'Soap Berries','Soap Nuts' or 'Soap Shells' are nuts harvested from the Sapindus Mukorossi tree which grows mostly in Nepal. The shell of the fruit/nut has a very high concentration of saponin, which is a natural soap!
Lil'Soap Nuts come from Pakistan, direct from the community who harvest them in the wild. The Nuts are checked for seeds and picked free of twigs and leaves and left to dry. Thats it!
Are you ready for this?
Lil'Soap nuts come with a small, reusable calico bag - add 4-5 soap nut shells, pull the drawstring tight and toss in your wash.
This bag can be used up to 5 times before the nuts can be tossed into the compost heap or garden. The nuts will start to go 'mushy' after a lot of washes so I replace mine after the 5th wash.
So, when you buy a 250g bag, you get approx 200 nuts/shells which equates to 40 small bags. At 5 loads per bag that's 200 washes costing around 10c/wash as apposed to approx 26c for commercial detergents!
After your wash, remove the bag of soap nuts and let them dry, or use them again right away if you’re doing another load.
Lil'Soap Nuts contain natural anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties and, as they are organically grown and hypoallergenic they are great for those with skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis as well as sensitive skin.
Our 100% Organic Natural Soap Nuts engage in Fair Trade practice with our supplier, whose family are part of the communities who harvest the soapnuts. Although grown and harvested overseas, our Nuts are bought from an Australian Wholesaler.
Place 100 grams of soapnuts with 3 litres of water in a large saucepan or stock pot (this will make 2 litres of liquid - you can make smaller amounts by using 2 cups of water and 4-6 nuts).
Bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for an hour or so. Strain the liquid through cloth and compost the nuts.
The concentrate will have a slightly watery consistency and small dense suds. It does not contain foaming agents and thickeners like chemical detergents do, but it still has the cleaning power!
To thicken the concentrate, add a little cornflour (try 1 teaspoon in 1 tablespoon boiling water, then add to liquid concentrate) or organic glycerine.
Soapnut liquid concentrate has approximately a 2 week shelf life on the kitchen bench, or at least a month in the refrigerator. The addition of an antibacterial oil, such as eucalyptus oil, will extend the shelf life.
The thin liquid can be put into a spray bottle and used as a pest spray - it really works! I have had no nibbles on my cabbages and kale for the first time ever!
For a pet shampoo, its best added to a 'squeeze sauce' bottle and applied to fur, then massaged in and rinsed.