I got my first official question by email today. Yay!
“Have you ever tried soap nuts? I just read about them and am intrigued.”
Follow that intrigue! Yes, I have used soap nuts for my laundry, and they worked well. They’re nontoxic, economical, and SIMPLE. Ingredient list: soap nuts.
For those wondering what I’m talking about, I’ll let NaturOli, a good soap nut company, explain:
Very simply, soap nuts are the dried shells (or husks) from the soapberry (or soap berry nut). These berries are the fruit from a quite unique tree species. These shells contain a substance called saponin that produces a soaping effect. Saponin is a 100% natural alternative to chemical laundry detergent and cleansers. It can replace many chemical detergents such as those containing sodium laureth sulphate (SLS) that are becoming well known by consumers for being a skin irritant and health hazard.
Soap nuts have been used for centuries throughout the world as a laundry detergent, as soap for personal hygiene, and as a cleanser with a plethora of other uses. It is most commonly used in India, China, parts of Europe and numerous countries in the eastern hemisphere. (source)
[Note: A blog reader alerted me to some underhanded advertising on NaturOli’s part. I do still believe they sell a good product, but will not be supporting them further with my business. Their marketing is not illegal, but it is misleading and not to my taste.]
After rehydrating them in warm water, you put a few of these shriveled up “nuts” in a muslin bag and toss it in with your laundry. Clothes come out clean. Amazing, right? As I write this, I’m not entirely sure why I stopped using them after my experiment a few years ago. Two possibilities:
2) They’re a wee bit of a pain, with the rehydrating and the fishing them out of the load before it goes into the dryer and the keeping up with how many times you’ve used them. Maybe for me they’re too much of a pain, especially since I have help with some of our laundry, and I strongly suspect Miss C would not love soap nuts. They do require a mental shift.