Sent in by Mrs. D, a friend of Green Cleaners since March '09.
"Soap nuts is the common name for the fruit from the Sapindus genus of shrubs and trees, which grows in tropical regions around the world," writes Mrs. D. "The fruit (nuts) contain saponin, a natural detergent, which has been used as a cleanser for centuries but is just now making its way to our neck of the woods."
Mrs.D explains: "Simply pop 6-8 shells in the cloth bag and throw them in your washing machine—these will last about 3-4 washes. Your wash will come out clean, but without a smell, so if you like the scent of clean clothes just add a few drops of essential oil to the wash beforehand. Soap nuts can also be used for other things as well, like washing windows, cars or pets. When the shells have been used to their full extent just throw them in the compost pile."
"I'm a convert," said a friend, after giving soap nuts a try. "I like how they clean, I like their simplicity, compostability, and utter naturalness. Soap nuts are a great addition in my bid to simplify my ingredient life, and I'm looking forward to a long-lasting love affair."