By Lottie Dalziel
Never heard of them? Well, you are in for a treat! Dried Soapberries also known as soap nuts and soap shells are nothing new they've been around for thousands of years originating from the Himalayas.
How do they work
As their name suggests they are the fruit of the 'Sapindus Makorossi' tree. Also known as soap nuts the dried shell is predominantly made of a substance called saponin which is natures soap. As soon as they hit water saponin is released. Saponin is a natural anti-bacterial & anti-fungal surfactant, perfect for use in the laundry or around the home. They are organic and extremely hypoallergenic so perfect for sensitive skin and those with skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis.
How to use them
Add 4-5 soapnut shells to a reusable calico bag (which normally comes with the berries) and throw into your wash. This tiny bag of berries can be used for up to 5 times before you throw the contents into the garden when they go mushy.
After each wash, remove the nuts from the bag and let them dry or just throw them in again. You could also add in a couple of drops of your favourite essential oil if you want a subtle scent.
When you buy a 250g bag you will get around 200 little nuts so 40 portions. So if you get 5 loads per bag this works out to be just 10 cents a wash!
Banish recommends Lil Bit's Soap Nuts. When you buy a 250g bag, you get approx 200 nuts/shells which equates to 40 small bags. At 5 loads per bag that's 200 washes costing around 10c/wash as opposed to approx 26c for commercial detergents!