Would you believe me, if I told you that laundry soap grows on trees? It does in Asia! It's even USDA-certified organic ;) Welcome to the wonderful world of soap nuts!
Sharing our dirty laundry with you today, is the Green Organic family. We had the pleasure of trying out a sample of soap nuts from Yoreganics; one of the few companies specializing in organically-sourced soap nuts. But what is a soap nut? The soap nut is actually not a nut; but the dried fruit from the Soapberry tree. Yoreganics chooses the fruit from the Sapindus mukorossi species of Soapberry tree, as this variety produces the most of its key cleansing component: saponin. When agitated in water, five soap nuts, tied in a little muslin bag, are plenty enough to get through four to six loads of laundry! Soap nuts do all this, while being non-toxic, chemical-free, allergy-friendly (they're berries; not nuts), and as Mother Nature herself designed them, they're good for the Earth, too.
I've actually had quite a bit of fun doing load after load today, and my dryer just beeped, signaling the end of the fourth load that we've washed with soap nuts today. I have to say, I am really impressed by cleaning power packed in these little cherry-sized dried berries. They have a hard shell, and are hollow on the inside. The shell is actually where the saponin lies. While the soap nuts have a sort of tangy, dried fruit smell (it kind of reminds me of the dried fruit my California relatives send us as gifts), they actually leave no smell at the end of the wash cycle! They also do an amazing job of cleaning, all without suds! The corporate conglomerates have misled us over the years, that you have to have bubbles (and lots of them) to get clean. Not true! The bubbles are a visual indicator; and if you ask me, I think they're a trick to try to get you to use more (and eventually buy more) of the product to create more suds. Since moving into our new home, I finally have the high-efficiency washer and dryer I've been salivating over for years. HE washers don't like suds anyway. Suds in a front-loader are a BAD thing (unless you want the sudsing action to continue onto your laundry room floor) ;)
So, the first load up for the day: the lights , whites, and pastels, including Green Organic Girl's wardrobe, adorned with their weekly carnage of food stains and miscellaneous preschool-age stuff. The challenger: five very brave, dried soap nuts, tied securely in their accompanying muslin bag. I also added a 1/2 tbsp of the "Brightens & Whitens" laundry enhancer; Yoreganics' own special weapon, free of chlorine, artificial fragrances, phosphates, and enzymes, yet powerful enough to tackle all sorts of stains. The "Brightens & Whitens" went in my powder dispenser, and the cloth bag with the soap nuts went in with the clothes. And away we went!
After one normal cycle, I was very pleasantly surprised! No smell whatsoever; except that of clean fabric! As the soap nuts remain in the machine through the whole cycle, the saponin they released in the rinse cycle acts as a fabric softener. Our clothes were fresh, bright, clean, and soft. No odors, and no residue. Just simply clean.
I continued on with three more very large loads, taking advantage of our wash drum's 4.4 cubic-foot capacity. The soap nuts worked great on everything from bath mats, a queen-size comforter, towels, sheets, and finally, reusable mop pads. Everything came out fresh and clean. I then did some further research into soap nuts, and you can actually boil a batch for 20 minutes, strain the liquid, and have your own multipurpose cleaner. A few soap nuts tossed in the utensil basket of your dishwasher will also get your dishes clean. Now that is impressive! When they're all used up, soap nuts don't get mushy, but the shells do get a visible waterlogged appearance. That's when it's time to put them in the compost, where they will readily biodegrade. Laundry soap that falls off a tree. You can't get any simpler and more natural than that.
We really have to extend a big thank you to Yoreganics. We thoroughly enjoyed their Laundry Trio, which includes not just the soap nuts and "Brightens & Whitens" enhancer, but also an all-natural coconut-based stain remover! It's perfectly sized to carry around on-the-go, and I love that it's a great bleach-free alternative to some of the pocket-sized stain removers on the market. Yoreganics has also won over this die-hard lip balm fanatic with their Simplemint certified organic lip balm; a bonus gift that comes with every Laundry Trio. It goes on smooth and has staying power, thanks to the balanced blend of organic palm oil, beeswax, and extra virgin olive oil. Then it leaves a refreshing tingle from the added essential oils of peppermint and spearmint. It smells great, and feels great :)
Now, here is your chance to win a Yoreganics Soap Nuts Laundry Trio & Lip Balm all to yourself!! One lucky GreenOrganicMama.com reader will win one of these awesome trios :)
Thank you to everyone who entered! This giveaway has come to a close. Please click here to see the results of our Random.org drawing and to congratulate our winner!
Please be sure to read the complete rules:
To enter this contest, first visit the Yoreganics Soap Nuts FAQ and see what they have to say about these amazing berries. Then, come back here and please leave a comment below, letting our readers know one fun fact you learned about Soap Nuts. Please be sure to leave your e-mail address, so I may contact you if you're the lucky winner.
Want extra chances to win?
For additional entries, please first leave a comment with one Soap Nuts fact from the Yoreganics FAQ, and then do any of the following, for a maximum of 9 (nine) total entries in this giveaway contest [please be sure to come back and leave a follow-up comment for each of these completed tasks, in order to be counted as an additional entry]:
- Like Yoreganics on Facebook
- Follow @Yoreganics on Twitter
- Like this giveaway on Facebook by clicking the Like button at the bottom of this post
- Follow GreenOrganicMama.com with either our RSS feed, or with Google Friend Connect
- Follow GreenOrganicMama.com on FaceBook with NetworkedBlogs
- Follow me on Twitter @greenorganicmom
- Tweet this giveaway: I just entered to win Organic Soap Nuts with @GreenOrganicMom
- Display our GreenOrganicMama.com badge on your blog
By entering this contest, you have read and understand the rules and fine print of this contest:
- Contest ends Sunday, July 18th, 2010 at 3:00PM EST
- Contest open to U.S. and Canadian residents
- Giveaway prize pack of one Yoreganics Laundry Trio sampler consists of: soap nuts, cloth bag, "Brightens & Whitens" laundry powder, stain remover spray, and Simplemint lip balm, to be awarded to one (1) randomly selected winner.
- One (1) winner shall be chosen from the pool of valid comment entries, using Random.org
- Winner will be contacted via e-mail, and will provide a valid U.S. or Canadian mailing address, for the purpose of directly mailing one giveaway prize to the winner.
- If Winner does not respond via e-mail within 48 hours of the prize drawing, another winner will be selected via Random.org, and new winner will be awarded the prize.
- Approximate retail value of the prize pack: $9.98 USD.
- Giveaway sponsor reserves the right to modify the prize package and quantities.
- Winner will be announced here on this blog, on Twitter, and on FaceBook.
Good luck to everyone!! :)
Photos copyright GreenOrganicMama.com.
No promotional consideration was paid for this post.
One Yoreganics Laundry Trio was provided for the purpose of this review.