There are so many options out there for laundry now and days. But there is one choice that has been around for centuries long before being “green” was the “in” thing. Soap nuts! They were commonly used in China, India (where they are grown), as well as other parts of Europe. However it is only recently the west has found how great soap nuts are.
Soap nuts are not really a nut at all but a dried fruit of the Ritha (also known as Soap nut berry) plant or . Farmers collect the fruit on the ground and they are then dried. They are paid fair wages for their nuts, helping the sometime lower income farmers. They contain a natural soap called saponin; this is what makes the nut so amazing.
Unlike many other detergents on the market soap nuts are 100% derived from vegetables, yet are still able to provide deep cleaning abilities. These deep cleaning abilities are not compromised with being gentle on fabrics.
Soap nuts are wonderful for washing delicate fibres with. They are also gentle on those who use them being non-allergenic and hypoallergenic.
Great for those who have sensitive skin, eczema and children’s laundry.
What makes them great for cloth diapers is that they are able to leave no residue while cleaning your diapers. They also able remove any residue from previous detergents. People are often alarmed how many suds are in the washer when they first switch over to soap nuts. This is not because soap nuts are high sudsing, it is because they are stripping out the old residue that the previous detergent had left behind.
Using soap nuts on your diapers is easy. If you are doing a hot wash (which I think everyone should do when they wash cloth diapers), its as easy as putting a few nuts in a muslin bag (which the nuts come with) and tying it.
No need to remove the bag during the (cold) rinse. The natural soap is only released in warm or hot water. You can use soap nuts in a regular cold wash cycles by making a liquid. I don’t believe there is an exact science to this but I simply take a handful of nuts and simmer them in a saucepan full or water on the stove for about 20 minutes. I then let it cool, drain and put it in a jar (or a laundry detergent container would work well
also.) I use about ½ a cup in my wash cycle. The soap nuts have a very mild vinegar scent but there is no scent to any clothes that have been laundered.
The beauty about using soap nuts is that they are reusable. When the nut is done it becomes soft and gummy feeling. Being an all natural product they are biodegradable and compostable.
Soap nuts have so many wonderful benefits beyond laundry. You can make home made cleaners with the liquid, it can be used for washing your pet, hair or car. The applications are many.
Want to try them? Win a 50 gram sample package. First go to www.morethanclothdiapers.com and tell me what you would like to try from my site and why. This must be done before any of the other entries count.
-like more than cloth diapers on face book -like Canadian cloth retailers on face book
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* Place the Canadian Cloth Diaper Stores Button on your site or Blog
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* Advertise our Giveaway in your blog, forums or website (post with your comment the direct link where you posted about it for 1 bonus entry per posting
This contest is open for Canadian residents only.
Congratulations to Kimberley, lucky #3!