Have you ever heard of soapnuts?
Soapnuts are these little nuggets that despite being called nuts are actually berries from trees in the Himilayas. Their shells contain saponin, a natural detergent. They are biodegradable, antimicrobial, organically grown and good for sensitive skin. To use them, you put 3-5 soapnuts in a little linen bag and toss in your laundry machine (safe for HE too). You can use them 3 times too before composting. A $9.99 bag will do 35 loads of laundry – about 28 cents a load. But the 500 gram bag (the bulk one) comes down to $.19 cents a load. When you add in shipping cost, it comes out to $.24 cents a load.
I checked Consumer Reports for the prices on other detergents:
Tide – $.23
All – $.15
Cheer – $.15
Seventh Generation – $.36
Method – $.30
Evover – $.35
Shaklee – $.47
So if you buy the big bag, it’s actually much less expensive than other detergents – especially the other eco-friendly ones.
So was I skeptical? YES! With all the activity I do, I am one stinky girl! Most natural detergents I’ve tried have either not gotten the stinky out (Costco’s ECO Natural, Method – a little) or I don’t love the smell (Shaklee). I haven’t made my own before because I am afraid of Borax! So I was very very skeptical that these would actually clean – the arm pits and all the gross smelly parts of my clothes.
I gave them a test today – following the directions and using 5 drops of lavender essential oil on the bag – just like they say.
Andddddddddd – THEY WORKED!
When I pulled my clothes from washer –> dryer I smelled and smelled and smelled and inspected. All I could smell was the fresh scent of lavender.
But I knew from experience that sometimes the smells don’t come out until the clothes are hot. After drying with one of my wonderful Method Marshmallow Rice milk dryer sheets (SO SO worth $5.49!! I put the leftovers in my pillow cases for marshmallow dreams!), all I could smell was vanilla marshmallow lavender!
Am I going to do laundry with soapnuts for the rest of my life? Maybe! I’ll have to see how more loads go. But for being such an unusual, specialty product, I was very impressed. And I think the price is comparable for those of us committed to being greener all around. They have a 100% satisfaction guarantee – so there’s no risk to try them. That says to me they work.
I really want to order a few of their other essential oil blends! I always love things with cotton and linen in the name. And the Energy Blend has all of my favorite smells: peppermint, rosemary, lemon, and eucalyptus. [Edited to add while writing this post I just ordered the Energy Blend, Clean Cotton and Tea Tree – the prices were good on the oils and I can use them for my Shaklee bottles and steam vac too!]
I remember in the Bright Whites post Andrea recommended Soapnuts. Have any others of you ever used them? What did you think?