With three dogs and eight cats, I do a LOT of laundry, so I am always looking for the safest, least toxic way to clean my laundry. Unfortunately, most laundry detergents contain toxic chemicals and artificial fragrances, etc.
So I started using store-bought “green” laundry detergent which worked great, but most were a little pricey (again, I do a LOT of laundry). I then graduated to making my own laundry detergent which I used for many years. It was definitely more cost effective than buying store-bought, but I still wasn’t totally thrilled with some of the ingredients.
And then it happened. At a women business owners event, I met a wonderful woman (Mari Fox, founder of Shecology) who told me about the absolute least toxic way to clean my laundry – soap nuts! These little beauties are totally natural (they’re part of a plant, for heavens sake!) and once they’re used, I can compost them. How cool is that?
Soap nuts are actually not nuts at all – they are sun dried fruit from the “Soapberry” tree native to Northern India and Southern Nepal. Soap nuts contain a natural surfactant “saponin.” When dissolved in water, saponin transforms into a foamy substance that removes dirt and odors (even cat pee – see testimonials below!).
I have been using soap nuts for almost two years now and absolutely love them! I buy the soap nuts in bulk and then use the boiling method to create a liquid concentrate. When ready to do my laundry, I just add ¼ cup of the concentrate to each load – easy peasy! Or you can use Mother’s Little Helper Laundry Pills – another easy way to use soap nuts for laundry (Soap Nut Powder in vegan capsules: just toss them in the washer). Soap nuts work great for washing my Cat Perch Covers so they come out clean, soft, smelling good, and free of all chemicals!
For more info on how to use soap nuts, check out Shecology’s delightful, informative website.
Soap Nuts/Cat Pee Testimonials:
“My cat peed in my daughters book bag. These magical laundry pills took the smell out in one wash!!!! One wash!!!!!!! Unbelievable, truly unbelievable.” — Kelley W., Asheville, NC
This customer had a rug that had been used as a toilet by her kitty. The rug was precious and was taken to a Professional Cleaner. The odor still lingered. As a last ditch effort since the rug was potentially ruined anyway she decided to soak it in her bathtub with 10 Laundry Pills for an extra boost of cleaning power. Here is what she said: “Your magic laundry soap took the cat odor out! I’m not kidding it took out the smell.” — Jennifer, A., Asheville, NC