Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Most Eco-Friendly and Affordable Laundry Product

Eco Nuts - An Affordable, Green Alternative to Laundry Soap
For over a decade I've been researching the healthiest, most eco-friendly AND economical way to do laundry. As a result, I've switched brands every time something more pure and less packaged came along. My most were two companies that make highly concentrated, all-natural powders that require a mere tablespoon to clean a large load. While the small and easily recyclable cardboard packaging was great, I was always troubled by the plastic scoop these "natural" companies provided - and that I was collecting on a bi-monthly basis. This over-packaging (something I loath) sent me on a quest to finally give soap nuts a try.

Soap nuts are the reusable dried berries of the Chinese Soapberry Tree (Sapindus Mukorossi) which grows in the Himalayan foothills. Soap nuts contain saponin, an all-natural surfactant that breaks through the surface tension of water to more easily penetrate and clean fabric. There are several online retailers and companies that sell soap nuts to local health food stores and such, but I decided to try the relatively new brand Eco Nuts. Why I chose to go with Eco Nuts was primarily their minimalistic packaging - a small paper box with no plastic whatsoever. Each tiny Eco Nuts box comes with two small, unbleached 100% cotton sacks that hold the soap nuts when you do your wash. I immediately fell in love the fresh, natural smell of the dry berries and was very impressed with how well they cleaned my family's clothes in our front load HE washer.

Eco Nuts claims you can get 100 washes out of their $10 box. That translates to about 10 washes per  grouping of 4-5 soap nuts. I believe this to be true - if you actually have the time to dry your soap nuts between washes. With a large family that does a lot of sports and dirt digging, however, I found that to be impossible. I tried rotating the soap nuts and drying one set while using another, but since I tend to do a whole week's worth of dirty laundry in one day, that was hard to do. I would say, in our family, we get about 70 washes per box, which is still an amazing deal.

Last week we ran out of Eco Nuts and I decided to pick up a box of all-natural powder. My 9 year saw that I was using powder again and exclaimed in horror "Mommy! Where are the Eco Nuts? I love Eco Nuts! They're so much better for the planet!" Her reaction resulted in me (a) immediately adding Eco Nuts to my shopping list for the week, and (b) taking a relaxed breath because clearly the future of our planet is in good hands with this very concerned and highly-informed generation of children at the helm.

Eco Nuts can be found at Whole Foods Market,, and many local healthfood store. To read more about Eco Nuts and all their cleaning products go to:

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