Uses of Soap Nut Shells – a Natural and Eco Friendly Detergent

Uses of Soapnut Shells - a Natural and Eco Friendly Detergent

Uses of Soap Nut Shells:

How do soap nuts clean your laundry? The process by which soap nuts clean your clothes is naturally quite simple. The soap nut shells contains a natural saponin that works as a surfactant, making your water “wetter” and allowing it to penetrate the fibers of yours clothing, working away the dirt, keeping it in suspension in the water until it’s drained away, taking the dirt with it.

Soap nuts are ideal as natural and eco-friendly detergent in the washing machine just put 3 to 6 Soap nut shells (4 to 8 half shells), according your loads, into un-bleached cotton bag or in a sock. Tied tight and pop the bag in the washing machine with your clothes, these are suitable at any temperature, pre-wash or rinse cycles and on delicate fabrics. Shells can be used for more than one wash (up to 4 or more washes, according to your loads) on same day, discard any remains when they go dark brown and soggy.

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 then to look at what they do contain.

Wash The Clothes:

The soap nut shells contains saponins (a natural detergent), when come into contact with water they make mild suds, soap nut shells are natural, organic, environmentally friendly a natural alternative of all kinds of detergent, soaps, cleaners and shampoo. Soap nuts are ideal as a chemical free natural detergent in washing machines and laundries. Just put 4 to 8 soap nut shells in unbleached cotton bag/pouch, sock, handkerchief or similar, tie it up tightly and throw it in your washing machine with your clothes as soon as soap nut shells make contact with water (e.g. in your washing machine)the saponins dissolves and has the same effect as most normal detergent. You will not need to add any other detergent or fabric softener! The smell of the clothes washed with Soap nuts is absolutely natural – if you prefer scented laundry, simply sprinkle a few drops of ethereal oil on the bag of soap nuts: Nice choices could be lavender, rose, orange, lemongrass or other your favorite – the variety of fragrances is nearly infinite. Soap nuts wash effectively between 30 and 60 degrees and same bag of same Soap nuts will be use 3 to 4 times for wash continues on same day. You will be wondered and amazed to see Soap nuts really works and they had cleaned your clothes as well as normal detergent.

Use as a Bathing Liquid Soap or Shampoo for Allergic or Sensitive Skin:

Soap nuts are 100% natural and gentle, these are so best for those who have sensitive skin or suffering from neurodermatitis and allergy in particular will benefit from the use of Soap nuts, as clothes which were cleaned with Soap nuts do not irritate the skin. Also allergic persons and people with sensitive skin may use Soap nuts for bathing instead normal soaps or medicated soaps which are contains with chemicals. For this purpose put 100 grams of soap nut shells in a pot with at least 1.5 litters of water cover the pot and put on stove for boil for at least 30 to 40 minutes. The boiling process extracts the saponins from the soap nut shells and combines with the water. Let allow then to cool till safe to handle than strain into appropriate container. Now your liquid soap is ready for use you can use it for bathing and as well as shampoo or all purpose for cleanings, pet’s washing soap or shampoo and many kinds of cleanings.

Use as a Shampoo:

A Soap suds made of Soap nuts is a shampoo, which reliably fights dandruff. A soap nut shampoo not only washes your hair but also cares for it. Especially allergic persons and people with a sensitive scalp should use soap nut suds to wash their hair: Because it is 100% natural and does not contain any kind of chemical additives, it will not irritate the scalp! Soap nut shampoo also best for lice and other kind of hair diseases. Women of south Asian countries are used this type of natural shampoo since stone ages. This kind of Soap nuts shampoo will make your hair strong, long, silky and healthy. Soap nuts shampoo does not damage your hair or skin although you use it regularly or rarely.

Uses of Medicinal Purposes:

Soap nuts especially are used medically as an expectorant, emetic, contraceptive and for treatment of excessive salivation, epilepsy, chlorosis and migraines. Studies show that saponin from Soap nuts inhibits tumor cell growth. Soap nuts 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. Soap nuts have gentle insecticide properties and are traditionally used for removing lice from the scalp. Soap nuts are antimicrobial and are beneficial for septic system and gray water. Soap nuts are used in the remediation of contaminated soil.

Use as a Liquid Soap to Wash Your Pets:

Wash your dog, cat, horse, monkey, bunny and other of your pets or working animals with a Sindhiya soap nut liquid suds – and thus without any chemicals.

Use as Floor Cleaners:

A liquid soap made by Sindhiya soap nuts you may use also as your Floor cleaner, you may use it for bath, toilet cleanings also because it has power to fight against germs naturally!

All-purpose Cleaning Agent:

Better use such a decoction instead of usual chemical cleaning agents for your kitchen and bathroom.

Jewellery Cleaning:

Press half a lemon in some soap nuts decoction, soak in it a toothbrush and rub your jewellery. In South Asian countries, people used Soap nuts to clean their jewellery, precious stones and gold and precious ornaments for centuries.


Moisten or water your house and garden plants with the already mentioned decoction and take advantage of the saponine agent to fight against harmful organisms such as aphids, without damaging your plant or poisoning your garden.

Mosquitoes Repellent:

Wash or coat exposed parts of your body with the mentioned decoction, mosquitoes are repelled by the smell of saponine and will move away. Try it is to adopt it! Your beloved kids may sleep with coat of Soap nut liquid, you may relax and don’t afraid about mosquitoes.

