Most people use soapnuts as a natural laundry detergent. However, there are myriad uses for soapnuts.
Natural Laundry Detergent
As harvested, soapnuts are a small, round, waxy ball. As they are introduced to water, they release saponin, a natural cleanser. To wash your clothes, simply place 7-8 soapnuts in a small muslin bag , and drop it in the washer. Your clothes will come out clean, with a fresh, natural scent. If you wish to change the scent of your clean laundry, you can add a few drops of essential oils to the wash.
Crumble seven or eight soapnuts into a small saucepan, and add four cups of water. Bring the mixture to a boil, then let simmer for 5-10 minutes. Pour the liquid into a container (an empty shampoo bottle is great), then discard the used soapnuts. By default, soapnut shampoo does not contain many suds. This is not a problem, but a new user may have a tendency to use to much at once. If you want to make your shampoo more 'foamy' (like store-bought shampoo), you can place it in a pump bottle. This shampoo will leave your hair feeling soft and clean. If it feels slightly stiffer than normal when dry, too much shampoo may have been applied. Using less next time will correct the problem.
Powder, Shampoo and Skin Cleaner
Soapnut powder will leave your skin and hair feeling soft and clean. Apply soapnut powder directly while you bathe, or mix it with a little water and put it in a bottle for ease of use.Waschnüsse
Add a teaspoon of soapnut powder to a bowl of water, and soak your fruits and vegetables. Chemical spray and pesticide residue will be washed away, leaving clean, wholesome food. Be sure to rinse the food before eating.
General Purpose Cleaner
Soapnut can be used to clean almost anything. A little soapnut powder and water goes a long way. Windows, carpets, even the pets can be cleaned using soapnut. PureIndia sells soapnut in its harvested form, but it can be powderized easily using a coffee grinder or a simple pestle and mortar.