"Are you nuts?" was pretty much the response I got from my husband when he first heard about soap nuts. "You're going to wash clothes with these?" he asked as he held a few of them in his hands. "Do you want to explain to me how exactly they are going to get the clothing clean?"
Well, I didn't really have an explanation. And, quite honestly, I had my doubts. I mean they were, after all, just a bunch of nut shells.
So, with a bit of trepidation, I put 5 of them in the little cloth drawstring bag that accompanied them, and I tossed them into the water with a load of towels. I skipped my usual vinegar rinse, since the instructions said not to use fabric softener and vinegar is my fabric softener. And, of course, I did not add any detergent.
After the cycle ran, I was eager to check the results. The first thing that hit me as I pulled a towel from the washer was the amazing scent! Like my husband said, the towels smelled like they'd just come in from the clothesline. Amazingly clean smelling!
I tossed the towels in the dryer with my wool dryer balls, as it was not a hanging-on-the-line kind of a day, and let me tell you -- they came out looking and smelling clean. Plus, as an added bonus, they were super soft and fluffy as well. I must say that static was an issue as the curtains I'd added to the wash clung to the towels like a co-dependent girlfriend or boyfriend. But to be truthful, I haven't found anything that works on static so far.
Next, I did a load of throw rugs. Same pleasant results. Then it was time for my delicates, which I never put in the dryer. Even after drying on the line in the basement, they still had the same fresh, springlike scent. Amazing. I think I'm in love.
But what exactly am I in love with? Eco Nuts, Organic Laundry Soap in the form of dried fruit shells from the Sapindus mukorossi tree in Nepal, India and Indonesia. Sounds strange, I know, but you have to try these to believe it. Residents of India and China have been using these for centuries and finally, Europeans and Americans are finally catching on to the wonders of these magical little soap nuts!
Here's what the flyer in the package of sample Eco Nuts says about them:
"Eco Nuts contain saponin, a natural cleaner that works as a surfactant, breaking the surface tension of the water to penetrate the fibers of your clothing, lifting stains from the fabric and leaving dirt suspended in the water to be rinsed away."
It sounds like a wild sci-fi experiment to me!
The flyer continues:
"Eco Nuts are gentle on both clothes and skin, making them ideal for those with sensitive skin, eczema, allergies and psoriasis. Because they are so mild and leave no residuals, they are perfect for baby clothes and cloth diapers. The antimicrobial properties of Eco Nuts also make them great for septic and grey water systems."
Did you read that ... perfect for baby clothes and cloth diapers? How many commercial detergents can truly boast that claim?
And here's the thing, these mighty soap nuts work well in any temperature water, which means all the cold water washing I do is just fine. And they can be used in both standard and high-efficiency washing machines.
Eco Nuts even work well as a multipurpose soap. You simply put 5 of the soap nuts in the little fabric bag you use for your wash loads and soak it in a cup of hot water for about five minutes. Add this mix to a bucket of water and you're good to go! From outdoor equipment to delicate jewelry to even Fido and Fluffy! Soap nuts are multi-purpose little cleaning machines!
There's something else to love about Eco Nuts -- the company uses absolutely NO PLASTIC! They only use aluminum bottles, recycled cardboard and paper scoops.
But my daughter is allergic to peanuts! Can I still use soap nuts?
Absolutely! Why? Because soap nuts aren't actually nuts at all. They are a berry fruit similar to the lychee. All Eco Nuts products are cruelty-free, paraben-free and vegan.
Why should you buy Eco Nuts over other soap nut brands? And it's not just because they sent me this sample to try for free! This is why:
Eco Nuts™ are wild-harvested, meaning they are gathered from wild trees grown without any kind of chemicals, fertilizers, or pesticides. The saponin actually tastes bad to insects so no pesticides are needed, and the trees naturally love poor uncultivated soil. They are organically grown by mother earth and certified USDA Organic by EcoCert at the source.
I'm hard-pressed to think that I would go back to liquid or powder detergent ever again. In just a few loads of laundry, I became an Eco Nuts convert. Give them a try. I'm pretty much betting you'll be joining me in the Eco Nuts fan club!
Click here for a list of retailers in the U.S., Japan, U.K. and Canada currently carrying Eco Nuts. Canadian friends can contact Jill at Green Baby Clothing Company and tell her Green Grandma sent you! Of course, she ships to the U.S. as well, so my friends in the States can place their orders with her as well.
If you truly want to reduce your environmental impact, Eco Nuts is just one more product that will help you do just that.
Keeping it green,
Click here for more information about the amazing world of soap nuts!