soap nuts – what are they? And why you should use them instead of regular laundry detergent?

starting with the boring stuff

The name of soap nuts comes from latin word: Sapindus), soap nuts also called wash nuts are not exactly nuts, they are berries.
They come from Sap   indaceae family what makes them related to Lychee tree and comes from India (sapo = soap and indicus = India in Latin).

Soap nuts contain natural ingredient called saponin which works as a surfactant for your washing, meaning while submerged in water soapnuts realises saponin which grabs dirt from your clothes and stops it from going back into your clothes.

while submerged in water soapnuts realises saponin which grabs dirt from your clothes and stops it from going back into the fabric

Soapnuts realise more saponin (dirt washing magic) with warm and hot wash-cycles. I mean how cool is that?

loose soap nuts on the white background

natural laundry detergent

there is few very good reasons why you should use those magic berries instead of any regular laundry detergent

  1. It is way cheaper, yes you heard me right. You can get a kilogram of soap nuts for around £9-£11, putting that into context that will last you for around 330 washes. I actually use this ones. They last forever and I am obsessed with my washing, I like my clothes to be very well washed and love my whites white! Personally I use double portion of the nuts and the one kilogram bag still last me for months.
  2. Soap nuts are brilliant for anyone with skin sensitivity. I tend to get mild rush after using premium brands of laundry detergents or fabric conditioners, with soap nuts I never have that problem. As opposed to regular washing powder, soap nuts are completely natural and gentle on our skin.
  3. They are far more gentle on our environment. Regular detergents use surfactants which are made out of harsh chemicals, those get into the underground waters, rivers and eventually ends up in our seas and oceans. That have greatly destructive effect on the aquatic life, causing algae overgrowth and harming marine life.

possible cons of soap nuts

Sometimes they will not remove heavy stains so you need some additional product to tackle that. They work better in higher temperatures which mean your cold water wash may not be that effective while using the wash nuts.

how to use them

One pouch should last for approximately 7 washes, as I mentioned since I am very OCD with my washing I use two of them and an EcoEgg just to get extra crisp and fresh washing.

this is how it looks fresh:

loose soap nuts on the white background

and here we have used up soap nuts:

handful of used up soap nuts, broken and thin without shine

used up soap nuts – natural laundry detergent

Usually when you buy large bag of these nuts you also receive small string pouch to put into your washing. After few washes you just throw the old shells out and replace them with new ones.

Let me know in the commetn section what you think, do you use any ecological washing products? Have you tried any of the ones I mention?


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