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Sapindus saponaria

Sapindus saponaria (Photo credit: João de Deus Medeiros)

Who out there uses them?  Tell me about them!  Tell me what you like or don’t like.  Where you buy them.  Do you use something else?  I really don’t think I’m ever going to make my own laundry detergent!  I love that you can compost the nuts/berries after they’re spent!

Here’s what one ebay seller has to say about their product:

So, what’s a Soapnut?

Soapnuts are the seed pod of a macadamia-sized berry which is cracked open and dried in the sun, producing a sticky, dark golden shell. These shells (known as ‘soapnuts’) can be placed into your washing machine instead of detergent and fabric softener, and will leave your clothes clean, soft and without scent. The pods contain a very high percentage of saponins (Mother Nature’s soap), a surfactant which removes dirt and oils from clothing when contacted with water. Soapnuts can also be boiled into a liquid concentrate and used as a general purpose cleaner, shampoo, hand soap… the list is long and growing.

What can I use them for?

Well, just about everything. As a detergent, a personal cleanser and shampoo, a general purpose cleaner, car wash, pet wash, vegetable wash, carpet and upholstery cleaner…

Soapnuts are most commonly used as a laundry detergent. They are used instead of chemical detergents and fabric softeners. Soapnut shells are used simply on their own in a cotton bag or lone sock tied at the top and put into the machine with your clothes. They do not need to be removed during the rinse cycle as there is no harmful or irritating residue as is left over from normal detergents. The surfactants in the nuts cleans and softens your laundry in one economic and environmentally friendly swoop!

I’m waiting to hear your thoughts!