Product Type: Other Brands Household Cleaning
Newest Review: ... compartment of my washing machine, about 20 drops for an extra freshness. Soapnuts do not have an scent and they can leave your cloth... more
Are you nuts? No, I'm saponin!
Member Name: LadyAudley
Advantages: Cheap, green, fully biodegradeable
Disadvantages: You might need a bag to put them in!
Alright, I have to admit it. When I opened the pack of soap nuts I'd bought from my nearest hippy store, I was a bit dismayed to find a bunch of little squashed spheres, bearing a striking resemblance to kangaroo poo and smelling strongly of creosote. This was entirely my own fault. I'd seen - and ignored - all the signs. First of all, they were on sale right next to the jossticks. Second of all, I'd had to squeeze my way through rows of tie-dyed and besandled customers to get my hands on a pack.
I sorted out the cheapest, roughest clothes I could find to wash with them first time through. No sense in ruining my best togs, I thought... let's see how they do with my muddy gardening trousers. Following the instructions on the packet, I tied up 8 soap nuts inside a sock, shoved them into the wash, shut the door and made a dash out of the room before I chickened out altogether.
I needn't say that it was with trepidation that I opened the machine... to find a load of extremely clean, fresh-smelling clothes! Gone was the creosotey smell, to be replaced by a scent as clean that left by any washing powder, and gone was all the mud and dirt too! The wash was also really soft, even though I hadn't added fabric conditioner - this is a known advantage of these, since they naturally give a soft finish.
Soap nuts are an entirely natural product. They grow on trees in India and Nepal and their shells contain "Saponin" a natural soap. You use 7 or 8 nuts per wash, and they can be reused two or three times, after which they can be composted - they're fully biodegradeable. They are also extraordinarily cheap - a pack of them (enough for 100 washes or so) cost me £2.50. They're also extremly good for those suffering from sensitive skin or dermatological conditions like eczema, because they give a very mild wash.
The only downside is that the nuts do make a bit of a mess inside the sock. I'm going to get a small bag to put them in instead, so I don't end up with flakes all over my feet!
I guess those tie-dyed people knew what they were doing after all...
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