Soap whats?

Almost exactly a month ago, I took my crazy dirty hippy ways a step further and ordered the starter kit of Soapnuts from Laundry Tree.

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.


4 thoughts on “Soap whats?

  1. hi courtney! well…i have seriously considered..but not actually tried using vinegar and lemon juice (?) as a cleaning product for my bathrooms/kitchen, etc. I must say being pregnant again makes me think about all the chemicals i use to clean with and whether or not I or Hannah or ANYONE should use or touch them….i have lysol and clorox and all of those good things…..anyway…i've talked to a friend a little bit about how some these products (like lysol) smells make me "think" something is clean…because that is what i always associated with cleaning…but really the residue of chemicals is probably toxic…so i must admit i haven't tried it…but i would like to find some all-natural cleaning solutions because i'm sure they are safer and cheaper…..(ugh! this comment has become and essay…sorry!)

  2. woohoo for trying to go chem-free! ok, so I'll admit that I'm pretty lame and mostly what I do is just do the vinegar, b. soda bit. Never use those nasty glade plugins, or dryer sheets. Those dryer balls are awesome tho. I don't have any yet, but that's my next stepping stone.I use Charlies soap right now and love it, but I'm really interested in soap nuts (I have a 5 gal bucket of charlies, so i won't be buying any new soaps any time soon)Thanks for the giveaway! if I win, I'll share the love with my in-laws who are needing a little encouragement in the reduction of chems in their house. :)~Em

  3. cleaning seems to be the big theme so far . . .but since it is the biggest and easiest way that I have reduced chemicals-I use two cleaners in the bathroom-vinegar and hydrogen peroxide (and occasionally baking soda if I need some scrubbing action.) If you use both they kill more germs than bleach-you cannot mix them because there is a chemical reaction-but it is much easier and much quicker to wipe down with one and then wipe down with the other. 🙂 Thanks for the giveaway!

  4. What a great idea! Sad to say, I haven't really done much to be chemical free, except buying the occasional Greenworks cleaning supply and cleaning the windows with a vinegar and water solution and newspapers. I didn't even know they had other options for laundry. Good to know! And Inara's birthday cake is beautiful, you are SO talented!Joanna 🙂

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