Sunday, May 2, 2010


what is soapnut..recently i'm obses..opss..not obses..juat trying out to save our environment our planet.. our earth..i got the info about soapnut from one of the blog..her post really suprised me.i even didnt know that we have soapnut that can be used as cleaner,detergent,shampoo and many i' searching and googleing bout soapnut..come mommies and daddies and everybody do save our earth..
(my detergent just finished..thought off buying this friday..suddenly found out bout soapnut and now changing my mind..hehe)

The Soapnut trees are extremely beneficial to humanity, the earth, Mother Nature and our total environment.

The SoapNut Tree!

There are trees in south Asian countries called Soapnut trees on which natural soap grows. Yes it is true and believable you can see natural soap on the trees in south Asian countries. Soapnut trees grow 13 to 18 meters high. People of Asian countries refer to the fruit of these trees as Reetha, Areetha, Kala kamodi, Soapnuts andSoapberries.  The fruit is harvested from September to February.  The Soapnut Tree plant's botanic family includes 2,000 species.
Across the jungles of Asian countries a surprisingly practical tree called "sapindus mukorossi" grows a small fruit surrounded by a firm outer shell, much like a lychee, rambutan or berry. The shell is then dried in the sun, the natural way, without adding/using any chemicals. In fact, the whole process uses no fossil fuels, except in the transportation of the product to the market or to the end user.
It is this outer shell – rich in natural saponins  - which act as water surfactants (surface-active substance) – that the native families in south Asian countries have used for centuries to wash their own clothes. They toss 2-3 shells in to a small burlap bag, old (used) sock, or in any other piece of cloth and work it in with their laundry. The Soapnuts, as they are now called, absorb water and release their saponins which circulate as a natural surfactant in the wash water, reducing the surface tension of the water and freeing dirt, grime and soil from the clothing.
When the clothes are rinsed the Soapnut's saponins are washed downstream where they remain harmless to the environment. No synthetic chemicals, no fragrance chemicals, no foaming agents, nor bleaching agents or other toxins. Just Soapnuts as grown by Mother Nature on the trees!
Soapnut trees have grown naturally, in the forest and hill track areas (particularly in the Himal ayan range) for centuries.  The Soapnut is used as a natural soap, detergent, wash bar and cleaner for all kinds of dirt removal.  The Soapnut shells  have also been used for cleaning gold and silver ornaments for centuries in the south and central Asian countries. Women throughout the entire world, especially i n south Asian countries, have used Soapnuts as a natural shampoo for their hair for thousands of years as it helps to make hair strong, healthy, long and silky.  Soapnuts are particularly effective in treating dandruff,  headlice and many other diseases of the hair and scalp. Once planted, it takes nine years for the Soapnut tree to begin yielding fruit. After the ninth year the Soapnut trees can be harvested for a period of ninety years. Thus the Soapnut tree’s life cycle is extremely long, allowing a natural and sustainable cultivation.  In addition to this, the Soapnut tree contributes to combating the greenhouse effect by converting carbon dioxide into oxygen.  The more trees we allow to remain growing in the earth, the better for our earth, atmosphere and ourselves.
 The used shells of the Soapnuts are 100% biodegradable, so they reduce the amount of landfill as you just add them to your compost heap and they will turn into a natural fertilizer for your garden and plants to enjoy.
Kinds of SoapNuts:
There are two major kinds of Soapnuts which are mostly used in washing, bathing, cleaning and shampoo found in south Asian countries. The big Soapnuts known as Sapindus Mukorossi and the small Soapnuts, known as Sapindus Trifoliatus.  The Sapindus Trifoliatus Soapnuts are often mistaken for Sapindus Mukorossi. A picture is given here where you can see the difference between the two kinds of Soapnuts.
The name sapindus speaks for itself in revealing the main characteristic of Soapnuts. It contains saponins which have the ability to clean and wash. The fruit of the soapnut tree produces saponins in order to repel varmints, fungus and bacteria. Approximately 15% of the Soapnut’s shell consists of highly concentrated saponins (= 10% of the whole soapnut). The seed/stone of the Soapnuts do not contain saponins, so they are removed from the shells in order to get the best results in washing and cleaning. Experiments have shown that saponin has excellent cleaning capabilities.  It removes dirt of all sorts from cloth, glass, floors, gold, windows and other surfaces.  It is not only highly effective, but also gentle and Eco-friendly.  Due to its mildness,  the colors and structure of valuable cloth is preserved much longer when washed with Soapnuts than when using normal detergent or soaps of any brand.
Be aware about quality!
There are more than 10 different shell types. The picture above shows the best quality, Mukorossi  Soapnuts on the far left.  In the centre are a lower quality of Soapnut, generally known as South Indian Soapnuts. On the right are smaller, darker shells that come from Burma (Myanmar).  Less than 50% are good quality Soapnuts. It is common practice for certain suppliers to mix Soapnuts of different quality in order to save on costs! This is why a few suppliers offer low prices for (what they claim to be ) sapindus mukorrosi, but they have in fact mixed other lower quality shells and cheaper soapnut shells with sapindus mukorossi (Himalayan Soapnuts).
Now this is not only going to cost you money, but how are you going to get any consistency when one bag of shells could be much weaker than another? You may use more than necessary or, somewhat tragically, decide that the product, whilst highly interesting, does not guarantee the sort of consistent performance that you rightly expect.
This may result in you losing money and not achieving the result you expected.  To avoid such disappointment,  be sure that you always  purchase Soapnut shells that are 100% pure sapindus mukorossi .
The difference:
