ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Eco Friendly Detergents - The Sapindus Mukorossi, Also Called the Soapnut Tree

Updated on June 18, 2015
Buildreps profile image

Mario Buildreps is a graduate engineer. Become aware of topics in a way you have never heard before.

This is how unused (dried) Soapnuts look like. These nuts are dried, ready to be used.
This is how unused (dried) Soapnuts look like. These nuts are dried, ready to be used. | Source

Have You Ever Used Soapnuts?

See results

The Miracle Tree - Sapindus Mukorossi

When I was young my father told me that banknotes don't grow on trees. That was not so hard to imagine, since they are made in highly guarded factories. I knew that. But he didn't told me that soap grows on a tree. A kind of miracle tree. Ever heard of a tree that grows a kind of soap cubes?

It's the miracle tree, the Sapindus Mukorossi tree. Simply called the soapnut tree. The berries of the soapnut tree are already for centuries used as detergent, soap and shampoo. Soapnuts were traditionally used for removing lice from the scalp. It is an all-rounder when it comes to cleaning.

The shells of the soapnuts possess an unsurpassed cleaning power - Saponin. Saponin is the collective name for a group of plant glycosides which form a soapy water solutions.

The soapnut tree grows all around the world, from moderate to tropical climates. The tree is easy to plant and to grow by yourself. Just germinate and grow your own soapnut tree!

The Soapnut Tree

This is how the Sapindus Mukorossi tree looks like. It's a medium sized tree. The tree likes sunbathing and regularly water.
This is how the Sapindus Mukorossi tree looks like. It's a medium sized tree. The tree likes sunbathing and regularly water. | Source
You must put the Soapnuts in a small pouch. Otherwise you won't find them back in the machine, or end up in one of your socks!
You must put the Soapnuts in a small pouch. Otherwise you won't find them back in the machine, or end up in one of your socks! | Source

How to Use Soapnuts

A few months ago we got a ready-to-use package of soapnuts from friends. The package included about 50 soapnuts, a small pouch, and a little bottle of essential oil (Lavendula Angustifolia). This package was specially designed for washing.

Instructions

Step
Instruction
1.
Put 4 whole or 8 half soapnuts in the washing pouch.
2.
Put the pouch together with the dirty laundry in the washing drum. Fill the drum well!
3.
Put 10 droplets of essential oil in the softener compartment for a natural fresh scent.
4.
The nutshells are in total 3 times to use. You can dumb them on the compost pile.
This is how Soapnuts look like after two times washing. They still can be used one more time. They have a strong and typical soap smell.
This is how Soapnuts look like after two times washing. They still can be used one more time. They have a strong and typical soap smell. | Source

How Many Times to Use?

The ready-to-use package, that we got as a present, contains 150 grams of soapnuts. That are about 50 pieces. Every wash cycle requires 4 soapnuts, and they can be used 3 times.

So, all together this whole package, that is much smaller than a flask detergent, can be used for about 40 wash cycles. Fully eco friendly!

And your wash is very clean and smells great!

How to Grow Your Own Sapindus Mukorossi?

Ready for the next step? I am.

I am convinced that I must start to grow my own soapnut tree. We must plant more trees, that's one thing. This miraculous soapnut tree, even produces soap blocks! Isn't that great? This gives me a simple feeling of a priori happiness - making my own soap from my own tree!

This tree blooms best in mild frostfree climates, in loamy clay soil and the best in areas with an annual rainfall of 150 to 200 cm (60-80 inch).

The soapnut tree gives fruit after its 9th year. So, this requires some patience!

The harvest is once per year. After harvesting, the nuts must be dried first, after which the nuts have to be broken and wrapped in cotton. The shells contain the valuable material - Saponin.

The leaves can be used in baths to relieve joint pains. The shells (the soapnuts) are also used against:

  • excessive salivation (I only have this before I eat cookies)
  • pimples,
  • epilepsy,
  • chlorosis,
  • migranes,
  • eczema and
  • psoriasis.

I have none of these things, but it's a great idea that this tree is able to deliver relieve on all these discomforts.

Where to find seeds? I haven't found a supplier yet, but I'm going to find one soon!


© 2015 by Buildreps

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Buildreps profile image
      Author

      Buildreps 2 years ago from Europe

      Yes, they are! Thanks for dropping by.

    • the rawspirit profile image

      Robert Morgan 2 years ago from Hutchinson Island, FL - Myrtle Beach, SC - Scottsdale AZ

      Soapnuts are awesome. Thanks for reminding me.

    • Buildreps profile image
      Author

      Buildreps 2 years ago from Europe

      That's certainly true, erinshelby. Thank you for your kind comment.

    • Buildreps profile image
      Author

      Buildreps 2 years ago from Europe

      Well, yes, they might even be edible, peachpurple! But I didn't tried it yet.

    • erinshelby profile image

      erinshelby 2 years ago from United States

      Sounds like the soapnut tree is a multi-purpose gift from nature. Interesting hub!

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 2 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      wow, i thought these nuts are mean to be eatent

    • Buildreps profile image
      Author

      Buildreps 2 years ago from Europe

      Thanks for the great comments, The Dirt Farmer and rebeccamealey!

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 2 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      Fascinating! News to me. You should get a HOTD for this idea. Great Hub! One of the most interesting I've seen in a while.

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image

      Jill Spencer 2 years ago from United States

      I've never heard of this before. Thanks for the info. I'd love to grow one, too.

    • Buildreps profile image
      Author

      Buildreps 2 years ago from Europe

      Thanks for the pleasant conversation, my friend.

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 2 years ago from Hyderabad, India

      Yes, it will be a good news for nature cure lovers. Nature has everything there in store for your protection. But we unnecessarily run behind artificial products and life. Glad to see this soap returns back in western countries also.

    • Buildreps profile image
      Author

      Buildreps 2 years ago from Europe

      Thanks for your comment, Mr. Venkatachari! I read that the nuts were indeed most used in India. Now it seems that the more conventional soaps have taken over in India as well. Now this soap is coming back in the Western countries again.

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 2 years ago from Hyderabad, India

      Wow! You have taken me to my childhood days when we used to take our full bath on weekly holidays or on festival days with this soap nuts.

      The soap nuts are put in boiled water for sometime. When they begin releasing white foam, we apply it to our heads along with the nut pieces which get smooth by then. You will get lot of foam on your head that is sufficient for cleaning all your body. This is a very excellent detergent in the world. Even now most soaps are made using these soap nuts.

      Thanks for sharing this great information. Voted up.

    • Buildreps profile image
      Author

      Buildreps 2 years ago from Europe

      Thanks for the kind comment, AliciaC. It's great to see that you might give it a try!

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I've heard of the soapnut tree before but didn't know much about it. Thanks for sharing the useful and very interesting information. I'd like to try using soapnuts myself!

    • Buildreps profile image
      Author

      Buildreps 2 years ago from Europe

      Thanks Larry! I'm also fascinated about this tree growing soap.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      Had no clue about this until you brought it to light. Just fascinating.

    • Buildreps profile image
      Author

      Buildreps 2 years ago from Europe

      Thanks for your priceless comment, my friend. It's nice to see you learned something new here on HP :)

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well I always hate to sound ignorant but in this case, if the shoe fits, wear it. I've never heard of the soapnut tree. How is that possible? That's one of the reasons I love HP so much. You can learn the most fascinating stuff here. Thanks for a very informative article. I no longer feel ignorant. :)