Oh laundry! The Neverending story as far as moms are concerned. My kids seem to think they need to change their clothes multiple times a day and I always seem to have mountains and mountains of laundry. I was making my own detergent for awhile but it was time consuming and sometimes left white soapy residue on darker clothes. My husband pleaded with me to stop using it and once I found out it wasn’t as healthy as I had previously thought, I decided to search high and low for another chemical-free, eco-friendly alternative for laundry soap. This post will share with you my experience with using Soap Nuts.
What are Soap Nuts?
Soap nuts are a berry shell that grow on the soap berry tree in the Himalayas. The berry shells contain saponin which is a natural cleaner. These soap nuts are safe on clothes and the skin and are perfect for people suffering from skin issues. Soap nuts are also safe for people with nut allergies because they come from a berry type fruit rather than a nut but their hard shell often gives them their name. They can be referred to as either Soap Nuts or Soap Berries and are a great eco-friendly alternative to laundry soap without chemicals and at a fraction of the cost (where to buy).
I have been using Soap Nuts for our laundry for a few weeks now and think they work well. I have heard that they don’t clean clothes that are heavily soiled, but we haven’t had a problem. I guess we don’t get our clothes very dirty, including my kids. In the rare instance that something has the potential to stain I pre-treat it, unfortunately, with a commercial product that does contain chemicals. It doesn’t happen often but I do allow this in my 80/20 balance of living healthy. I’ve learned to deal with it!
When I first used the soap nuts as an eco-friendly alternative to laundry soap I wasn’t sure I was totally convinced that I would love them. They were just these strange berry type pods. When I filled my first load I didn’t see any soap, bubbles, froth, NOTHING in the water. I decided to try anyways and when I pulled the load from the dryer later that day I couldn’t believe how soft the clothes felt. I added nothing extra, no softener, nothing in the dryer, NADA. Each load I washed had the same soft feel and smelled clean without the overkill of chemical fragrances like other detergents.
I spent less than $10 on a box of soap nuts that should last about 100 loads of laundry! You add a few berries to the muslin bags that were included in the box, throw in the washing machine and begin to fill it up. Add the clothes and wash normally. Remove the bag before throwing in the dryer (although if you forget, don’t worry about it, the berries are still good!). You can reuse the same berries for a few loads until the berries start to disintegrate. Once that happens you can discard the berries (add them to your compost!) refill the bag with new berries and continue to tackle that never ending pile of dirty laundry! I highly recommend giving these a try!
Have you tried soap nuts? We would love for you to share your experience!
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