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If you’ve never heard of soap nuts before, you are in for a surprise. They have nothing to do with food as the name might suggest, but are very efficient laundry cleaners. It seems as if Mother Nature has made more provisions to take care of our needs than we realize and these green cleaning products offer amazing proof. Extra gentle on your clothes and on your skin, these nuts grow in tropical and warm climates on shrubs and small trees, which botanically belong to the Lychee family.
Soap nuts advantages:
Soap nuts are a great product that everyone can benefit from, but some savvy soap nuts users have found ways to get even more use out of them. Below you can find unique uses for soap nuts including tips and tricks.
1) After you you have used your soap nuts several times and are ready to throw them out, instead save them. After you run out of fresh soap nuts, gather all of the soap nuts you have saved boil them in a pot of water. This will extract any of the remaining saponin. After it boils down for about an hour, pour the contents of the pot into a strainer and collect the brown soap nuts liquid into a jar. This liquid will stay good for a few weeks without any preservatives.
If you want to get really fancy, pour the liquid into an ice cube tray and freeze it. This will extend the life of the liquid and it is also very convenient to just throw in an soap nuts liquid ice cube into your wash.
2) Compost your soap nuts shells. "Compost is organic matter that has been decomposed and recycled as a fertilizer and soil amendment" After you are done with the shells, toss them into your lawn or garden. Why throw them away when they make for a nice organic fertilizer? Soap nuts are a green product through their entire lifecycle.
3) Give your car a nice shine by giving it a soap nuts wash. Toss about five to 10 soap nuts into a bucket of warm water. Stir them around till you see suds. Rinse your car off with water and then use the soap nuts solution with a sponge and wash your car as you normally would. Hose it down with water and dry. This should give your car a nice shine.
4) Going on a trip? Take a drawstring bag with soap nuts. They easily fit inside your luggage or purse and you get several loads out of them. They also work great for camping. You can use them to wash your face and hands or even to clean small cuts. There is no reason traveling should stop you from staying clear of toxic chemicals.
5) Wash your hair with soap nuts. Many people who are sensitive to chemicals use soap nuts as a shampoo. It isn't luxurious as it doesn't produce a thick lather, but if you are looking for a safe and cheap option it will get the job done.
6) Wash babies and pets with soap nuts. Babies and pets require special care. They can be more susceptible to allergens and can have adverse skin reactions if they come in contact with harsh chemicals.
Soap nuts are actually berries, but earned the name “nut” in reference to the hard, nut-like shaahell they form after they have been harvested and dried in the sun. They contain saponins, soap-like components, which are natural cleaners that, just as their chemical counterparts, lift stains from the fabric and take care of odours. They are however much gentler on your laundry than the regular aggressive laundry detergents.
Soap nuts do everything you expect from your favourite household laundry detergent. They clean your laundry, are gentle on your fabrics, and leave a fresh scent. However, the real difference between regular detergent and these particular green-cleaning products becomes especially apparent after a few wash loads. Contrary to harsh detergents that leave residue on your laundry and make them feel hard after extended usage, the components found within them open up the fabric fibres and act as natural fabric softeners.
Give it a try, and wash a few loads of towels with your regular laundry detergent and compare it with a few loads of clothing washed with soap nuts. You’ll see an impressive difference. We are confident you will be able to tell the soap nuts washed towels are softer in a blind test. Your towels and delicate clothing items will be noticeably softer and fluffier, and it’s easily understandable why this kind of product will extend the overall life of your favourite pieces of clothing. Because it’s an all-natural and very mild product, it’s also ideal for people with sensitive skin and for items such as baby clothes.
But as with most things in life, there can be huge differences in terms of quality. We go to great lengths to purchase only the highest quality, Sapindus Mukorossi, USDA certified organic soap nuts for you. You simply won’t be able to get higher quality than ours or at a better price. They are biodegradable and great for septic and greywater systems and they are true eco friendly Green Virgin Products.
