I was particularly excited to try out some soap nuts as a natural alternative to the laundry detergents we use today. I've always found the strong fragrances pretty unbearable but wasn't sure how to avoid them. I must admit I was a bit sceptical about trying soap nuts, or soap berries as they're also known, but have been so pleased with the results.
Soap nuts are grown on trees in the Himalayas. They contain a natural detergent called Saponin and have been used for hundreds of years as a fabric cleaner.
One thing I would say is that they don't smell great before you put them in the machine but thankfully that smell disappears when you use them, so don't let that put you off. I added a few drops of essential oil to them for a subtle fragrance (I used lavender, but eucalyptus, lemon or grapefruit would work well too). You need 4 - 6 nuts in a tied pouch or sock, in the drum. You can also dry them out and use again a couple of times, so they're very economical. Soap nuts are a great choice for sensitive skin.
So in a nutshell, soap nuts are good for the planet, you can put them in the composter when you're done, they're good for fabrics and they're gentle on us, our skin and our senses. I'm in!