SOAPNUTS ARE A COMPLETELY RENEWABLE, ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY, BIODEGRADABLE MATERIAL, THAT CAN BE PUT INTO YOUR COMPOST ONCE USED.
HOW TO USE SOAPNUTS
Shells: Place 4 or 5 soapnuts in a small pouch of cotton or a sock tied at the top. Put this into your washing machine load with temperatures up to 90 Degrees.
Liquid: Use 2 to 3 tablespoons of soapnuts liquid for a large load of laundry. (If your laundry feels a little stiff upon completion of the cycle, you've used too much!)
Note: When making soapnuts liquid it is important to remember that, because soapnuts are actually a fruit and the liquid therefore a 'fruit juice', if left at room temperature for more than a few days, it will begin to mold. If stored in the refrigerator the liquid should last a couple of weeks. Another great idea is to pour the liquid into ice cube trays and freeze. Once frozen, store in the freezer in a well marked container! Each frozen cube will be approximately 2 tablespoons which is the amount recommended for a load of laundry!
Soapnuts are highly effective and gentle at the same time. They will leave your laundry fresh and clean and compared to other detergents, its mildness will keep colours bright, maintaining the fabric structure of your clothes for longer periods. They can be used on all fabrics and at all temperatures (although the saponin is best released in a little warm water initially). They leave your clothes incredibly soft without the need for fabric softeners or conditioners.
Soapnuts are not a heavy stain remover. Although the liquid can be sprayed directly on fabric and successfully remove minor staining, heavier stains will still need to be pretreated with a stain remover.
Soapnuts are especially effective for washing cloth diapers. They eliminate all lingering smells and will strip the diaper of detergent build-up, increasing the diapers absorbency!
Soapnuts are both ecological and economical when compared to other forms of detergents. A 500g bag of soapnuts can be used for 200 or more loads of laundry.
Soapnuts will leave your clothes fragrance free. If you'd like to add a fragrance, just add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to the wash.
Shells can be used for more than one wash but the number of washes per shell bag will depend on the water temperature used. Washing at lower temperatures, the soapnuts can be used more often. You will know the soapnuts need to be replaced when they become thin and dull with no shiny pockets of saponin left in them.
Fill the soap dispenser with soapnuts liquid (see liquid soap instructions below) for washing your glasses, dishes, cutlery and pans. Don't be deceived by the lack of bubbles on the effectiveness of the cleaning. There are no artificial foaming agents so there will be very few if any lasting bubbles but your dishes will be cleaned effectively even if left to soak. Soapnuts can't quite handle baked on food (i.e. casserole dishes). As with most dishwasher soaps, some prewash may be necessary.
Alternatively, just put 3 shells in the bottom of the cutlery holder and some vinegar in the rinse dispenser and your dishes will come out sparkling clean.
LIQUID HAND/BODY SOAP, PEOPLE AND PET SHAMPOO
Add about 50g (a handful - or about 8 to10 soapnuts) soapnuts shells to approx. 6 cups of water. Crush the shells into smaller pieces before adding - this aids in the release of the saponin. Bring to boil, then simmer for approximately 30 minutes. The boiling process extracts the saponin from the nut shells and combines with the water. You can use the liquid immediately, or let it steep overnight. Strain into appropriate container and compost the remaining shells.You now have a concentrated, chemical free detergent that can then be used as a laundry soap, all purpose cleaner, car wash, liquid soap, people/pet shampoo (the characteristic smell of the saponin will keep parasites at bay for some time. It is very effective against lice, fleas and ticks), or anything else you would normally clean with a liquid. Experiment with longer boil times and water to shell ratios for stronger and weaker concentrations. Fill a spray or pump bottle with the liquid and use to wash hands, body, hair or fur. Soapnuts leaves your hair and your pets fur soft and manageable. Make sure the liquid does not get into the eyes as it will burn.
CLEANING & DETOXIFYING FOOD
Soak your fruit and vegetables for approximately 10 minutes in the soapnuts liquid. Rinse off and enjoy this food free from harmful chemicals and residue. The soapnuts solution can then be reused for household cleaning.
WINDOWS AND GLASS CLEANER
Fill a clean spray bottle with 1 cup water, 2 tablespoons vinegar and 1 tablespoon soapnuts liquid. Spray and wipe windows or mirrors clean. Polish with a dry cloth or newspaper.
(I personally find that adding more water works better, about 1 ½ cups).
ALL PURPOSE CLEANER
Keep the liquid in a spray bottle and use to clean the bathroom, kitchen, floors, etc. Add a few drops of essential oil if you prefer a different scent.
Soapnuts are commonly used in Indian households for cleaning and shining jewelry due to its effectiveness. Jewelry is soaked in soapsuds liquid and then rubbed with a cloth to give it a shine.
NATURAL PLANT WASH AND PEST REPELLENT
Add 1 cup water, 1 tablespoon soapnuts liquid, and 1 tablespoon Neem oil (optional) to a clean spray bottle. Shake well. For plant wash, spray leaves and wipe clean. To repel pests (i.e. aphids and greenfly), spray plant thoroughly, covering all surfaces, and allow to air dry. Your left over soapnuts liquid from washing or laundry can be used for this purpose.
Mosquito repellent: wash or smear your exposed parts with the liquid and the mosquitoes will leave you alone, repelled by the smell of saponin. Give it a try!
Apply the soapnuts liquid on scalp and leave on for 5 to10 minutes. Make sure the liquid does not get into the eyes as it will burn. Rinse hair with water. Following this procedure regularly will not only help prevent dandruff, but will also keep your hair soft and strong. You can also replace the soapnuts liquid with soapnuts powder.
Soapnuts absorb moisture very easily. They become dark & sticky in a very short period of time if left exposed to air. Ideally the nuts should be packed in an airtight container or a plastic bag tied tightly. However, sticky soapnuts do not mean that they have gone bad. They will still wash & clean perfectly. Soapnuts powder, however, if not stored in perfectly air tight conditions, will become lumpy very easily. Once in lump form, the powder is difficult to use, even though it still retains all its original washing properties.
IT'S SO EASY BEING GREEN!