Soap nuts or washnuts come from the Sapindus mukorossi tree. The fruit is commonly known as Soap Nut or washnut and, like other species of the genus Sapindus, is called soapberry. It is a natural solution for washing clothes but actually lends itself to other types of use. These nuts called “washnut” can be used for household cleaning but also for personal hygiene. The walnuts are completely natural, biodegradable, hypoallergenic, and carbon neutral.
Soap walnuts can be used for many purposes.
It takes 9 years for the soap tree to start growing its fruits, but once ripe; it continues to grow them for 90 years. They are harvested 6 months a year, from September to February, making the supply long and sustainable. Saponin is a natural repellent for insects and pests, which means pesticides are generally not needed to grow these nuts. This makes it an even safer choice for the environment and people. Since they are incredibly hypoallergenic, their use for personal care is strongly recommended by many dermatologists.
Another positive aspect, from the ecological point of view, is that the soap nut tree helps combat the greenhouse effect by converting carbon dioxide into oxygen. This means that by planting and growing these trees, we not only remove chemicals from normal laundry detergent but also help to clean the air of carbon dioxide. The soap nut is also 100% biodegradable, making it perfect for machine washing.
How many walnuts do you need to do the laundry? And where can you buy them?
The question we were all asking ourselves… If you want to use them instead of laundry detergent, you’ll need five to eight, depending on how dirty your laundry is. Walnuts work if they come in contact with hot water, so it’s better to choose a washing-machine program with over 40 degrees. They are also reusable for two or three washes.
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Soap nuts can be found in specialized organic stores and, more simply, in online stores dedicated to wellness and natural home care. The price of a package of these nuts may seem high, but you have to consider that you use a few nuts at a time… Moreover, the cleansing power of a soap nut can be used two or three times. A 1 kg package of nuts can yield up to 200 washes.