As already mentioned, The two kinds of Soapnuts: sapindus mukorossi and sapindus trifoliatus have different characteristics. Himalayan Soapnuts, sapindus mukorossi, are soft, a little bit sticky and wet naturally. While Sapindus Trifoliatus are hard, much drier and smaller in size. The Himalayan Soapnuts, sapindus mukorossi, are normally used for washing and cleaning due to their high quantity of saponin, whilst sapindus trifoliatus are used for medicinal and herbal purposes. Also, there are two kinds of sapindus mukorossi found in India or south Asian countries: One of them grows on the Himalayan range and the other one grows away from the Himalayan range. They are very similar, if not the same, in their physical appearance (color and size), but with a little difference; Himalayan sapindus mukorossi are  softer, more sticky and wetter than the other type of sapindus mukorossi. There are a few pictures of experiments made of both kinds of sapindus mukorossi. We can see clear differences between these two.
  The difference between 2 kinds of shells
The above using some liquid from "Hard" shells
The above using liquid from Himalayan "Soft" shells !!
Below are pictures of bags of shells  AFTER one wash.
Stored in a bottle of water ready for the next use.The extra amount of released "soap" is plain to see!
Soft shells                                         Hard shells
How Soapnuts clean your laundry?
The process by which Soapnuts clean your clothes is naturally quite simple. The Soapnut shells contain natural saponin (natures own 100% natural detergent) that works as a surfactant, making the water "wetter" and allowing it to penetrate the fibers of your clothing, working away the dirt, keeping it in suspension in the water until it’s drained away, taking the dirt with it. Soapnut shells are natural, organic and environmentally friendly.  They are a natural alternative to all kinds of detergents, soaps, cleaners and shampoos and are ideal as a chemical free natural detergent in washing machines.
Wash the clothes:
Just put 3 to 6 Soapnut shells (4 to 8 half shells) into an un-bleached cotton bag (provided free with each pack of "Sindhiya Washnuts" ) or in a sock, tie it tightly and pop the bag in the washing machine with your clothes.  The number of shells required depends on your wash load and whether you are using hot or cold water.  They are sui table at any temperature, pre-wash or rinse cycles and on delicate fabrics, and can be used for more than one wash (up to 4 or more washes, according to your load. You will get more washes if using cold water.  It is advisable to use more shells for a heavily soiled wash load). You don't need to add any other detergent or fabric softener!  The smell of the clothes washed with Soapnuts is absolutely natural.  However, if you prefer scented laundry, simply sprinkle a few drops of essential oil on the bag of Soapnuts: choose from lavender, rose, orange, lemongrass, eucalyptus or any other favorite essential oil – the variety of fragrances is nearly infinite.
If you are not using the Soapnut shells on the same day, keep them in the bag/sock in a jar of water until you have finished with them (after the fourth wash load), then discard any remains directly into your compost. What’s left is a load of clean clothes and nothing else! That’s the way laundry should be. Much like clean water, clean laundry should not contain toxic chemical residues.  In fact, it’s more important to consider what laundry products do NOT contain than to look at what they do contain. 
Use as a bathing liquid soap or shampoo for allergic or sensitive skins:
Soapnuts are 100% natural and gentle on the skin, thus an excellent choice for those who have sensitive skin or suffer from neurodermatitis.  People who suffer from skin allergies will benefit from using Soapnuts, as clothes which are cleaned with Soapnuts do not irritate the skin. The  Soapnuts may be used for bathing instead of normal soaps or medicated soaps, which contain chemicals.  To make bathing liquid,  put 100 grams of Soapnut shells in a pot with at least 1.5 litres of water. Cover the pot and boil for at least 30 to 40 minutes. The boiling process extracts the saponins from the Soapnut shells and combines them with the water. Let the liquid cool until it is safe to handle, then strain into an appropriate container (glass is best as most plastics leach toxic chemicals into their contents). Now your liquid soap is ready for use and you can use it for bathing as well as shampoo or all cleaning purposes, including your pet’s washing soap or shampoo.
Use as a shampoo:
Soapnut suds are used as shampoo which not only washes your hair, but also cares for it,  treating dandruff and leaving your hair silky and healthy.  People with a sensitive scalp and those who suffer from skin allergies especially benefit from the use of Soapnut suds to wash their hair because it is 100% natural and does not contain any kind of chemical additives.  Therefore, it will not irritate the scalp! Soapnut shampoo is the perfect treatment for lice and other kinds of hair diseases.  Women of south Asian countries have used this type of natural shampoo since the stone ages.  Soapnuts shampoo will make your hair strong, long, silky and healthy. Soapnuts shampoo does not damage your hair or skin and can be used  regularly.
Uses of medicinal purposes:
Soapnuts are used medicinally as an expectorant, emetic, contraceptive and for treatment of excessive salivation, epilepsy, chlorosis and migraines. Studies show that saponin from Soapnuts inhibits tumor cell growth. Soapnuts are among the list of herbs and minerals in Ayurveda. They are a popular ingredient in Ayurvedic shampoos and cleaners. They are used in Ayurvedic medicine as a treatment for eczema, psoriasis and for removing freckles. Soapnuts have gentle insecticidal properties and are traditionally used for removing lice from the scalp. Soapnuts are antimicrobial and are beneficial for septic systems and grey water systems. Soapnuts are used in the remediation of contaminated soil.
Best for cracked heels:
This is proved that soapNuts' liquid is best for "CRACKED HEELS", just make liquid of soapnuts by boiling them and wash your feet 2 or 3 times a day, with in 7 days your could not find cracks on your feet/heel magically. Also soapNuts' liquid help to make soft and nice to your feet and hands if you washed them with soapNuts' liquid regularly! Heel crackers are the big problem some people, especially in winter, they can get easy now with Natural solution by mother Nature!
Use as a liquid soap to wash your pets:
Wash your dog, cat, horse, rabbit, guinea pig and any pets or working animals with Soapnut liquid suds – and give them the benefit of a healthy coat free from the aggravation of chemicals.
All-purpose cleaning agent:
A liquid soap made by Sindhiya Washnuts may also be used as your floor cleaner, for cleaning the stove and benches in your kitchen, in the bathroom for cleaning your bath and sink and also as a toilet cleaner.  It is the best choice of cleaning agent in and around your home because it has the power to fight against germs naturally, without using damaging and harmful chemicals!

