Soap Nut ! 6

Today is World Environment Day.

For some time, I have been thinking about alternatives to chemical based detergents for clothes and utensils. My grandma used to talk about some ‘Soap Kaai’ (means Soap-Fruit in Tamil) used during her childhood, but I never managed to get sufficient information about it then. My eco-responsibility-instinct being a bit high today(for obvious reasons), my optimistic googling revealed it to me !

You will not believe it. Soap-Nuts(as they are called) grow in trees in the wild, in India. And there is an Australian Company that imports it and makes cleaning products based on it. The company is called ‘Soap in a nutshell’ ! FAQ from their its website.

Now, if any of you know where I can find these trees, please tell me !

Here is another link about making your daily routine greener.

6 thoughts on “Soap Nut !

  1. Reply Deaths Head Roy Jun 7,2009 7:46 am

    >Oy AK!! I came across these nuts also recently – at the UTC near Cantonment….my cousin was collecting some so that she could grow this tree near her home in Ngl…nice fruits…soapy and an environment-friendly option…

  2. Reply coolkrishnan Jun 8,2009 7:45 am

    >Naveen,
    Cool. I also discovered that this soap-nut is being used in Ayurvedic products like "Meera Hair wash powder". It is listed in the ingredients as "Sapindus".

    Seems to be a classic case of traditional wisdom being replaced by commercial hype.

    Once people smelled the scented soap, they dumped the old ideas !

  3. Reply Anonymous Jun 16,2009 2:37 pm

    >Does these soapnuts have enough disinfectant power to keep germs/bacteria/virus from our cloths ??

    There are limits to greenish idea. Use of paper bags instead of plastic bags would create deforestation. Use of biofuel instead of fossil fuel created food crisis and we have seen that too in last year.

  4. Reply coolkrishnan Jun 17,2009 9:13 am

    >Anonymous,
    – Soap nuts are antimicrobial. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sapindus for more details.

    – There are no limits in going green. Use cloth bags, not paper bags.

    – Use solar energy. I am sure sun will not shrink because of that.

  5. Reply Shankar Iyer Jun 22,2009 12:33 pm

    >Nice bit. If it can really work,
    it is a fantastic idea. Whether our washing machines will accept this is a question mark?

  6. Reply Gopi Jul 12,2009 4:57 pm

    >Hi Divine Life,

    My mom used to prepare powder (with soapnuts) as shampoo for hair. After weeks of using it, I found that it is not effective in cleaning. To wash away pollution stains in my hair, invariably I had to use synthetic shampoo.

    May be Meera hair wash powder adds some mild soap powder or mom doesn't know how to prepare hair wash powder (later has more probability).

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