Friday, July 29, 2011

Soap Nuts: 100% safe Laundry & Dishwasher detergent

Today I sought out to find a completely safe laundry & dish detergent through research and lots of internet searching. All this came about after reading through the first couple chapters of my new summer read "The pollution inside you: what is your body dying to say?" by Rhonda Donahue. She is a highly educated organic and naturopathic Doctor that has written a book about how and why our bodies react to all the chemicals and poisons of our everyday life. In the book she makes a list of the most toxic everyday household chemicals. There are too many to name but some that made it to the top of my "change immediately list" were laundry and dishwasher detergent, make-up, toothpaste, deodorant, and hair products. I plan on changing out all of these to an all natural alternative within a month or two. It wasn't her persuasive writing that had me wanting to make a lifestyle change, it was her extensive research on the problems and devastating diseases that the chemicals in our everyday hygiene products  cause. It is most definitely an eye opening read and would recommend it to anyone who is interested in knowing what causes their health issues.

On to the research! 

So I got to thinking I need to look for a better detergent and read all the ingredients before I buy. ALL.. I mean ALL of them are chemically ridden. I went through every detergent (laundry and dish) and found not one without caustic chemicals listed. That includes seventh generation products which list their product as environmentally safe. Just because it's environmentally safe does not mean it's safe for our use. Which is kinda scary and sad. 
Awhile back I saw a blog post about making your own detergents. I thought that had to be the way to go about this dilemma. It's better than store bought but not much. Most of the recipes call for; Washing Soda, Borax, Glycerin, and then a bar of plain soap (ivory, dial, Fels Naptha, ect.) which most likely contains lye and other chemicals. I read over the reviews and some readers were commenting on the caustic compounds of Borax, Washing Soda, and lye. It was enough to convince me that this was not the route I wanted. I kept thinking, there is got to be a way to naturally clean your clothes and not have the harmful chemical residues left in the fibers. I typed into google search: natural and safe laundry cleaning and the answer to my searching appeared! SOAP NUTS!

Wikipedia explains: Greener Living Soap Nuts is a USDA certifiednatural and eco-friendly cleaning detergent and soap founded by MelfortSaskatchewan couple Erin and Matt Johnson that was featured on CBC's Dragons' Den and received capital from Dragon W. Brett Wilson. The detergent is a green alternative to chemical cleaners and can be used for laundry cleaning or used to make green dish and dishwasher detergent among many other uses, including using as a natural soap to prevent allergic reactions or shampoo to fight dry hairdandruff and lice.

Greener Living Soap Nuts are natural soap berries that the Johnsons have been importing from from South Asian counties like India and Nepal since 2008. They contain large quantities of saponin in their shells and as such, act as a natural detergent. The reason they are considered eco-friendly is not only because they are a natural resource but also because they are antimicrobial and biodegradable.
Used as natural soaps, they have also been known to cure eczema and psoriasis caused by chemicals in regular laundry detergent and since they are hypoallergenic, soap nuts do not harm the skin or trigger any allergic reactions.The soap nuts can also be used as shampoo to fight dandruff and lice, detoxify food, clean jewelry, among many other uses.
This is what I have been looking for....... well not exactly. I expected to find some recipe for a mixtures of baking soda, vinegar, lemon juice and essential oils but this is better! Now, does it clean your clothes, does it leave a odor or take away odor for that matter...? 
The website says; "They are one of the best detergents to get rid of bad odors.  Musty towels and wash cloths, even cloth diapers, come out smelling fresh and new.  Stubborn stains, though, such as blood & red wine, require a stain remover to help the cleaning process. You can also use 1/2c. lemon juice or hydrogen peroxide to help brighten your white clothes." 
I'm convinced! And I know for a fact hydrogen peroxide and baking soda take blood and other stains out even the whitest whites...I have done it!

What is even more awesome about this company is that even if your a little skeptical and want to try them out first they offer a trial size for $1.69! I've placed my order for the trial size if you hadn't already assumed.
I'll post bragging and boasting on this amazing natural cleaner in a later blog entry :)

There are many brands and consistency's you can get the soap nuts and all of them wash more loads than the usual laundry detergents and they cost less.

A few other Blogs and Articles I found during my research post on soap nuts:


  1. I just happened to come across this article and am wondering... how did you like these soap nuts? Did it work? Are you still using them? I looked for a follow up but couldn't find one. This product has peaked my interest as I've been looking for safer products for my family. Thanks!

  2. I have been using soapnuts for a month now and can vouch for its efficacy and safety on clothes and dishes. Stains can be treated with baking soda, vinegar, lemon juice or even plain old salt! All completely green and safe. Plus no more ugly residue/scaling in the washing machine! The smell is also refreshing, but if you need a change, a few drops of essential oil in the last rinse does wonders!

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