Baby-Step #6 Laundry

Laundry detergent, fabric softener, dryer sheets, stain remover, etc.

When I did my previous post about cleaning supplies, I mainly focused on supplies for the bathroom and general areas of the home. This time I have been focusing on the laundry room. Ours is a small room in the basement that is full of different bottles for different things, it seems that every step of doing the laundry has its own product to go along with it. When did doing the laundry become so complicated? I am on a mission to simplify my life and my laundry routine has been needing an upgrade for a while now.

My old laundry routine included these products:WIN_20150604_100311

  1. Laundry detergent
  2. Fabric softener
  3. Bleach
  4. Dryer sheets
  5. Stain remover

All of which are packaged in plastic bottles or cardboard boxes, and are full of harmful chemicals. Since I am going green, I decided that the packaging and chemicals need to go, so I went looking for alternatives on the internet. I stumbled across a product that I was really skeptical about at first, called soap nuts. They are dried berries from India that grow on trees, they have a natural soap inside of them that activates when they get wet, it acts as both a soap and softener. I’ll admit that when I read about them I was very wary because I had never heard of them before, and I thought “how can a berry possibly clean my laundry?”.

To use soap nuts, they work best with warm water, but I find if I put them at the bottom of the washer and then put warm water on them until they suds, I can then switch the wash to cool water and they work just as well. They come with a cloth bag to put them into, and they say that they are good for 4-7 loads, I am on my fourth load with them, and they are still sudsy so I think I might get a few more loads out of them.

After buying a pound of them and trying them out, I am a believer that they will work for my personal laundry needs. I will start off by saying that I am a single woman whose clothes do not get extremely dirty or smelly, except for work-out clothes. I did a test run with the soap nuts on a few different loads to figure out what they could handle and what they couldn’t. I started with a load of my own clothes, ones that were not extremely smelly, they just had a bit of sweat on them. For this load I put 5 soap nuts into the bag and threw it in the wash with warm water. The clothes came out smelling like nothing at all, no sweat, no funky smells, no “clean” fragrance from artificial soaps…..nothing…and it was quite refreshing 🙂

The next load I did was a mix of regular towels, chlorine towels from our recent vacation, and a few bathing suits that smelled really bad after sitting in the car on our road trip. I used the same bag of nuts, and warm water. the regular towels came out smelling like nothing, but the chlorine filled towels and bathing suits still had a slight smell to them.

So for regular clothes, towels and stuff they work perfectly, but unfortunately they are not strong enough to handle bathing suits and towels that have been sitting in their own dried chlorine for three days.

If you are someone whose clothes are pretty average in how dirty they get, then I would recommend giving them a go. But if you are someone who has really dirty kids or clothes that get extremely smelly, then they might not work for you.

My new laundry routine:

  1. Soap nuts
  2. Bar of stain remover from The Soap Works (for those tough to remove stains )

They are affordable, green, and sans plastic packaging…what more could a girl want? 🙂



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