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All about soapnuts featuring Living Naturally

Tired of using Laundry powders full of chemicals that irritate your skin or your children skin? Exhausted of using this green liquid soap for the washing up? Are you looking for a greener alternative for your laundry?

Why not try a laundry-cleaning product that does not come in a plastic jug, that does not leave a soap residue n  clothing or in washer, and that cleans clothes efficiently? But what is this miracle product? It is Soapnuts.

Have you ever heard about them? I have not until recently and since I have discovered about them I was really eager to try and see by myself how they perform.


What Are Soap Nuts?


Soapnuts are found in both the eastern and western hemispheres, but are native to India and Nepal. They have recently become a popular environmentally friendly alternative to chemical detergent, and are a gentle option for those with allergies to chemicals in regular detergents. They have traditionally been used as an expectorant, and in Ayurvedic medicine as a treatment for eczema and psoriasis. Soap nuts contain saponin, a natural detergent. The soap nut shell absorbs water and releases the saponins which circulate as a natural surfactant in the wash water, freeing dirt, grime, and oils from clothing.

Soapnuts have been used for washing for thousands of years by native peoples in Asia as well as Native Americans.

Where do they come from?

SapindusThey come from a tree : Sapindus . Sapindus is a genus of about five to twelve species of  trees. They are known as soapberries or soapnuts because the fruit pulp is used to make soap. The generic name is derived from the Latin words sapo, meaning “soap”, and indicus, meaning “of India

How Do Soapnuts Work?

The process of converting the spapindus fruit into soapnuts is relatively easy. They are first harvested from the tree when the fruit is ripe.

Secondly, the seeds of the fruit are removed. Lastly, the fruit is dried in the sun. From there, this excellent alternative laundry detergent goes directly into your washing machine.

Benefits Of Soapnut

The outer shell of the soapnut is the part of the fruit that contains saponin, its natural surfactant. It then creates a sudsy mixture that does an excellent job at removing dirt and grim from clothing and fabric.


Where & what to buy ?


One of the best shop around to buy your soapnuts is Living Naturally.

Living Naturally

Living Naturally proposes a lot of options and starter pack for you to choose from and I love the flexibility of the packs. That is why I bought from them. It was a bit tricky to decide what I wanted to try first as I was worried to be disappointed or simply that it won’t work. I am always a bit sceptical when it comes to change and I try to be precautious.

“Living Naturally Laundry Range made from WILD-CRAFTED ORGANIC SOAPNUT FRUITS, contains real natural soap and is completely free from synthetics and toxic ingredients. Specially formulated for sensitive skin and allergy sufferers. A non-polluting, compostable, natural alternative to conventional laundry detergents. No fillers, foaming agents, bleach, phthlates, phosphates or parabens.

Certified Organic & Vegan, Biodegradable, Sustainable and Hypoallergenic.

Living Naturally Soapnut Shells are organic detergent that grows on trees! It simply doesn’t get greener than this!

Soapnuts are highly valued by the rural people of India for washing clothes and as a naturally produced shampoo for washing their hair and for getting rid of dandruff. This is why some botanists have named the species as Sapindus detergens.

Soapnuts are highly-effective and gentle at the same time. It will leave your laundry fresh and clean and compared to other powder detergents, its mildness will keep colours bright, maintaining fabric structure of your clothes for longer periods. It can be used on all fabrics and at all temperatures from 30. C – 90. C. Great for all washing machines especially energy efficient machines & great for all allergy sufferers.” Extract of Living Naturally website.

I eventually chose a MEDIUM Organic Soapnut Starter Pack with Lavender Essential Oil.

Living Naturally Soapnuts Medium Starter PackThe Pack contains:

  • 500g bag of biodegradable Soapnut Shells
  • 500g bag of Soda Crystals
  • Natural Stain Remover Bar
  • 10ml Essential Oil
  • Full instruction leaflet on how to use for laundry
  • Full instructions on how to make natural pesticide and a chemical free multi-purpose cleaner.

How to use them?


The soapnut is hypoallergenic and has a PH level of 5.5, which is the same as our skin, making it perfect for babies and people with sensitive skin. People with eczema and psoriasis have begun to use this natural remedy to clean and alleviate their skin.

You can use them in your laundry.

  • DRY Method:

 

laundry_gal

Photo by Jon Day/Country Homes and Interiors/IPC Syndication

Very easy to use,  you just need to put five soapnut shellsinto a muslin bag, and then tie the bag securely. 

Living Naturally recommends also to place the washbag with warm water for few minutes before using it in order to release the soap, this is how I use them too.

Load laundry into machine, place soaked washbag into drum of the washing machine with clothes. Wash clothes as you usually do! I like adding a bit of essential oil in place of the softener.

Then you save the used shells, as you can reuse them up to Three more times {some says 4 to 5} but I found that they do not work as well.

Living Naturally Soapnuts Medium Starter Pack

  • Homemade Soapnut Liquid Recipe:

You can also use the soapnuts  to make some homemade Soapnut Liquid and use it as a base for your laundry products, multipurpose cleaner, handwash, anything really.

How to proceed? Extract of Living Naturally Instructions

  1. Put 15-20 shells/50g of Soapnuts into 2 litres of water, and bring to the boil.
  2. Boil for 10 minutes, then switch off heat, cover and let the liquid cool down.
  3. Once the liquid is cooled, strain the liquid into a jar or bottle and put the soapnuts back in the pan.
  4. Your Homemade Soapnut Laundry Liquid should be stored in the fridge.
  5. These boiled soapnuts can be reboiled up to 3 times with 2 litre each time. This should give you between 7- 8 litres of homemade soapnut liquid.

HOW TO USE: Load laundry into machine. Pour ONE cup / 250ml of home-made soapnut liquid into detergent drawer of washing machine and wash as directed. Use TWO cups for larger or dirtier wash loads.

There is also a NO BOIL RECIPE:

You JUST have to put 10 soapnuts in a glass or plastic jar and 1 litre of hot tap water. Shake and leave to soak and when water turns brown the soap has been extracted. Use liquid as needed and when jar is empty replenish with hot water. You can keep doing this until no soap is present in the soap nuts.

Soapnut shells are completely hypoallergenic and scent-free. They are also a natural softener, so no artificial fabric conditioner is needed. But if like me you like when your clothes scent of lavender you can then add fragrance to your Soapnut Laundry :

How to add a fragrance?

By using essential oils: add few drops onto the washbag before it goes into the washing machine with your laundry. Or you can add it directly to you homemade soapnut laundry liquid. 10ml of essential oil is enough to scent 1 litre of homemade soapnut laundry liquid.

Good Tip: If you use a tumble dryer you can add a few drops of essential oil onto a washbag/sock/handkerchief and add it to the tumble dryer.

How to dispose of used soapnuts?

The same washbag of soapnuts can be re-used 3 to 4 times. When soapnut shells start to break up in the bag, you know that you cannot use them anymore. So when they reach this stage just compost them: soapnuts are 100% biodegardable and compostable.

The full review of the starter set and Living Naturally to be followed!

Will you give it a go too? And what do you think about soapnuts?

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