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Would You Wash Your Clothes with a Bag of Nuts?

DSC_0199 (3)I wrote about creating your own laundry detergent a couple of weeks ago, so I’ve been a little laundry obsessed since then. Believe me, that is not a normal obsession for me! As I was researching homemade laundry detergent, I came across the subject of soapnuts/soapberries.

Until last week, I had never tried these so I was skeptical. The soap nut grows on the tree Sapindus Mukorossi and looks like a nut although it’s truly a fruit. The shells contains saponins which are a natural detergent.

There are a variety of companies that sell soap nuts or products made from soap nuts. SoapBerries is one of those companies. They take the interior seed and replant it then put the shells in a compostable bag. It’s quite ingenious, simple and environmentally conscious. You can read more about more about SoapBerries on their site.

I received two free sample packs from Green Scientific, and I told the representative that I would try them out and give my opinion. I loved the eco-friendliness but wasn’t sure if they would actually get the clothes clean. I was very pleasantly surprised with the results.


I washed 6 loads of laundry with each sample. My washing machine is an HE and quite temperamental so any new products are a challenge. SoapBerries were simply awesome. Here are the best aspects:

  1. Easy – Throw a packet in the washing machine with your laundry. Use each pack 4-6 times and just lay the packet out to dry out a little between washes if you aren’t doing continuous loads.
  2. No Mess – I didn’t have detergent all over the place for a change. I’m not sure how I make such a mess with my detergent, but I end up with detergent everywhere even when I use liquid.
  3. No Residue in my washing machine which is a real issue for me in my HE washer. Typically, I wipe the inside ring of the washer after every single use with vinegar and a rag. Every detergent I’ve used leaves some residue in that ring in addition to lint and dog hair. I was surprised by how little I needed to clean out the ring in the washer.
  4. Clean Clothes – I did loads of towels which came out fluffy with no residue. We had some snow this past weekend so my daughter and I slid down the hill in my neighborhood which was more of a mud/snow hill than real snow. We had mud all over our clothes. I rinsed them out with water then threw them in the washer. I also died my hair with henna this weekend which ended up all over a turquoise tank top I had on. I rinsed it with water and threw it in with the muddy clothes. They all came totally clean!
  5. No Smell – Clean clothes shouldn’t have a mountain fresh smell. Clean clothes should have zero smell which was exactly the case with my clothes after washing them with SoapBerries. The berries themselves have a funny smell when they are wet, but your clothes come out clean with no fragrance.
  6. Fully Compostable Packaging – Easy to use and earth friendly!
  7. Inexpensive – Right now on their site, you can purchase two boxes for $39.98 (on sale). That’s enough to wash 240 loads of clothes (120 per box). That’s super cheap- actually it’s a few dollars cheaper than my homemade version.


Final Thoughts on SoapBerries

Frankly, I’m impressed! I would actually say that these SoapBerries are even better than my homemade laundry detergent at getting my clothes clean. As soon as I go through my box of homemade detergent, I plan to switch to SoapBerries. You can purchase SoapBerries here.


How about you? Have you ever used or heard of soap nuts? Let me know in the comments!


* All information is for educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.



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