We've started using a non-toxic laundry detergent that is 100% chemical-free. We've done fine with the fragrance-free/non-toxic options like 7th Generation, so I didn't feel pressed to try anything different. But when I read about a nut that transforms into laundry detergent, I just had to try it!
Soap nuts have been around for centuries. According to the website Green Virgin Products, "Soap Nuts are the fruit of the Chinese Soap Berry Tree. These amazing berries are harvested and then dried in the sun. No chemicals of any kind are added to our soap nuts. Laundry detergent with heavy chemicals is replaced with something all natural and totally organic. The soap nut contains a natural soap called saponin. Saponin has cleaning abilities equal to toxic chemical detergents. Soap Nuts are extremely hypo-allergenic and can be used by people who are allergic to all other detergents. They are completely green and don't pollute our planet. Soap Nuts go by many names, such as soap berries, wash berries, wash nuts, Ritha, Reetha, Aritha, Dodan, Doadni, Doda, Kanma, Thali."
Here is a picture of the nuts stirred in some water. They really do lather!
A small muslin drawstring bag comes with the nuts. You simply put 5 or so nuts in the bag and put in the washing machine. Remove the bag before switching to the dryer. I have to say our laundry is as clean as ever! I still add white vinegar and baking soda for added anti-fungal properties, but evidently the soap nuts have anti-fungal properties of their own.
Each set of 5 nuts can last through 6 or so cycles, so the soap nuts are economical, too!
June 2000 Chris, myself and our 8 children move from a small 1800-square-foot home in suburban Chicago to an expansive, relatively new 5500-square-foot home in Monument, Colorado. We choose Colorado for its beauty and close proximity to Chris’ writing colleagues... (read more)
You suspect mold in your home. Someone in your family has symptoms that baffle doctors. Where do you start? Here are some suggestions.
About Andrea Fabry
I am a former journalist and the mother of nine children ranging in age from 28 to 12. My husband Chris, myself, and our children find ourselves in the desert of Arizona attempting to rebuild our health and our lives following a massive toxic mold exposure. The organization momsAWARE comes out of this crisis as a means to help educate and empower others on the subject of environmental health. Our family has also launched a natural line of personal care products called Just So, available at our Online Store.
Just So Natural Products
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Things I Have Learned Along The Way
Horopito, Olive Leaf Extract, Pau d'arco, Garlic, and Grapefruit Seed Extract are a few of the natural antifungals.
The importance of mold remediation is talked about in the Old Testament. It is clear in Leviticus 14 that mold is hazardous
Add borax and/or white vinegar and/or baking soda to your laundry. These are all excellent antifungal agents.
Chlorine bleach will not kill the toxins produced by mold. In fact, the chlorine makes the toxins more lipid soluble. The toxins then penetrate the skin more readily.
Ventilate your home whenever possible. If you have an opportunity to open a window even for an hour it is healthy. Stagnant air is like stagnant water.
In 1999 the Mayo Clinic released a study implicating fungus as the primary cause of chronic sinus infections. 96% of those studied showed high counts of mold spores in their nasal passages.