Imagine a life without chemicals and therefore being able to live in a more “green” manner. Wouldn’t it be great to have a 100% natural, environmentally friendly and renewable source that you can use for most of your routine tasks and eliminate chemical-based products in the process? There are forums, activist groups and major campaigns targeted towards making the planet greener and safer place to live in. We hear talks and news reports about how modern technology and chemical based products are polluting the environment and how slowly but steadily we are causing the earth to become more and more polluted. While there are many who are not affected even remotely by such discussions there are many more who care and wish to make a contribution towards reducing our “carbon footprint” on this earth.
It seems almost impossible for individuals to join together and rally the big companies for change toward greener living. It is easy, however, to make small adjustments to our lives individually. It is like the old saying: Millions of small drops make a vast ocean. Each of us can contribute towards betterment of the environment by using alternative natural methods in our daily life and avoiding products containing pollutants, which destroy the environment and negatively impact our health. One way of preserving the environment is the use of soap nuts for performing routine tasks such as cleaning, washing and laundry. Many people are not aware of this natural fruit that makes it possible to be “greener” while going about our daily lives.
Soap nuts are the fruit of the Sapindus tree that is native to India, Nepal and some other South Asian countries. They require warm and tropical weather conditions for their growth. They are an excellent source for all cleaning purposes and the process of harvesting them is purely natural and does not include the use of any chemicals or toxins. A soap nut consists of a small inner fruit and a solid outer shell. It is the shell that is of most use in preparing soap nut based cleaning products. The fruits are simply picked up after they ripen and fall out of trees and dried naturally in the sun; then they are ready for use. In fact, these soap nuts contain a substance called saponin which is extracted, and then used in commercial soaps and detergents. When the shell of the soap nut comes into contact with water, the saponin is released, allowing water to penetrate the fabric and remove grime from the fabric.
Why should you use soap nuts?
Soap nuts have anti-microbial properties which make them excellent for bathing purposes. They keep the skin smooth, protected and free of infections. They are great for people suffering from eczema and other skin disorders.
Soap nuts can also be used as a natural additive to shampoos and bath gels. Soap nut liquid or powder can be used to wash hair effectively. The process removes and treats bacteria, lice and prevents scalp infections from occurring. Soap nuts are also known to add luster, body and smoothness to hair.
Soap nuts are also an excellent insecticide. Make a mild solution of soap nuts to spray on the plants in your garden everyday. This keeps common insects away from your garden.
Soap nuts are also used for household cleaning. Make a liquid solution and use it to spray down counters, sinks, floors etc.
Soap nuts are a very effective and safe laundry detergent alternative. They do not contain any chemicals and are safe for all laundry, including cloth diapers, lingerie and hand washables.