We are committed to quality and customer satisfaction, and therefore all our products come with a 90-day money back guarantee. For convenient use, drawstring bags are already included with your purchase. We also invite you to try our soap nuts liquid with the easy pump top. Bleach or hydrogen peroxide can be used alongside if desired. Don't forget to check out our non-toxic prespotter bar. It outperforms every pre-spotter on the market and lasts for years. Shipping is free for orders $50 and up.
The Green Virgin Products Soap Nuts advantages at a glance are:
How do I use soap nuts products properly?
Depending on which of our soap nuts products you are going to use, you can choose one of two options:
If you purchase the nuts as a whole, simply put about 5 average sized nuts in a wash bag and add to your laundry. You can use the same wash bag for about 5-7 loads.
If you use the liquid form, just use two pumps for a front loader or three pumps for a top loader.
How long does the bag need to remain in the washer?
You can leave the bag inside the washer until all wash and rinse cycles are completed. Remember that it also acts as a fabric softener so no additional softener or dryer sheets are needed. It might be a good idea to use a pre-soak cycle to allow the soap nuts to become completely saturated before the actual washing cycle starts.
Can I use soap nuts in cold water as well?
Absolutely. As we only offer high quality soap nuts at Green Virgin products, our soap nuts have the amount of saponin that works just as well with cooler temperatures. If you use the nuts for your laundry and regardless of the temperature, pre-soaking will produce better results, especially when the nuts are already dry and dark. Breaking them into smaller pieces to ease the release of saponin also helps to facilitate better results.
There is no foam and suds. Are the soap nuts really working?
Yes, they definitely are. The suds and foam you are used to seeing when using a regular laundry detergent are artificial foaming surfactants that have been added to suggest and “prove” to you that the laundry detergent is doing its job. The amount of dyes, artificial foaming agents, and other toxins that are added to today’s laundry detergents do not only cause a hazard to the environment but are also very often the cause for skin irritations and allergies. This safer product contains a natural surfactant. You won’t see lots of (unnecessary) foam and suds, but the results will speak for themselves.
Can soap nuts be used in HE washer as well as in front loaders?
The answer is yes, in both cases. They work especially well in HE washers because of their low suds production. They also do an excellent job with a front loader. Use the pre-soak cycle if you use the wash bag method and you will see great results.
What should active soap nuts ideally feel and look like?
Remember that soap nuts are really dried berries. Sapindus Mukorossi, as it is called by its proper botanical name has a yellow to golden color when it is first harvested, and it feels just like a juicy berry. After the berries have been sun-dried it’s easier to process and deseed them.
Here is a small test to see if your soap nuts still have cleaning power: Fill a jar with the used soap nuts, add in some warm water and shake the jar. If you see suds, you can rest assured that you are holding active soap nuts in your hand.
I have nut allergies. Can I use soap nuts?
Yes, you can. Remember that, despite their name, they are berries. They just became popular with that name due to their hard shell after sun drying. They are also commonly known as soap berries.
How do I best store soap nuts?
Moisture is their biggest enemy, so they are best stored in a dry environment. Moisture can lead to early saponin release and possible mold or mildew. You can keep the soap nuts in their original muslin bag or a Tupperware type of container to prevent moisture from getting in. If you keep them in the wash bags, allow the nuts to dry between laundry days. We just toss them in the dryer with the clothes.
Soap nuts are sometimes called, "Mother Natures Gift to Mankind". They work as well as the toxic laundry detergents. They cost about half as much, and don't pollute our planet. You would think that there would be no reason to lie or be misleading in order to sell them, but there are some soap nuts scams out there. At Green Virgin Products we believe that if you present the facts and sell the highest quality soap nuts available, customers will find you and come back when they need more. We have used this approach to become one of the largest soap nuts sellers.
How to avoid soap nut scams.
Unfortunately, not all soap nut sellers agree with the honest approach. If you Google soap nuts you might see a site named soap nuts pro. This is a site that at first glance appears to an educational resource with lots of articles about soap nuts. The owner of the site and the writer of the articles is not identified. The web site has an award called preferred soap nuts seller. They named Naturoli as the only preferred soap nuts seller. Who voted on this award? What was the criteria?
