So we’ve all had one, one of those ‘Out of the Blue’ revelation moments. I had often thought about the chemicals and hazards in our environment. The noxious stuff in the air, the “who knows what” in the water and the awfulness sprayed on commercial produce – that’s some scary stuff.
So I grew organic produce, I filtered my water, and tried to make wise decisions about what I brought in to my home. And then it suddenly occurs to me (that revelation moment)… “What about my laundry?” Sure, I used a dermatologist approved brand. But, that certainly did not make the list of ingredients any more appealing. I wouldn’t eat something with that many scientific mysteries in it. So, why on earth would I choose to soak my clothes and linens in it? I figured; about 95% of my day, I was either wearing or sleeping in whatever mystery chemicals were being left behind on my laundry. Well, that was just unacceptable!
I found an alternative that was healthier and safer for my family and the environment. AND, it was a fraction of the cost of my old detergent . Soap nuts! They are 100% natural and chemical free. Soap nuts are the hulls of the soap berry. The soap berry hull contains saponins, a natural soap. I purchase from NaturOli, a Green Dot Award winning company. Their soap nuts are USDA certified organic and de-seeded. They are sold by weight and can be purchased for less than $20.00 per pound. So, how does all this work?
The soap nuts, usually 5 nuts (for average sized loads), are placed in a muslin draw string bag and added to the laundry load. These soap nuts will be used for multiple loads. Voila! They do their magic from there. The saponins will break down any oils and releases the grime from the laundry. Soap nuts have demonstrated their impressive power against my grungy garden attire, smokey camping gear, and most impressively; toddler clothing. They can be used with other laundry boosters such as bleach or borax if you wish. They are grey water safe for gardening or irrigating, and completely compostable. For all you numbers people (like me); 5 soap nuts weigh a bit less than one half ounce and will last me a full week of laundry, including linens, for a family of three. They are exhausted when they begin to look thin, dull and remain soft even after they are dry.
And, let’s not forget the drying! While line drying is the greatest Eco option, no Eco friendly laundry room could be complete without wool dryer balls. Wool dryer balls can be purchased or handmade (many great tutorials online.) They are a natural and chemical free fabric softener, and decrease the drying time by helping fluff and separate the laundry. They are inexpensive to purchase or make and can be reused indefinitely.
I could not be happier about my family’s laundry Eco makeover. Our changes are friendlier to our bodies, the environment and our budget. I’d say that’s a win, win, win!
April 11, 2016 at 11:09 am
Great article! I’m sharing at The Coastal Homestead. I have used these for years and love them. I also bought seeds to start my own trees since we live in similar climates, I may never harvest the berries but my kids will. I found they work best when I boil them and make a liquid detergent batch vs just putting them in the washer in a muslin bag. I don’t wash in hot enough water to release the saponin so making a liquid batch works best for me, you need to store in the fridge though because it can turn quick if left out.
December 8, 2016 at 4:10 pm
Very good to know, Amber! Thanks so much for the tip and thank you for sharing at the homestead. That’s awesome you started your own trees!