Soapnuts are a natural alternative to the normal laundry powders and cleaning products available on the market.
They are actually a berry from the Soap Berry Tree (Sapindus mukorossi), which grows in abundance in the Himalayas. They can be useful, but not many have heard about them.
They have a natural soap (saponin), which is released when agitated in water. Soapnuts are environmentally friendly and free from harsh chemicals and can be used not only as a laundry detergent, but also as a dishwasher detergent, body wash, shampoo, multi-purpose surface cleaner and pest deterrent.
They are also cheap – averaging about 5 cents a wash as they can be reused a number of times! Soapnuts are also great for those who are allergic to the supermarket washing powders and cleaners.
For the purposes of this review, I used them as a laundry detergent. I did five normal loads in my front loader washing machine, on a rapid cold water wash. Included in the washing loads were my husband’s grimy work clothes, the kids’ day-care and school clothes, bed linen and bathroom and kitchen towels.
The soapnuts gave all the clothes, linen and towels a lovely fresh feel, and made them all feel quite soft to the touch, which is something I have only experienced before by adding fabric softener to the wash with the normal laundry detergent.
The clothes, in particular, looked very clean – even the kids’ clothes! The soapnuts were easy to use and all I had to do was throw them into the washer with the clothes.
The soapnuts themselves have a sweet vinegar smell, but they won’t make your clothing smell. If you want your clothing to have a fresh scent after washing, perhaps try adding a few drops of an essential oil to the wash (I used eucalyptus and tea tree oils).
My hubby’s work clothes, while coming out smelling fresh because of the oils I added, were just as clean as if I had used a normal supermarket washing detergent. The colours (orange and blue) were somewhat brighter, but the grease marks and some dirt patches were still there, so the clothes really need pre-soaking if they are extremely dirty. Luckily, you can also make a stain remover with soapnuts!
All in all, though, I was quite impressed by these little soapnuts. I recommend giving them a try yourself. I would be interested to find out how they go with cleaning things like cloth nappies and also their alternative uses for cleaning, so if anyone has their own experiences with soapnuts, please share!
If you want to know more about the wonders of soapnuts, here are more resources that you simply must read.
Good news! Stay At Home Mum is now stocking soapnuts so you don’t need to worry about where to get them!
You don’t have to get your soapnuts shipped all the way from the Himalayas because we already did the hard work for you! You can get your soapnuts from our SAHM shop for a very affordable price. You can also choose between the 1-kg pack and the 500-g pack. Trust me, you won’t regret this purchase!