Market trader is just nuts about novel way to do the washing

PUBLISHED: 14:15 26 June 2019

NIcola Auger with her Nepalese washing nuts

NIcola Auger with her Nepalese washing nuts


In a nut-shell, this is a novel way to protect the planet.

Another step to save the environment is being taken by a trader at Saffron Walden Market.

Nicola Auger, whose stall is called Saffron Wholefoods, is selling Indian washing nuts from Nepal.

Green campaigners say these small brown shells contain a natural detergent which has cleaning and degreasing properties.

They can be used in washing machines, to clean gold and silver, as a general household cleaning liquid and even to wash your hair.

The nuts contain saponin (a natural soap).

Fans are claiming that the nuts can be used several times over. They don't cause allergic reactions, in fact they have an anti-dandruff and anti-itching effect on the scalp, and strengthen the hair.

Green campaigner and newly-elected Saffron Walden Green town councillor, Trilby Roberts, told the Reporter: "You need about six nuts for a family wash.

"The nuts need to be put in a tied sock or large handkerchief because otherwise they will break up in the machine but you can use them several times.

"To test whether they are still useful, you rub the nuts with your finger to see if they lather up."

She added: "These are much kinder to the clothes and the people who wear them. Most commercial detergents are full of chemicals."

To clean jewellery, it is recommended that two or three shells are put in 150ml of hot water. The soaked shells can then be used as a foam for cleaning.

Because the nuts have antiviral and antifungal effects they are also recommended to use as a spray to protect plants, repel insects and promote growth.

The instruction is to boil five nuts for five minutes in half a litre of water.

Cool the solution down, strain it through a fine sieve, and dilute with water, one part nut extract to five units of water.

The liquid, which looks like apple juice is also recommended in a dilute form (about 100 grams to two litres of water) to use a liquid soap and five nuts to 200ml of water are recommended as a shampoo.

Nicola provides full instructions for use and will fill and refill customer's own containers.

Apparently, the nuts have been used as a natural soap in India for generations.

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