You won't believe this one, but Soap Nuts Pro is owned and completely written by Naturoli. So Naturoli made up a bogus award and gave it to themselves. I guess what they meant to say was that they prefer you buy soap nuts from them. Is there a company in the world that doesn't prefer you to buy from them? Come on Naturoli, you're better than that. They also claim to be the largest soap nut seller. There is no way to know who is the biggest seller as soap nut sellers are not publicly held companies and don't report sales numbers. I don't know how many soap nuts they are selling and they don't know how many anyone else is selling. So to just declare they are the largest is just dishonest self promotion.
Soap nuts pro also makes a totally illogical claim about the quality of soap nuts based on where the soap nuts are put in bags. Their completely insane claim is if two companies buy the same high quality soap nuts and one company puts them in a bag where they grow and the other company puts them in a bag after shipping them to the USA, then the soap nuts that were put in the bag in the USA are somehow better than the ones put in bags overseas. This is false and it just goes to show that Naturoli will go to any lengths to get sales even if it means lying to their own customers. By doing this they are slandering every other soap nuts seller out there which is highly immoral. This is fear mongering and is among the worst soap nut scams we have seen.
The sad part is Naturoli sells good soap nuts. There is no reason to lie or mislead customers. They are damaging their reputation and are giving the entire soap nut industry a bad name by spreading false information. This however is not the only soap nut scam out there...
Are all soap nuts the same? Watch out for this soap nuts scam.
Well the answer to that is tricky. If you buy from a reputable seller they will be selling deseeded USDA Certified Organic, Sapindus Mukorossi soap nuts from India or Nepal. Everyone agrees that this is by far the best soap nut money can buy. But that is not what everyone is selling.
Just like any other business out there, there are honest soap nut sellers out there and there are dishonest soap nut sellers out there trying to trick you out of your money. We recently found a seller on the internet selling Sapindus Trifoliatus soap nuts. They even go out of their way to try and confuse consumers by saying that any soap nuts from the Sapindus genus works just fine. This is not true. Sapindus Mukorossi and Sapindus Trifoliatus are completely different species of soap nuts. The Trofoliatus are smaller and have a lower saponin content. We can buy the Trofoliatus soap nuts for next to nothing as no one wants them. Green Virgin Products will never sell Trofoliatus soap nuts. This same seller also used to sell soap nuts with the seeds still in them, one of the bigger soap nut scams out there. Selling soap nuts with the seeds still in them is another way to deceive consumers as the weight of the seed is much more than the shell of the soap nut. Since most soap nuts are sold by weight, the seeds should not be included. The shell is the part that does the cleaning. The seed is completely useless for cleaning and can cause stains on your clothes.
The exaggerated load scam.
The last soap nut scam out there I will go over is the exaggerated load scam. Eco Nuts is infamous in the soap nuts industry for exaggerating how many loads their soap nuts do. For example, we have the exact same kind and quality of soap nuts as Eco Nuts and we say that our kilo bag of soap nuts (35.2 ounces) does 330 wash loads. Eco Nuts sells a 20.5 ounce box of soap nuts and claims it does 360 loads. So how are they getting 30 more loads than we are with almost 1 full pound less of the same product? To be fair, it may be technically possible to get that amount of loads under perfect conditions, but to advertise the absolute max possible amount loads under these conditions as the norm is extremely misleading and dishonest.
Why are we calling out our competitors? Why should we care if there is a company out there engaged in soap nut scams? Well intentioned consumers looking to go green and eliminate a major source of toxic chemicals from their lives might buy these inferior soap nuts. Then when they don't work very well, might go back to using Tide or some other toxic product. They also might influence future consumers by saying, "I tried soap nuts and they didn't work very well." Sapindus Mukorossi soap nuts work as well or better than Tide and are non-toxic and eco-friendly.
I do have to say that sellers like Mountain Rose Herbs and Naturoli are rare and almost all soap nut sellers sell high quality Sapindus Mukorossi soap nuts. Be aware that higher price does not always mean higher quality when it comes to soap nuts. Some of the big sellers charge up to $15 more for a kilo of soap nuts than Green Virgin Products does. At Green Virgin Products we just present the facts and let the consumer decide. Don't fall victim to soap nuts scams and buy from an honest source.Hide.