
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
- gentle on fabrics; effectively clean, naturally soften
- multitude of other household uses (counters, floors, sinks, windows, dishwasher, carpets, jewelry, pets, handwashables)
- environmentally safe
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!