sapindus

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Cleaning with Soap Nuts

Couple weeks ago, Tumblr introduced me to a natural, cheap, almost odorless, hypoallergenic, and sustainable cleaning agent called soapnuts (or soapberries)! The dried husk/shell of this fruit contains resin that is high in saponins, a naturally occurring chemical compound that reduces the surface tension of water so that it can penetrate and dislodge the solid/other liquid more effectively. Extraction of the active ingredient only requires that soap nuts be agitated in warm water; a lot of lathery foam will form. I’ve tested soap nuts as a

  • laundry detergent
  • body and hair cleanser
  • fruit/veggie and dishwashing cleanser
  • insecticide for my indoor plants

So far so good, although not fond of using it as a body cleanser; it’s too awkward to apply IMO. There are plenty of other uses, but I think this would be a particularly excellent ecofriendly way to bring along a camping trip to clean your wares.

To my gardeners: Trust me, I checked every pod. No leftover seeds, otherwise I would definitely plant a soap nut tree!