Soap Nuts: Nature's (non-toxic) Tide pod

in homesteading •  last year  (edited)


Now you are probably familiar with all the recent news about the tide pod challenge. A media fueled psyop with a side of idiocy. However, tide pods do pose a legitimate threat to small children who mistake this candy-lookalike (intentional?) product for something they can eat.

"During May 17–June 17, 2012, a total of 1,008 laundry detergent exposures were reported to poison centers. Of these, 485 (48%) were exposures to laundry detergent contained in pods, and 523 (52%) were non-pod laundry detergent exposures. Among pod-related laundry detergent exposures, 482 (99%) were unintentional (defined as occurring from an unseen or unplanned event, such as when a child gains access to a toxic substance and does not realize the danger of the action), compared with 494 (94%) of non-pod laundry detergent exposures (p<0.001). Ingestion accounted for at least one of the potential routes of exposure to laundry detergent in 435 (90%) of the pod-related exposures, compared with 422 (81%) of non-pod–related exposures (p<0.001). Overall, laundry detergents (pod and non-pod) also were associated with 175 (17%) eye, 114 (11%) skin, and 14 (1%) inhalational exposures, with no significant differences between pod-related and non-pod–related exposures among these noningestion routes of exposure.
Among all 992 laundry detergent exposures for which age was recorded, the median age was 2 years (range: 7 months–85 years), and the mean age was 3 years for the 481 persons with pod-related laundry detergent exposure. For the 511 persons with non-pod–related exposure, the median age was 2 years (range: 19 days–90 years), and the mean age was 7 years. Age data were not normally distributed. The pod-exposed persons were significantly younger than the non-pod laundry detergent exposed persons (Wilcoxon rank sum p=0.006)."
- Source

Not only are these poisonous to eat but did you know that those strong fragrances in the detergent are also quite harmful to breath in. fragrance is the new second hand smoke

Not to mention the harmful chemical residues left on your clothes is absorbed through your skin.

"Among other substances which build up in water supplies as a result of detergent use are toxic heavy metals such as arsenic and cadmium, and sodium, a constituent of bleach which may play a part in the rise in male infertility." - source

So what's the solution? How do you achieve clean clothes with convenience without all the poison?

Answer: Soap nuts. Soap nuts are not really nuts, but berries, that contain saponins which are a natural surfactant. A natural soapy substance that has the cleaning power of your typical detergent. They are non-toxic and can be used for multiple times in the wash.

Soap nuts have many many other uses. Such as creams, dyes, food, medicine and even as a natural insecticide.

"Anti-cancer activity: Due to the great variability in saponin structure, saponins always display anti-tumorigenic effect through varieties of anti-tumor pathways. There are more than 11 distinguished classes of saponins including dammaranes, tirucallanes, lupanes, hopanes, oleananes, taraxasteranes, ursanes, cycloartanes, lanostanes, cucurbitanes and steroids. Ginsenosides, belonging to dammaranes, have been found bene cial in the inhibition of tumor angiogenesis by suppressing its inducer in the endothelial cells of blood vessels, and then in the prevention of adhering, invasion and metastasis of tumor cells" - source

So how do you use them for laundry?

All you need.

Bag of soap nuts


Muslin sack


Washing machine


What to do

First grab 3 - 5 soap nuts


Place the soap nuts into the sack


Tie the sack and toss it in the washing machine with your dirty laundry.

Press start.


You can use the same soap nuts for 2-3 times in warm/hot water and 3-4 times in cold water. Or you can do what I do, which use them in the wash until the nut shells are thin and easy to crack.

Now you know and you can see it's just as easy as a tide pod minus the harm to your health.

Thanks for reading.

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