Doing your laundry with soapnuts is a great way to avoid polluting the earth while cleaning your clothes. These days soapnuts (or soapberries) are all the rage, and I have to say that I agree. I have seen various concerns around soapnuts, such as the cost of transporting them from India to the western countries, or with bringing in foreign plants (if you are trying to grow them at home), or whether they are harvested ethically and organically in India. These concerns are worth keeping in mind when shopping for soapnuts, but I do have to say that soapnuts work great, they don't harm the environment through use and I think it is worth switching to soapnuts especially if you use industrial, chemical-filled laundry detergent. They are affordable too!
I am going to try to grow a soapnut bush at home this year (indoors so I don't disturb the native plants) so fingers crossed there.... I have tried using acorns and bouncing bet (other plants with saponins traditionally used for washing) and I have heard that there are many other plants out there that are useful for cleaning, but honestly, the acorns turned my whites brown and when I tried using bouncing bet (soapwort) I had to dig out a lot of the roots of the plant. To be frank, the soapnuts are practical and actually do a good job cleaning dirty diapers too.
I don't have a washing machine in my tiny apartment, so I have to go to the laundromat once a week, which is actually a nice activity, gets me out for a walk, and plus it means I can't just throw a couple towels in for a whole load and waste energy and water doing that. I call it slow laundry because it takes me all afternoon to get it done.
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