Throw a few soap nut shells in with your automatic dishwasher and watch how clean they get!

Soap nuts are successfully used in dish-washers. They do not, however, have a scrubbing agent to them.

Bugs do not survive at 65°C washing temperature. Moreover, Saponine has a repressive effect on fungal and bacteria growth. Put 3 to 4 soap nuts in the little cotton bag, put this bag inside the dishwasher and launch it.

Using Soap Nuts, 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). Indeed, for other purpose of cleaning.

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 matt 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 multiply washes are done the same day. For that reason I keep the used nuts in the bag, in a small bottle, part filled with water.

Soap Nut Decoction:

Bring 6-10 shells of Soap nuts to boil in 1 liter water during 10 minutes, leave it to cool down and screen the obtained liquid. The decoction is now ready for use ! To obtain a higher saponine-concentrate decoction of Soap nuts, use more Soap nut shells in the same water volume.

This Concoction Can Also Be Made to Do Your Laundry. Here’s How:

Boil 100 g of Soap nuts in 12 cups (3L) of water for 30 minutes. The liquid you have is now a concentrated, chemical free detergent. The leftover shells can be placed in your compost. Use 3 Tbsp or 45 ml of this detergent with each load of laundry. This allows you to do approximately 60 loads of laundry.

Preservation of a Soap Nuts Decoction:

Soap nuts decoction must be kept in a cool place to assure a conservation of about ten days if citric acid or lemon juice or essential oil is added. Soap nuts shells already used in a washing machine or a dishwasher, can be recycled by making a decoction.

Soap nuts More Than Just Laundry Soap

The natural saponins found in Soap nuts are universal cleaning agents. Sure, they work great in the laundry, but did you know they are also traditionally used to clean skin and hair? In fact, the soap nut saponins work on everything from pets and children to washing fruits and vegetables. In ancient India, jewelers even used the soap to shine their precious metals and stones, giving them a beautiful natural luster.

With All The Cleaning Uses for Soap Nuts, Can You Bath with Them?

Remember that you can create a liquid concoction to wash your hands, floors, counters, etc. but we have found that you can also bath with them.. Simply place a half a cup of your concoction in your hot bath water and enjoy yourself. Wash or soak and when you come out your body will have that clean feel to it not to mention a soft feel.

You can also use the Soap nuts by themselves. Throw in 4-5 Soap nuts and into the hot bath. Swish them around for a few minutes to get the saponins flowing and then step into the tub.

Hand Wash:

Even when the shells seem exhausted they still contain some saponin and you can use them to make a FREE hand wash.

Put your old shells, with any new little “broken off” pieces that are too small to put in the bag / sock, in a blender. Add a half pint (ish) of water and blend for a few seconds. The idea is to break all the shells into tiny bits so that they release as much “soap” as possible.

Simmer for a few minutes.

Cut the pipe of an old dispenser bottle so it reaches about half way down.

Allow the blend to settle and pour in to your dispenser, to below the pipe.

Give it a shake and pump away.

You will get a palm full of soap nut foam!

Excellent for general cleaning.

You can also add a drop of lemon juice as preservative and a nice smell.

Worried about watering your garden in a hot, dry summer? Soap nuts are totally organic and, as stated earlier, a mild insecticide. It is safe, even beneficial to put on your garden. Your washing machine uses about 50 litres (12 gallons!) of water per wash. Collect that waste and your watering problems are over. Unless you are an aphid!

By the way, all children’s clothes should be washed in these soap nuts to avoid exposing infants and children to the toxic chemicals found in commercial laundry products. And while you’re at it, why not save yourself from that exposure, too, by washing your own clothes with nature’s laundry soap?

What Soap Nuts do NOT contain, include:

  • Foaming chemicals that, consumers into thinking their clothes are cleaner because there are “suds” in the wash. TRUTH: Suds have nothing to do with cleaning. They are chemical additives used to create the illusion of cleaning action.
  • Fragrance chemicals that make laundry “smell” clean. Most commercial laundry products use toxic, synthetic fragrance chemicals that are, in fact, well known to promote cancer and liver disorders. Laundry products are not really regulated by any single government agency, and there is currently no law banning the use of known cancer-causing chemicals in laundry products (much like with cosmetics).
  • Filler ingredients. Nearly all commercial laundry products are made with at least 50% filler ingredients to “bulk them up” and make them appear to deliver more value for the price. Consumers are mostly just buying the illusion of detergent, made mostly with filler.

You won’t find filler or toxic chemicals in Soap Nuts. Just pure, natural saponins grown by a tree and engineered by nature. In our opinion, that’s where more of our products should ultimately come from. Wouldn’t it be great if shampoo also grew on trees?

Actually, it does!

An amazing Traditional use in Myanmar (Burma):

On the last day of Myanma year, in Myanmar, all of people use Soap nuts to wash their houses to remove all of dirt of last year from their houses, shops and offices. They also wash and clean their hair with Soap nuts on the last day of Myanma year. They believe that if they wash and clean their hair, houses, offices and shops by Soap nuts, no dirt of last year will come to in their lives during coming new year!!!

The Author:

Sindhiya Enterprise Bangladesh ( , )

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