Recently I bought some Soapnuts. "Soapnuts"you say - "what are those?". Don't feel bad, I hadn't heard of them either. They are, by definition:
Soapnuts are the fruit of a tree (Sapindus Mukorossi), found primarily in India, Indonesia, and Nepal, and they are an EXCELLENT alternative to traditional laundry detergents. How are soapnuts prepared for use in your wash? They are simply harvested, de-seeded, and then dried in the sun. And they WORK .
The outer shell of the soapnut contains saponin, a natural substance known for its ability to cleanse and wash. (That’s what makes them so GREAT for cleaning your laundry!) They are 100%, totally natural. They are organically grown and are free of harsh chemicals, so they are incredibly gentle on clothes AND skinRead more: Soap nuts: an amazing, 100% natural cleaning product.
I bought them as part of a group buy here - we bought over 100 kilograms as a group - and it was about 20 rmb per kilo...so $3 and it will wash about 150 loads of clothes, no softener needed, no chemicals, etc.
Anyway, I bought them as our Tide with Downy we brought last summer is just about gone. sadly. The detergent here is not same - even if it says Tide - it is different - and is harder on your clothing than what we have at home. I thought it was worth a try - certainly cheap, and also good for the environment. You can make dishwashing soap, household cleaners, etc from these same nuts. I haven't done that but I started using them today to check them out. If you have a hot enough wash you just put some nuts in a sock and tie it off. If you have a cool wash you can make a "syrup" with boiling water and nuts and let them soak. So I did both today - and they are both working great. The clothes come out of the wash clean and soft.
Here is a website where I found a bunch of my information ...I dont know if I would do this at home or not, but I plan to keep using them here!