Every September, the Soil Association celebrates Organic September: an initiative to promote and raise awareness for the benefits of organic food and farming. This is especially important, now more than ever, as we tackle the increasing threats of climate change. At Ecozone, we know that using organic cleaning products can be as important as eating organically, which is why our products are made with plant-based and biodegradable ingredients. Our Soap Nuts, however, are a 100% organic laundry detergent alternative.
Meet Ecozone’s 100% Organic Soap Nuts
Ecozone’s Soap Nuts are a 100%, totally organic replacement for more common laundry detergents and tablets. Our award winning Soap Nuts are sustainably sourced, allergy-friendly, effective and economical. The 300g bags hold enough Soap Nuts for up to 100 washes, and a 1kg bag will last you up to 330 washes; this works out at 2p per wash!
What are Soap Nuts?
Despite what the name might suggest, Soap Nuts are neither a soap nor a nut. They’re actually berries, scientifically named Sapindus Mukorossi, that are native to the Himalayas. One tree can produce berries for up to 90 years, and it can produce about 540 abundant harvests in its lifetime.
Also known as soap berries, the cleaning power is actually found in the shell, which contains the natural cleaning compound called saponin. Saponin can also be found in most (if not all) mainstream detergents.
To harness the cleaning powers of the Soap Nuts, the shell is dried out which is what gives soap berries their nutty appearance. Moreover, since they’re not actually nuts, they are safe to use for people with any kind of nut allergies. As there are also no added chemicals or additives involved, they’re also great for people with sensitive skin.
The History of Soap Nuts
Their scientific name Sapindus comes from two Latin words: “sopa” meaning soap, and “Indicus” meaning India, where Soap Nuts were originally found.
As well as India, Soap Nuts are most commonly found in China and some parts of Europe. Historically, they have been used for personal hygiene and general cleaning as well as laundry. Because of the saponin found in the Soap Nuts, there is no need for pesticides to keep insects away. This means that the Soap Nuts are 100% natural, with no chemicals used at any stage of the growing process.
To achieve their hard, nut-like form, local farmers harvest the Soap Nuts by hand, take out the seed, and then leave the shell out to dry in the sun.
How Soap Nuts Work
Soap Nuts work as surfactants, meaning they are able to remove the dirt from inside the fibres and suspend it in the water. For thicker clothes with tougher fibres, more Soap Nuts may be needed but in general, 4 Soap Nuts per wash should be enough.
When the saponin reaches the stains and dirt, it works to gently separate them from your clothes and holds them in the water. Because of their gentle nature, clothes come out softer, and the nuts can then be reused up to 3 more times. When the shells become soft and grey, it’s time to switch them for new ones.
Since the nuts can be composted, they produce no waste. The saponin is also 100% biodegradable, meaning Soap Nuts will not contaminate the water supplies. To keep them protected from water damage and oxidation, we package them safely in a biodegradable and compostable wrap containing enzymes, proteins and peptides from plants.
Our Other Products to Explore this Organic September
All of our products are made from plant-based formulas to limit their impact on soil. The products you clean with inevitably end up in the water system. If you’re using products with harsh chemicals, these will have a nasty impact on our environment and wildlife. To limit your environmental impact this Organic September, try some of Ecozone’s plant-based favourites. All of our products are plant-based, and there’s no better time to discover them than this Organic September!