Thursday, January 14, 2010

Soap Nuts

For the last few months we have been dealing with skin problems with Lyla (there will be plenty of posts regarding this). We've been trying out several things to see what helps and what makes it worse. Over the weekend I had to order some more detergent for her diapers since I was almost out. I did a lot of searching on both Hyena Cart and Etsy to find a safe, environmentally friendly, nonirritating, scent-free detergent for Lyla. During my search I came across a lady who makes her detergent out of Soap Nuts.

I had heard of soap nuts on both a cloth diaper group and a baby wearing group that I frequent. Seeing the name again prompted me to do a search on this detergent. I kept picturing in my head detergent that was solid and the size of a nut (kind of like a bath bomb). I was completely surprised though to find out that "Soap Nuts" are actually a FRUIT. Yes, a fruit. Soap nuts, also known as soap berries, are a sun dried fruit that come from a unique species of soap nut berry trees. These berries are harvested after they fall from the tree and the seed is removed from the shell and the shells are laid out in the sun to dry with absolutely no chemical processing. The shells of these berries contain a substance called saponin that produces a soaping effect. These are 100% natural and can be used for all kinds of household cleaning. To read more in depth information on this amazing fruit go here or here.

I was so excited to receive the small bag of soap nuts I purchased over the weekend and eagerly went to wash so clothes when they arrived. I decided to wash our two ferrets' blanket and our dogs blanket first. I figured that would be "the ultimate test". I followed the directions and tossed 4 of the berries in a Muslin bag (which was provided) and just tossed them in the washer (yep, that simple!). The blankets came out smelling like nothing (woo hoo!) and after going for a spin in the dryer they were ready to go. No pet smell, no harsh detergent smell, no detergent buildup, nothing but nice, clean blankets! The other great part of using these is the fact that you can use them up to 4-5 times before they're no longer effective. You don't just use and toss them. After your done with your laundry, just put the Muslin bag to the side for your next load. You'll know that it's time for new berries when the ones you've been using turn grey and soft.

I really love that these are 100% natural, chemical-free, fragrance-free, biodegradable, and hypoallergenic. There's nothing better than knowing your using something that's not only safe your you and your little ones, but something that is good for Mother Earth, too. I highly recommend AT LEAST trying them!
Here's a photo of my soap nuts:)

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