Upon mentioning this on Twitter & Facebook I got a mixed bag of reactions as to my sanity and others personal interest in the product. However, for the few of you who were truly interested I promised a comprehensive review, so here it is.
I guess I should start at the beginning…
I heard about Soapnuts on Simple Mom (really, I do love that blog!) and they piqued my interest. After thinking about but not buying them (I think maybe back around Christmas) Simple Mom again brought them to mind at the end of May during her Summer Week of Giveaways series. I did some more research and convinced Chris to let me try them and the next time I was starting to run low on laundry detergent, I ordered some.
I guess I should maybe explain what the heck a soapnut is.
Soapnuts are a fruit of a tree that have been de-seeded and then dried in the sun. The outer shell of the soapnut contains saponin, a natural substance known for its ability to cleanse and wash. So, really it’s the casing of the fruit you are using to wash with, that’s where the “soap” is.
How you use them is to put 3-5 in one of the drawstring bag that’s included in your kit. Tie the bag closed and toss it directly in with your laundry. The saponin only releases in warm or hot water though, so if you wash on cold, you will need to use a soapnut soak which is what I do for half our diapering loads. The soak is really easy to make, and then you simply put in 1/4 to 1/2 a cup of the liquid with your cold water laundry.
I’ve also used the soak to dilute and use as a household cleaner, and let me tell you I’ve NEVER seen our windows and mirrors so clean.
So, my review:
I really love the soapnuts soak for cold laundry and household cleaning I did not however like it at all for a hand cleaner and was really disappointed by it and the foam pump that I ordered from laundry tree. I did realize the need to refrigerate the soak solution though or it went gross.
For our regular laundry, I was on warm and toss in my soapnuts bag and everything comes out clean and fregrance free, the way laundry should. I have noticed that our clothes are softer and our towels are fluffier. Keep in mind that I don’t (and haven’t for years) use laundry softener or fabric sheets in the dryer. I also use a scoop of oxyclean with Inara’s clothes and our whites and everything comes out great looking!
I have started using the essential oils that I’ve bought from laundry tree but haven’t been enamored with the results. I’ve tried both adding it to the wash and the dryer per the instructions from Laundry Tree’s site, neither with amazing results, then again I may be asking too much since I’m used to the artificially strong chemical laundry sents associated with fabric softeners.
The original starter kit lasted us about 1 months worth of laundry, and I do at least one load a day Monday through Friday of regular laundry and a couple loads (3ish) of diapers a week. This week I ordered our next supply and since I’m totally satisfied (and Chris begrudgingly said he thought it worked OK) I went ahead and ordered the 500g package which should last us at least 6 months I’m guessing.
Since I was so happy, I also ordered some fun to share the love with others. In the starter kit I originally ordered it included this handy drawstring 20g bag of soapnuts with a basic instructions tag attached. I kept it, I also ordered a second one with my new order. So, I’m giving them away!
Only, there’s more to it than that – I realized as I was unpacking this order and putting the soapnuts in the jar I store them in that I had WAY more than would fit in the jar, and had extra wash bags that had never been used…
Two lovely winners will each recive two 20 gram wash bags of soapnuts and one insturction card! Thats enough for around 20 loads of laundry!
To win, all you have to do is comment with one way you are trying or have thought about doing to remove the chemicals from your home.