Chemical-Free Laundry Option

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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!