Friday, April 23, 2010
Clean clothes with soap nuts.
When I first heard of soap nuts in Finland some years ago it sounded strange, a little bit like neti pot sounds strange first and after you have been doing it for a while it just becomes part of your life. But I like to try new different things, especially if they are environment friendly, and so I tried soap nuts. I was surprised how well they worked! Then we moved and I forgot about soap nuts since they weren't sold in any store I went to and I started using other environmental friendly detergents. I even made my own detergents for a while.
Soap nuts are the dried fruit of the Chinese Soapberry tree (Sapindus mukorrosi). When the nuts get wet, they release saponin, a natural cleaner. They have been used in this purpose in Asia for centuries. They appeal to me mainly because of their natural nature. I love it that there is nothing artificial about them. They don't contain harmful chemicals, synthetic fragrances or other stuff that is bad for health or environment. You put a few soap nuts in a little pouch (provided at least by Maggie's soap nuts) and put it in the washer. You can use the same nuts for a few times and then compost them. There is also available a liquid made of the soap nuts. I find the nuts almost easier to use than the liquid but the liquid is great for pre treating stains. And I know some people prefer the liquid over the nuts (like my husband who is our laundry responsible).
I got some soap nuts from Maggie's Soap nuts to test them and report the results on my blog. We have been testing the soap nuts now for a few weeks with my husband and I find they work as well if not better than some other natural detergents I have been using. The laundry comes out very soft and nice smelling (= no scent to me!).
Like with any detergents I have been using for best results it is best to treat the worse stains before washing. I have used the soap nut liquid to pretreat the stains, I have been soaking the dirtiest and drying some white stained clothes in the sun on our balcony. Kids cotton clothes, towels and sheets I wash in hot water. Blueberry stains I get out by soaking them in vinegar and water before washing, for grease stains I use dish washing liquid or shampoo (I have some old shampoo from the time I still used shampoo, now I use baking soda and vinegar once a week) 15 minutes before washing. The dish washing liquid seems to work sometimes for many other stains too. And I also use gall soap. It works for fruit, pen, blood and grease, and cloth diapers.
We have a lot of laundry because I am a massage therapist so there are a lot of sheets to wash. I try to keep my massage practice as natural and ecofriendly as possible just like my home. To celebrate the Earth Day this week I decided to start washing my massage sheets only with soap nuts too, it seems to work great for them and it feels like the most natural option for them.
If you want to try soap nuts, now is your chance! Maggie's soap nuts are sponsoring a giveaway through Kaiku blog. The first three readers to respond get to try soap nuts for free! All you have to do is be one of the first three to respond AND commit to blogging about your experience using Maggie's Pureland Soapnuts. If you don't have a blog you can also report about your experiences by commenting on this post. Contact me at info (at) kaikulifestyle.com or by commenting on this blog to sign up for the trial! You can choose if you want to try the liquid or the nuts. I will let you know as soon as possible if you were one of the first three! (I realize now I didn't check if this applies to international blog readers or only Americans, but since the company is American, I assume only American readers can participate. I will let you know if I get other information).
You can also buy soap nuts from here: