Hello friends! Did you even know that home cleaning products are often a major source of indoor air pollution! We buy them with the intension of keeping our homes healthier and safer but many of the chemicals found in conventional cleaning products have health implications like headaches, skin sensitivity & increased risk of cancer.
How harmfull are these for the environment? Have you ever questioned your self about it? Specially if you are in Bangalore, did you notice the toxic snowy foam in Varthur lake and 9,000-acre Belandur lake (if not plz c n read this and this)… Majority of this is domestic waste! We can keep on blaming the government for not treating the sewage, mixing them in the lakes n for not cleaning it up but what’s our part? Aren’t we polluting the environment while cleaning our homes and ourselves! And even if you are not bothered or concerned about it, don’t you think the ground water will get affected, the same water that you will be using!
Luckily there are eco friendly alternatives that are both safe to you and the environment. And these are pocket friendly too! What is it?
Soap Nuts (Reetha in hindi \ Kunkudu kaya in telugu)… Widely grown and available in our very own land India 🇮🇳 … Our ansistors have discovered their benefits and have been using them since ages!
Soap nuts are a berry shell that naturally contains soap. They grow on the soap berry (Sapindus mukorossi) tree. The natural soap found in these berries is called sapononin. Saponin is a natural cleaner that works as a surfactant, breaking the surface tension of the water to penetrate the fibers of your clothing, lifting stains from the fabric, and leaving dirt suspended in the water that is rinsed away.
Soap Nuts are gentle on both clothes and skin, making them ideal for those with sensitive skin, eczema, allergies and psoriasis. Because they are so mild, they are perfect for baby clothes and even washing cloth diapers.
Unlike commercial soaps, that have artificial foaming agents, soap nuts do not produce lots of bubbles or foam. Foam simply is not an indicator of cleaning power. The grey water from the washing machine can be directly used for watering the plants, saponin is a natural insect repellent, it acts as a pesticide.
Soap nuts are wild-harvested, meaning they are gathered from wild trees grown without any kind of chemicals, fertilizers, or pesticides. Saponin actually tastes bad to insects so no pesticides are needed. They are organically grown by Mother Earth.
Well then how to use them?
What you need?
- Handful of de-shelled soap nuts
- A cotton string pouch
- Lemon essential oil <*optional for fragrance>
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If you have hot water 💦 option in your washing machine – add a handful of de-shelled soap nuts in a cotton pouch (make sure you tie it so that the nuts don’t come out) & put it along with your clothes.
If there’s no hot water option, then you need to put the pouch in a mug of hot water give it a squeeze for the saponin to be released and then add it to your w/c machine. Simple!
What you need?
- 250 grams of deshelled soap nuts
- Water 💦
- Pot with a lid
- Glass jar/bottle for storage
- Lime essential oil ( optional for fragrance, you can buy it from here)
- Prepare a soap nut concentrate – take 250grams of soap nuts in a large pot, add double the amount of water 💦 and bring it to boil.
- Cover the pot with a lid and simmer for half an hour (the house might smell of soap nuts, don’t worry!).Once it cools, sqeeze them so that all the saponin is released.
- Filter using a fine mesh and collect the concentrate in a glass jar/bottle. This will stay fresh for about 15days in refrigerator.
- Add 1/4 cup of this liquid per load. Again if there is no hot water option, make sure u initially add it to a mug of hot water and then pour it in your w/c machine.
Though this method consumes some time, it’s worth it cause you can do much more with it… Yep true it can be used as dishwasher detergent & as a floor cleaner too!
Both the methods work well for hand wash too…
Soap nut liquid as a laundry detergent is only suitable for those that require gentle wash and it isn’t that effective on whites & for those you can opt for bio-degradable laundry detergents available in market…
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