How Do Soap Nuts Work

And so, how does the fruit clean? It is the shell of Soap Nuts that has the cleansing properties. It contains a natural chemical compound known as Saponin, which is a type of surfactant, a cleansing agent.

Saponin gets released when it comes into contact with water. It is even more effective if you use hot water. When Soap Nuts are agitated in water, you will notice that suds will form, which usually indicates the presence of surfactant.

Saponin in water aids in spreading the water across surfaces and penetrate fabrics. It helps to loosen the dirt and remove them from the fabric. Saponin hold on to the dirt in suspension and thus preventing it from settling back onto the surface, until it is being washed away. This is similar to the way how Soap cleanses.

Below are suggested experiments that you can try out with Soap Nuts.


Agitate Soap Nuts In Water

Take a few Soap Nuts and put them into a bottle half-filled with water (room temperate) and shake it. Just after a few shakes, you will notice the suds appearing with small little bubbles rising from the soap nuts.  Now, imagine the bottle is the washer’s tumbler, this is how Soap Nuts will work in your washing machine. If you have a pack of Soap Nuts, feel free to try out this experiment. It’s pretty fun and amazing to experience it first hand.

soap nut experiment. shaking soap nuts in a bottle

after shaking soap nuts in a bottle, suds are formed

soap nuts suds formed inside bottle


Soaking And Rubbing The Soap Nuts To Produce Cleansing Suds

  1. Put 1 or 2 soap nuts into a soft cotton bag
  2. Soak the bag of soap nuts for a while to soften the soap nuts.
  3. Rub the bag of soap nuts between your hands.
  4. Alot of suds will form.


rubbing soap nuts in between palms to form suds

rubbing soap nuts in between hands to form suds



Washing plates with Soap Nuts

In this test, you can spread a few drops of cooking oil onto a porcelain plate. Then pour a little Soap Nut Liquid from the above experiment onto the plate and wash it as normal. Very quickly, the oil is washed off and you could even hear the squeaking sound if you rub on the plate.

If you would like to try out Soap Nuts, you can purchase a pack of soap nuts from here.

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