September 06, 2008

Soap nut

My plans to reuse as much water as possible for secondary uses has always had an achilles heel when it came for water from the laundry and from the dishes . We have been using "Ecover" products for cleaning but somehow I never felt safe enough till yesterday . We did our first batch of laundry with the Soapnut or Reetha as it is known back home in India. The shell nut of the Sapindus Mukorossi has a natural surfactant which like in synthetic soap breaks down the grease that hold the dirt and cleans the laundry . My mother used Reetha as a natural shampoo . Now I learnt that it is an effective natural substitute for detergent leaving no harmful residue , just pop in a couple in a cloth bag with the laundry . I am told a kilogram of the stuff gives upto 400 washes and locally it costs about 120-140 shekels a kg . That is not too bad even economically , much cheaper than the Ecover detergent that costs nearly a shekel and half per wash . The laundry came out the way it should ; clean , soft with a very gentle clean smell , nothing like the olfactory attack that comes from a normal detergent . Friends of ours have been using it for cloth diapers for their kids and are happy with the results . Apparently one can brew soap out of it that can be used for all cleaning purposes .
Here are other things you can do with it .

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