A soap nut, really? What in the world is that?
What are soap nuts?
Soap nuts are native to India and Nepal. They have recently become popular in the Western hemisphere due to the go green movements; people are just itching to rid themselves of unnecessary chemicals. Soap nuts are an environmentally friendly alternative to chemical detergent, soap, and household cleansers, even beauty products! They are a gentle option for those with allergies to chemicals in soaps.
Soap nuts are just that, nuts. There is fruit in the inside, but only the shell is used as soap. The soap nut shell absorbs water and releases saponins, which are a natural surfactant (detergent). There are many species of soap nuts, but any work! Remember, you only want the shells! When they look mushy or grey, they are done, you need new nuts. Our soap nutsare already shelled and ready to go!
Soap nuts can be used for anything that you would normally use detergent/soap for; washing cloth diapers, washing the car, windows, household cleanser (all-purpose), laundry soap, jewelry cleaner etc. You can use them as the base of homemade hand lotion and as shampoo! They can even be used as an anti-microbial for septic systems or to rid your home of ants!
Soap nuts are hypoallergenic, and can be used safely by people with nut allergies, they are technically a fruit (related to the Lycii/Goji berry). Do not use internally, as there is not enough information. Do not get the liquid in your eyes.
For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
How do I create soap out from these shells?
Here's some of our favorite recipes, but there are several more uses!
Soap Nut Liquid Recipe
15-18 soap nuts (there’s approximately 16 in our 1 ounce bags)
Sterilized container to hold the liquid (you can purchase our glass bottles)
Boil 6 cups of water and add your soap nuts. Boil for 20 minutes. Add another cup of water and boil for 10 minutes. Add another 2 cups of water and boil again for 10 minutes. Strain the nuts from the liquid and store in the sterilized container. Keep in the refrigerator for 1-2 weeks. It will spoil, so dispose after that.
General Household Soap Nut Cleaner
You can use the soap nut liquid as is, or you can mix a small amount with vinegar.
¼ c. Soap Nut Liquid
1 Tbsp White Vinegar
¼ c. Water
Combine everything in a glass spray bottle. Go to town!
Soap Nut Jewelry Cleaner
3 Tbsp Soap Nut Liquid
1/4 c. Distilled Water
Mix the two ingredients together. Soak your jewelry for 15-20 minutes. With a small toothbrush, gently scrub your jewelry clean. Gently is key here, you don’t want to loosen any of your precious stones.
Soap Nut Shampoo
3-4 Tbsp Soap Nut Liquid
Cover your hair with soap nut liquid, scrub in. Leave it on your hair for 10 minutes and then rinse out well. It will sting your eyes, so be mindful.
There are many more recipes out there, have fun!