Eco Friendly Detergents - The Sapindus Mukorossi, Also Called the Soapnut Tree
Have You Ever Used Soapnuts?
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
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.
Put 4 whole or 8 half soapnuts in the washing pouch.
Put the pouch together with the dirty laundry in the washing drum. Fill the drum well!
Put 10 droplets of essential oil in the softener compartment for a natural fresh scent.
The nutshells are in total 3 times to use. You can dumb them on the compost pile.
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)
- eczema and
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