Jewellery cleaning:
Squeeze the juice from half a lemon in your Soapnuts decoction, soak a toothbrush in this liquid and rub your jewelry. In South Asian countries, people have used Soapnuts to clean their Jewels, Precious stones and Gold and Precious ornaments for centuries.

Moisten or water your house plants and garden  with the Soapnuts decoction and let them take advantage of the saponine agent to fight against harmful organisms such as aphids.  No nasty chemical sprays to damage your plants or poison your food crop. These are just 100% natural pesticide.
Mosquitoes repellent:
Wash or coat exposed parts of your body with the Soapnuts decoction to ward off insects.  Mosquitoes are repelled by the smell of saponin and will stay away. To try it is to adopt it! Your beloved children may sleep with a coat of Soapnut liquid that is harmless to their sensitive bodies, allowing you to relax, knowing that they are protected naturally from mosquitoes.
Throw a few soap nut shells in with your automatic dishwasher and watch how clean they get!! 
Soapnuts are successfully used in dish-washers. They do not, however, act as a scrubbing agent.
Bugs do not survive at a temperature of 65°C. Moreover, saponin has a repressive effect on fungal and bacterial growth. Put 3 to 4 soapnuts in the little cotton bag, put this bag inside the dishwasher and let it go to work.
Using SoapNuts, you can make your own ultra-pure multipurpose cleaner.
Place some nut shells in the bag/sock (4 to 6 for soft water / 6 to 8 for hard water).  Pull the string tight and tie it off.  Then place the bag on top of  your washing in the machine, with your clothes– that is it!    Each "set" of shells should be good for up to 4 wash cycles. (Dependent upon wash temperature and quality of shells.)  Change the shells after 3 to 5 washes and use the old (used) shells to make liquid (see below).  For other cleaning purposes. You should be able to see in the below pics that fresh shells have a shiny inner surface. As if they were made from solid satin varnish!  Or tasty toffee - so keep children away from them. This progressively changes to a mat beige as the saponin is released and the outer surface gets darker.   Note that this is only really obvious when the shells have dried. You will find that they work better if multiple washes are done the same day.  If not, it's best to keep the used nuts in the bag, in a small bottle, part filled with water.
Here is picture of shells, you may see the result after 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th wash ...

The soapnut shells get darker as the saponin is released.
    New Shells        1 Wash          2 Washes         3 Washes        4 Wash 

P/S : waiting for my cloth pad (CP) soon..cant wait to use 'em..

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