Soap nuts — which actually aren't nuts, but husks from the fruit of the sapindus mukorossi tree — are a natural cleaning product that really works! These Ayurvedic superstars have a wide range of medicinal properties that can help treat eczema, psoriasis, acne, and hair loss. But they make great laundry detergents, household cleaners, and shampoo as well! They are chemical and fragrance-free, plus reusable and compostable. Doesn't get much more eco-friendly than that! Read on to find out how to incorporate soap nuts into your cleaning routine.
Soap Nuts for Laundry
Traditional detergents and fabric softeners can irritate skin and those sensitive to fragrance. They’re also pretty darn expensive, especially if you buy the organic versions. So, ditch the detergent and toss a handful of soap nuts into the washing machine before each load. You can even reuse them for up to nine washes, depending on the water temperature and softness/hardness. That’ll save you some serious cash in the long run!
Soap Nuts for Cleaning
Boiling your soap nuts (aim for at least two for every cup of water) will create a powerful cleaning concentrate you can swap with your icky chemical cleaner. First mash or pierce the husks to increase the release of saponins and the concentrate’s scrubbing powers. Let the pot simmer for half an hour, then strain and bottle the liquid. You can mix the concentrate with other cleaning agents, like vinegar or essential oils, to make a homemade all-purpose cleaner.
For a more abrasive cleaner, grind your soap nuts and mix them with baking soda. Sprinkle it wherever needs scrubbing and you’ll notice hardened stains and spots lift effortlessly.
You can even replace your dishwasher detergent with soap berries by adding two to five to the silverware rack and placing a bowl or mug containing half a cup of vinegar on the top rack. Run the cycle as you normally would for sparkling clean cups and dishes.
Soap Nuts for Shampoo
You can use the concentrate you made for cleaning for shampoo as well. Simply massage a small amount of it into your hair, let sit for five minutes, then rinse well. This also works as an at-home hair mask for those with irritating scalp conditions like dandruff.
Finding soap nuts in stores may be tricky, so we recommend stocking up online. We like GREENWILL’S organic soap nuts ($21.95 for 1.5 pounds, Amazon), which come with a handy muslin bag.
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