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Go Green With Soap Nuts

Apr 27, 2008
All of us have heard something about pollution and the depletion of the environment at some point in our lives. Even the media is constantly bringing up the topic of conservation of our environment and much emphasis is being laid on how every individual can contribute to saving our planet from contamination. One thing that all of us can do is to incorporate nature in our daily tasks like cleaning, bathing and laundry. We can prevent tones of chemicals from becoming a part of our drains and our future.

So how can we incorporate nature in our lives? Look no further, soap nuts are here! Soap nuts are small berry like fruits that grow in warm, tropical and sultry climates. They are native to India, Nepal and some other South Asian countries and consist of a small yellowish Brown fruit covered by a hard outer covering. It is the former that is mostly used in the various products that are now available in the market. The main ingredient in soap nuts is saponins which make them an excellent cleaning utility that can be used to clean almost everything ranging from clothes to dishes and regular household cleaning.

There are a number of ways in which soap nuts can be used to make our living greener, natural and more environmental friendly. Let us look at some ways in which soap nuts can be made a part of our daily chores and eliminate the use of chemicals.

Washing Clothes

Soap nuts are excellent for dong your laundry without using chemical detergents. All you have to do is tie together 4 to 6 shells of soap nuts in a thin cloth like a muslin cloth and add it to the washing machine drum. This will take care of 4 to 5 loads of laundry. The advantages of using soap nuts as laundry detergents are:

Fabric is soft after wash and no fabric softeners need be added separately

It leave the colors intact and fading does not occur after wash

It removes dirt and smell form the clothes leaving a neutral fragrance

Soap nuts are ideal for people with allergies to chemical detergents and synthetic perfumes, children's clothes and pets.

Bathing

Soap nut can be used instead of soap for bathing and also for washing your hair, eliminating the need for shower gels, soaps and shampoos. They leave the skin feeling smoother, softer and protect it from infections. Soap nuts are completely natural and even babies and pets can be washed using them. They reduce skin problems like itching and infections. Washing your hair with soap nuts leaves it smoother, thicker, shinier and rids the scalp of dandruff, lice and other problems.

Around the house

Soap nut solution can be used to clean your house and to clean items you normally clean using chemical solutions. A mild soap nut solution can be used to spotlessly clean almost every item of your house such as windows, statues, decorative pieces and so on. A few drops of soap nut solution added to your car wash water followed by a polish will result in a cleaner shinier car. Soap nuts have insecticidal properties which makes them very useful in the garden. Black flies and Aphids can be kept at bay by spraying a diluted soap nut solution on the plants in your garden. Soap nut solution can also be used to wash dishes. Simply take a small bowl. Add little soap nut powder and some water and voila your cleaning solution is ready. This solution can be used to wash cutlery, glasses, pans and the usual dishes. Keep in mind that since soap nut is totally natural it does not contain any foaming chemicals and no foam will be seen while cleaning.

Detoxifying and cleaning food
A spoon of soap nut powder added to a litre of water acts as a solution for cleaning and detoxifying food at home. Fruits and vegetables can be soaked in this solution for about ten minutes then rinsed and used. This will remove any residue or chemicals from the food.
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