A couple of months ago, as part of my continuing bid to be more eco friendly, I purchased a bag of soap nuts. Soapnuts grow wild in temperate to tropical climates on sapindus trees. I learned that because they produce a natural "soap," these nuts could be used in place of laundry detergent. Great, I thought, no more plastic laundry detergent bottles! Plus the soapnuts can be composted after use. Even though I've purchased eco friendly laundry detergent for years, I still had to contend with the plastic bottles - and I worried about all the energy that goes into the manufacturing and shipping of the product. So the idea of soapnuts was very appealing to me.
The problem was, I was a bit nervous about using them, so they sat in my laundry room until this past weekend. I knew that the nuts could be placed in a muslin drawstring bag and tossed in with the laundry, but I also learned that the nuts could be boiled into a liquid that could be used just like regular detergent and I liked that idea better.
After doing a search on the internet, I not only found the formula for making and using the soapnuts liquid, I found a wealth of information on other ways to make it and to use it. According to this website, soapnuts liquid can be used as a mosquito repellent, a liquid hand soap, a shampoo, and a general household cleaner. Now I'm thinking I can eliminate a wide variety of products in my house and get greener with every step.
Yesterday I did my first load of laundry with the soapnuts liquid. I washed my bath towels and they seemed to come out just as clean as with my regular laundry detergent. The real test, however, will be my husband's work clothes. I'm optimistic as this discovery can lead to a lot of good changes around my house.