Inspiration from Meghan

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Soapy Nuts


I suppose laundry isn't technically an act of kitchen love making, but since my entire home is one big room, and my little washing machine connects to my kitchen sink, laundry is officially an act of love in my kitchen.

In the above photo you will likely notice two things. One is that it looks like I stole my wardrobe from Rainbow Bright, and the second is that I am holding up a product- something I never do unless I really truly believe it is amazing. And this one is!

I am forever working to simplify my life, though others may think the exact opposite as I avoid anything processed and packaged as much as possible. When I came across soapnuts, I wondered where they had been all my life (and also how my sweet Green Thistle bestest friend failed to land on these in her challenge).


Soap nuts are the crushed seed of a plant that belongs to the maple family and they contain saponins, a natural surfactant- meaning they get sudsy. They look a bit like dates (though hollow). They grow in warmer climates and are a commonly used ingredient in ayurvedic shampoos and soaps. Essential they are natures sodium lauryl sulfates- the toxic chemical found in most detergents, shampoos, soaps and garage cleaners (that's right- on the hair as on the floor of the garage).


To ease my hippie-earth-loving heart, the same nuts can be used two or three times and then thrown into compost bin, or right into the garden. They contribute no bad stuff to the water supply and your children and pets won't die should it land in their mouths. It can be boiled down (or decocted as the herb-peeps would say) and used as a spray cleaner, dish detergent and shampoo. It has antimicrobial and insecticidal properties, and can even be used to clean up contaminated soil- might be something to think about throwing into the earth before planting the spring crops.

I threw eight soapnuts contained little cotton sack that was provided, into the washing machine. I let the machine fill partway with water and dropped in 2 drops of my  purification essential oil and then tossed in my brightest brights. To my delight- the clothes came out crisp and clean. As a detergent, it is hypoallergenic, environmentally friendly, colour protective and super economical. After my wash, I lay the nuts out on my windowsill to dry.

And no, I don't sell the product (though I would) and don't have any shares in it (would like some of those too), I just think it's fantastic!  Off you go- soap up those nuts.

(And if you are interested in buying some, they can be ordered online and may be carried at some of the larger natural grocers)

27 Responses to “Soapy Nuts”

  1. Ricki said…
    That is a fascinating product--and they DO look just like dates! I love the photo of you surrounded by your rainbow of clothes! Re: your comment on my blog, no, I didn't make those during the cleanse (I noted that in the entry, but I guess it got lost among all the other stuff!). I made the cupcakes the week before I started the ACD, with that great maple syrup sample I received back then. I knew I wouldn't be able to resist! But I am planning to bake a wonderful cookie this week for my honey (luckily, I've tasted the recipe before, so won't be as tempted). :)
  2. Your laundry's so colorful-- I love it!
  3. Coconutgal said…
    I have been wondering about these since I keep seeing them at the store. I trust you, I will get some next trip to the co op! Awesome and thank you!
  4. Coconutgal- Definitely get them. The less exposure to chemicals the better- especially when you suffer so terribly from allergies.
  5. petitfoodie said…
    What a great post. These are so interesting! I'm going to have to get some to try!! My daughter how terrible skin and regular detergents are so harsh. Its so hard finding out the source of the problem. Can I just say "WOW!!!!!!" your wardrobe looks so amazingly FUNNNNNN!!!!! How Festive!
  6. healthy ashley said…
    I love the colorful photo! Your clothes do all look great! I live in a very tiny apartment so my clothes travel into the living room and kitchen when I do laundry, too!
  7. Meghan Telpner said…
    This would be a great thing to try for your daughter. You might also consider dropping in some therapeutic grade lavender oil as well. And of course- diet is a huge factor. Dairy and wheat are the most common culprits with skin issues.
  8. gettinggreen said…
    Oh, silly cookie, of COURSE I discovered soap nuts during my challenge :) I just didn't have such a great experience with them. They kind of disintegrated and got all messy in the pouch, and my clothes didn't smell that great after. Glad you had a good experience with them, though -- they're definitely eco-friendly!
  9. S said…
    rainbow bright! i love it. those little nuts look super cool.
  10. [...] fruit I am eating is disguised by the greenness of my greens, the depth of my addiction shines as bright as my wardrobe. My idea of junk food is likely not what most people would consider junk food. Cocoa balls, [...]

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