Monday, August 3, 2009

"Soap Nuts?!" Are You Nuts?

Well, maybe. But there's nothing nutty about Soap Nuts other than their name. But, first, a little background. In the past few weeks I've been trying to come with an alternative to grocery store laundry detergent. I detest the chemical laden products that most stores sell. I can't even go down the detergent aisle without holding my breath because of the chemical smell. I've wondered about the new "green" versions of the name-brand products, wondering if they're really any greener than their "regular" conunterparts or if they have simply been "greenwashed" to make the guilt-ridden consumer feel better about purchasing their products. Then there's the whole cost issue. Laundry detergent is very expensive, especially most "green" versions. In the past couple of weeks or so I've been researching making my own laundry detergent, but I still wasn't completely comfortable with some of the ingredients I would need to use, nor was I very excited about the inconvenience of it.

Enter Soap Nuts. I came across and article about them last week on the Passionate Homemaking blog. (She's even having a giveaway of NaturOli's Liquid Laundry Detergent Concentrate and Green Cleaner - EXTREME 18X through tomorrow. For the giveaway, click on the "Passionate Homemaking" link above.) Despite their name, Soap Nuts are not nuts. They are actually the dried fruit of the Chinese Soapberry Tree, specifically, Sapindus Mukorossi. (Google it. It's all over the internet.) These fruits contain a very high concentration of saponin, a naturally occurring detergent. From the research I've done, I've learned that they clean very well, as well as soften clothes (which means no more spending money on fabric softener), not to mention they're VERY economical, costing as little as $0.07/washer load to use. For the liquid form it is recommended that you only use 1/2 tsp per load! Plus Soap Nuts can be used for almost any cleaning job around the house, and the liquid form is gentle enough for personal hygiene use as well. The main thing to watch out for when you're purchasing them is quality because apparently there are some very low-quality brands out there. According to the research I've done, NaturOli's quality is superior to other brands.

So, I've purchased a trial pack of NaturOli Soap Nuts on ebay. Hopefully it will come tomorrow, because I've got several loads of laundry waiting in the wings, breaking my one-load-of-laundry-a-day rule. I've been holding off on purchasing more laundry detergent. I really did not want to buy any more supermarket stuff. So in the coming days I'll let you know how it goes. If all the praise out there is true, I will soon have a new, cost-effective, truly green & sustainable laundry detergent!

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1 comment:

Chip and Co. said...

Let me know how that works out..We are using the Purex detergent, fabric softener, and dryer sheet in one..