Are they crazy?
NO! in fact these little berries/nuts have soap in them… REALLY?
I found out about these crazy little things in an email from my favorite place to order what my boys lovingly call my “witchcraft supplies”.
Trust me read on…………..
Soap Nuts or Soap Berries, Sapindus mukorossi, grow on trees and shrubs. There are about five to twelve species that are in the Lychee family and are native to warm tropical regions in both hemispheres, native to India and Nepal. They include both deciduous and evergreen. Which is amazing…
There is natural soap found in these unique berries/nuts called saponin, a natural detergent. It is natural working as a surfactant which breaks the surface tension of the water so that it can penetrate the fibers of your clothing. This process enables it to lift stains from fabric, leaving the dirt, grime and oil suspended in the water so it can be rinsed away. (Wouldn’t it be great to have other things suspended so you can just rinse them away?)
The parts used are de-seeded nuts/berries. It only takes a few in a cotton muslin bag to do an entire load. AND you will get several load out of one set. You use the same nuts/berries until they turn grey and mushy, then off to the compost pile. The produce very little suds which is great for front loading and HE machines! They smell like apple cider vinegar and leave no smell on your laundry other than fresh!
Soap nuts/berries are very gentle on both clothing and body. This makes them ideal for those of us who have sensitive skin, eczema, allergies or psoriasis. They are perfect for baby clothes! These crazy nuts/berries are easy on septic and grey water systems, which means those who live in RV’s or are travelers do not have to worry about their holding tanks. Even though they are called “nuts” they are not in the nut family and are completely nut allergy FREE!
One of the best things are they are very affordable! I bought a pound for around eight bucks before shipping! A pound has quite a few nuts/berries…
I chose to use 5 nuts/berries and so far have done three loads. I will let you know how many loads I get! Let’s see how clean and fluffy my laundry gets!
Soap nuts/berries can be used for shampoo. They can also be used in a powder form as a cleansing cream by adding a small amount of water.
I took several nuts/berries and put them into a two pint jar with boiling water to create liquid soap. As you can see by the picture there is a bit of suds. These nuts/berries do not have a lot of sudsy action. I am leaving the nuts in for a few days until they get grey and mushy to make sure I get all the saponin out!
The liquid looks milky like castile soap does however they do not leave a residue! This feature will be great in shampoo!
YES! I did use some of it to make some of my shampoo just after I made it! I will let you know how that goes. I am really excited to see how many uses I can find for these little beauties…
There is a laundry list of uses: (ha ha… yes i meant that pun, sometimes the simplest things crack me up)
jewelry (In India and Indonesia jewelers for many centuries have used them to remove tarnish from jewelry and other precious metals)
If you give these nuts/berries a whirl let me know what you think!