Soap Nuts are one of the oldest All Natural Cleaning Products around. Completely sustainable, simple to use and non-polluting they really are one of the ultimate Green Cleaning Products.
Maggie’s Soap Nuts from Amazon.
Here at Eco Green Cleaning Products we’ve looked a little at ways to make laundry cleaning Eco friendly. With eco-wash balls and safe detergents you’d think the laundry was all done. But, there is another green cleaner to keep your family safe, the planet happy and your whites white. Soap Nuts have been used for over 5000 years on the East but have only recently become available in the West.
So how do Soap Nuts compare as a green cleaner for your laundry?
Soap Nuts Info
Soap Nuts are not nuts at all but they definitely really are an All Natural Cleaning Product. Purely the dried fruits of the Soap Berry tree (Sapindus) there is no processing required to turn these fruits into and environmentally safe cleaner for your laundry.
How Do Soap Nuts Work
The fruits of several varieties of sapindus or soapberry trees contain large amounts of saponins. These saponins are compounds found in many plants including soapwart which were used historically to produce soaps in their native lands. It is the saponin which create soapy bubbles or a lather when agitated in water. This lather is able to dislodge particles and clean, just like the surfactants used in conventional cleaning products.
All Natural Cleaning Products
You can buy processed soap nuts which are turned into Soap Nuts Powder. They are still 100% biodegradable and safe on sensitive skins but they do require a little manufacturing to process them ready for you to use. Plain old soap nuts are just dried, packed and shipped.
Although the trees grow throughout the tropics the soap nuts available in the United States generally come from Nepal and India. Nothing is added, nothing is processed. You get a completely all natural cleaning product with which to do your laundry.
Safe Cleaning Products
Traditionally soapnuts have been used for much more than just cleaning laundry. In South East Asia they are used widely as shampoos and body soaps as well as household cleaners. With no additional components there are no stabilisers or perfumes to aggravate sensitive skins.
Soapnuts are hypoallergenic so safe for all your families skin. With no potentially harmful chemicals they also care for the laundry, making them safe to use on delicate fabrics such as silks and woollens.
Environmentally Friendly Cleaners
From the production side of things, soap nuts are extremely green cleaners, but how about once you’ve used them? Of course, no chemicals are heading out of your washing machine, just soap nut residue. But is this safe?
In fact the residue from soap nuts isn’t just safe it is actually beneficial as it actively helps break down grey-water. They are recommended for septic systems as they promote a speedier decomposition of all the waste materials sent there.
Soap Nuts Review
I have to admit, I was sceptical. Surely these soap nuts are just too perfect. Kind to us, actually beneficial in our waste-water, surely there should be a catch. Well, it seems not really.
Eco Cleaning Power
Looking at all the customer reviews on retail sites like amazon the surprising thing is really how happy people are using them. Quite a few customers say they do pre-treat greasy stains. But, we expect any green cleaner to be a little less powerful than tough toxic detergents. But, compared with ‘ordinary’ Eco clean laundry detergents these actually seem to come out on top.
People like the fact that they are concentrated. All you get are the soap nuts so you’re not paying to transport water across the country. And, depending on which brand you choose you can avoid paying for plastic packaging too.
As the makers suggest not to use fabric softener with these, one or two customers say they miss fragrance. Soap balls leave clothes smelling of nothing at all, so people often throw a drop of essential oil into the rinse cycle to add some natural perfume to the washing.
One of the things many customers seem happily surprised about is how well soap nuts eliminate odours. Even used to wash cloth diapers the soap nuts didn’t need anything else to leave the laundry smelling completely fresh and neutral.
Value for Money
Customers all agree you get an awful lot of clean laundry for your money. Soap Nuts can be purchased in small Sample Packs (enough to do 5 loads) from $2.75 so you don’t have to invest an awful lot of money to find out if they’re the right all natural cleaning product for you.
Then, for the converts soap nuts can be purchased in a huge range of weights. But with 5 soap nuts used in the average load, and able to be re-used 4 or 5 times. Buying the larger packs which do 100 or more loads can mean your laundry only costs 10 cents a load which is definitely good green value for money.
It seems the only real issue consumers have with soap nuts is that they can sometimes be a little sticky or ‘gloopy’. This means you can get your hands a little sticky when taking the nuts out of the packet and putting them into your machine. But, with consumers also pointing out that this downside does not affect the power of soap nuts to clean efficiently, greenly and cheaply I can’t honestly say it bothers me. Because soap nuts react with water this only seems to be an issue under humid conditions anyway.
Soap Nuts Reviewed
Overall customers are far more positive about this all natural cleaning product than they usually seem looking at voluntary reviews. Most are happy with the cleaning power though do admit to giving a little boost by pre-treating stains and extremely happy with the odour eliminating power of the product.
One thing a lot of customers highlight is that the soap nuts are not just for laundry. They can be used to clean just about anything by creating your own liquid soap by soaking in warm water. People even do their dishes with them!
With better green credentials than any of the competition because they are un-processed, natural and lightweight to transport they definitely have to be worth trying a Trial Pack to help you decide.
Personally, soap balls win hands down in the Eco Friendly Cleaning Laundry stakes. Being a truly All Natural Cleaning Product means we help the environment in so many more ways than with usual green or safe detergents.