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!

i’m holding a few soap nuts in my hand and thought i would share the existence of these magical lil things… we use them to wash our clothes by hand but they can also be used in the machine. it’s also good for cleaning dishes and even to clean yourself :) completely natural as these are literally nuts that grow in trees!!!! it’s amazing. then you can use the water to give to your plants or reuse it in whichever way you find fit. mother nature always provides xxxxxxxx


Holistic Laundering

Okay, I am more than a little excited now. I just did two loads of eco-friendly laundry. Using only natural ingredients.

I used soap nuts from Mountain Rose Herbs in place of laundry detergent. For my rinse cycle I used a combination of vinegar, baking soda, and essential oil. 

For use in the dryer, I made a dryer ball out of acrylic yarn. It is kind of like tossing in a tennis ball with your clothes.

Anyway, my laundry turned out great. All of my clothes and linens are clean and soft to the touch. My sheets feel like velvet, and my workout clothes don’t have any trace of sweat or odor.

I am a convert. Try it and see how great it works. Not only are you saving a ton of money, but you aren’t exposing your body to unnecessary chemicals.

Working on be all natural as much as possible! This is what I use instead of laundry detergent. Yup. Laundry soap has a lot of unnecessary chemicals which You expose to your skin. Soap nuts for the win! Use 4-6 soapnuts for up to 4 loads! Cheaper and healthier alternative so why not?!? They can also make natural dish soap too! #naturoil #soapnuts #laundry #natural #healthy #clean

Fogot to posy what I actually got in my @thevegankind box #TVK15#tvk15

GreenFrog Soap Nuts - currently using to washing my cloths

Hectares sweet potato crisps sea salt and black pepper - already eatten and loved tbem will defo buy

Power of….superfoods cereal pots - yet to try and I dont like oats but will give them ago

Pulsin Raspberry & Goil Raw choc brownie - i tried to eat this with sore teeth on wed but it is nice and i would buy if i can find them

Clearspring 100% organic fruit on the go pear puree - I dont like puree foods so I wont be trying this unless I can put it in with something

Creative nature tropical bar - i sadly didnt like this, think it was the ginger but atleast I tried it

#thevegankind #vegan #soapnuts #pulsin #creativenature #clearspring

Trying out soapnuts

Using #soapnuts in laundry instead of detergent! Former SCoopie Carly Gayle ‘13 visited from Indonesia last week.

— Wellesley SCoOp (@WellesleySCoOp)

February 8, 2014

Former scoopie Carly Gayle ('13) now has a job doing permaculture  design in Bali, Indonesia.  She says it’s her dream job - go Carly!

She visited us in SCoop last week, and brought with her some soapnuts.  What are these magical creations?

The outer shell of the soapnut contains saponin, a natural substance known for its ability to cleanse and wash. Soapnuts aren’t a new concept; they have been used to clean all kinds of fabric for centuries, and are only now gaining popularity in the Americas and Europe as an alternative to modern detergents.  Put 5 or so nuts in a cotton bag, and toss them into your washing machine with your laundry.  They work best in warm cycles, if you’re running a cold cycle it’s best to soak them in warm water first to release the saponin. 

For a full review, here’s a Treehugger article on the little brown wrinkly things. 

Our assessment: they do work.  Clothes and scoop dishrags have come out clean and scent-free.  They work for about 5 loads, and then they can be composted.  B+. For our goals of sustainability though, because they have to come all the way from Indonesia or India and are becoming part of a globalized market, we’d give them a C.  But because Carly brought them herself, they are green as could be - thanks for the wonderful gift!

New products coming?

I got some soapnuts in the post today and yesterday I ordered a whole lot more bottles, so maybe if I get the recipes right quickly enough we may have some natural soaps coming out and, long-term pipe dream: do away with harmful SLS altogether! Plus, I may get that rosemary-scented shampoo I’ve always wanted :)

I am a crazyhippie(cat)lady.

Who knew?

Recently I’ve been getting into “natural” ways of doing things (turns out I was already a cat lady).  My favourite idea so far:  Laundry Tree Soapnuts.  Now, I haven’t actually used these yet, but there in the mail and coming to meeee.  So I will let everyone crazy enough to read this about the results of my venturings.

Also, this.  Surprisingly effective albeit a little weird at first.  I may tackle the baking soda/cornstarch/coconut oil deodorant next, it sounds interesting.

And if anyone was wondering, the majority of the “why” behind this recent endeavor is because it winds up being cheaper.  (and I’m a poor college kid.)