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Soap Nut Soap: Yes or No?

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Soap Nuts, or Buah Lerak, is the sustainable solution for all cleaning needs!

Source: Monfocus [3]


There are so many things not to love about your regular dish soap. They contain harmful chemicals, they’re wrapped with plastic, and some are not even good for our health [1].


Perhaps, that’s the reason why many people have been going nuts for buah lerak or soap nuts. Some claimed that they’re the perfect replacement for regular soaps since they contain saponin [2].


But are they, though? Well, I made my own soap nut dish soap (which you can watch right here), and this is my take on it.

Read Also: The Many Faces of Buah Lerak

Honest Review

Before I start, let me just say that patience and an open-mind are the top ingredients when making the soap. I had to soak the soap nuts for 3 nights, and I was kind of shocked to only have ended up with 2 jars of soap at the end. Well, to be fair, I could’ve added more water, but I don’t want to risk the soap being too watered down. But honestly, it felt like a really tedious process for only 2 jars of soap, especially because when I used half of a jar each time I washed the dishes or cleaned my floors (yes, you can use them to clean your floors!).


When getting the sap out of the soap nut, there were times where the soap nut jumped out of my hand because they were THAT slippery, but then I realized that was something good because it proves that soap nuts do have similar properties as regular soap.


More importantly, I also found that they were as effective as regular dish soaps and floor cleaning solutions, and plus, they didn’t have a drying effect on my skin.


Using soap nuts are eco-friendly, chemical free and don't make your hands dry!

Source: Burst [4]


The possible downside was the smell. When I was boiling the soap nuts, the kitchen reeked of sap, possibly due to lack of ventilation. Not to worry, though, because the lemon peels did get rid of the smell so, in the end, it was odorless.

Read also: 3 Must-Do DIYs for your Zero-Waste Kitchen

Overall, I do recommend switching to soap nuts because not only are they less harmful to you but they’re also as effective as regular cleaning solutions. Here are some tips to help you improve your soap-making experience:


1. Make twice the amount

If you live in a big space and/or live with a number of people, it’s best to make at least twice the original amount since it takes time to soak the nuts and it would get used up pretty quickly.


2. Be careful when getting the sap out

Soap nuts can get very slippery and jump out of your hands so be extra careful and lay out a cloth napkin to prevent the sap from getting on your furniture.


3. Have proper ventilation

When boiling the soap nuts, make sure to have some sort of ventilation in your kitchen by either turning on the kitchen fan or opening a window so your kitchen won’t smell like sap.


4. Use more lemon peels or essential oils

If you’re someone who prefers their products to have quite a strong scent, I highly recommend using more lemon peels or instead, putting 2-3 drops of essential oils after pouring them in the jar, which can help cover the smell of the sap.


5. For mopping, use a slightly higher concentrate

To make sure your floors are sparkling clean, increase the concentration by using less water because it’s less effective if the solution is too watered down.


We hope you try making your own soap at home and let us know what you think either by tagging us on Instagram or posting your experience on our forum!

Write what you think about soap nuts in our forum, HERE!

Sources:

[1] https://www.greenlivingtips.com/articles/dishwashing-detergent-environmental-impact.html#:~:text=Even%20the%20simple%20task%20of,numbers%3B%20causing%20an%20algal%20bloom.

[2] https://www.farmersalmanac.com/what-the-heck-are-soap-nuts-24308#:~:text=The%20shells%20of%20the%20soap,excellent%20alternative%20to%20chemical%20detergents.


Photos:

[3] https://pixabay.com/photos/soap-nuts-wash-soap-hygiene-clean-4032858/

[4] https://www.pexels.com/photo/cooking-hands-handwashing-health-545013/

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