Author Topic: Soap Nuts / Soap Berries as laundry soap?  (Read 2534 times)

ErinG

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Soap Nuts / Soap Berries as laundry soap?
« on: October 21, 2012, 06:14:59 PM »
So I found a cool looking product that looks frugal and eco-friendly called soap nuts. Has anybody here tried them? Are all the glowing reviews online true? How do they work out cost-wise?
I think I want to try them. Any anti-soap nuts out there?

James

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Re: Soap Nuts / Soap Berries as laundry soap?
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2012, 06:42:30 PM »
We used them for a while, not sure why we stopped, I'll ask my wife.  Seemed to work fine though.
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I.P. Daley

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Re: Soap Nuts / Soap Berries as laundry soap?
« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2012, 07:26:34 PM »
No complaints here, either. Good price, eco-friendly. They're just not worth the hassle if you're using a laundromat.
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kudy

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Re: Soap Nuts / Soap Berries as laundry soap?
« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2012, 07:34:02 PM »
Don't want to derail discussion on soap nuts, but this seems like a relevant topic to something I was reading about earlier - it's a machine called pureWash, it claims to eliminate the need for laundry soap altogether, somehow treating the water so that it's oxygenated and cleans without soap.  No idea if it works, but if it did, it might be really awesome to pay the initial investment, and then save money after the break even point on soap and hot water costs.

TomTX

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Re: Soap Nuts / Soap Berries as laundry soap?
« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2012, 07:59:40 PM »
My understanding is that we typically use WAY more soap than is really needed in the laundry, and clothes will usually have enough residual soap from a "standard" washing to take care of the NEXT washing.

We use half the recommended amount of soap, and everything comes out clean. We could probably cut back further - but I'm not usually the one doing the laundry and so try not to interfere too much.

jennie

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Re: Soap Nuts / Soap Berries as laundry soap?
« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2012, 09:38:02 PM »
I also like the idea of soap nuts but have no experience using them.  I usually buy whatever 'eco'-ish detergent is on sale, then use half or less of the recommended amount.  Clothes feel and look clean and smell fresh.  I also use vinegar in the rinse cycle instead of softener or dryer sheets which can leave a waxy residue on clothes and reduce absorption of towels over time. 
If you start using the soap nuts please report back!

Shandi76

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Re: Soap Nuts / Soap Berries as laundry soap?
« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2012, 01:29:00 AM »
I used soap nuts for a couple of years. They worked out a lot cheaper than detergent and seemed to do the job fine.

I got my Mum some but she gifted me back most of the box because "they made the washing machine smell funny". I have a very poor sense of smell so had never noticed this. After that I was paranoid that my clothes smelled funny too and people were just too polite to tell me.

ErinG

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Re: Soap Nuts / Soap Berries as laundry soap?
« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2012, 05:39:09 AM »
Thank you!
Alrighty! I already skip the fabric softener. Not to save money, but I can't stand the greasy/ waxy feeling it leaves on my clothes. I use Tide (powder). My husband does asphalt paving and besides being covered in dirt and tar, his clothes are often diesel soaked. I wash in cold water and only the Tide seems to get the diesel out (nothing gets the tar and stains out). Also, he complains of being itchy if I use a different brand. I will get the soap nuts before I run out of Tide. Then I'll run some experiments. His work clothes are already separated before washing, so I'll start of washing my own in the soap nuts. If that works out OK, I'll try a few items of the kids to test for allergies. If that works out, I'll sneak some of his undershirts into my load (secretly) and see if I get any complaints. If it doesn't make him itch and the clothes are clean enough, then I will stop hiding the soap nuts from him. ;)
If all goes well, we'll fully switch to the soap nuts. I hypothesize that the switch will go unnoticed but that the soap nuts won't handle the asphalt loads and I'll have to keep some Tide around to handle that.
I will let y'all know.
By the way, any recommendations on where to buy or what brand?

James

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Re: Soap Nuts / Soap Berries as laundry soap?
« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2012, 06:43:50 AM »
I used soap nuts for a couple of years. They worked out a lot cheaper than detergent and seemed to do the job fine.

I got my Mum some but she gifted me back most of the box because "they made the washing machine smell funny". I have a very poor sense of smell so had never noticed this. After that I was paranoid that my clothes smelled funny too and people were just too polite to tell me.


I think this is why we got away from them also, we had some problems with smell in the machine.  We tried cleaning with bleach once in a while, and keeping the door open, but it just wasn't worth it at the time so we gradually went back to regular soap.  We do have a HE machine and I use about half the soap, and I often skip soap entirely if I don't see the need.
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twinge

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Re: Soap Nuts / Soap Berries as laundry soap?
« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2012, 08:21:20 AM »
We use soap nuts.  Great for our skin sensitivities and our HE machine.  The HE machines smell funny if you leave the door closed no matter what you do (IMO) and I haven't noticed it worse with soap nuts (and I have a super-sensitive sense of smell). If we remember to leave the washer door open after using, and not leave clothes in there a long time, there is no smell.

  We do use "oxygen bleach" maybe 1x every couple of months to whiten things up and that may help from build up.  We've used them for maybe 4 years now--even on cloth diapers.

PJ

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Re: Soap Nuts / Soap Berries as laundry soap?
« Reply #10 on: October 22, 2012, 02:56:37 PM »
I also use less (about half?) of the recommended amount of laundry soap and haven't noticed a problem with things not getting clean.  I'm not cleaning diesel oil off my clothes though ... mostly just cat and dog hair! 

Seems like maybe the weird smelling washing machine thing wouldn't be an issue if you were still doing at least some loads with Tide for your husband's work clothes?
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ErinG

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Re: Soap Nuts / Soap Berries as laundry soap?
« Reply #11 on: October 22, 2012, 05:01:17 PM »
I also use less (about half?) of the recommended amount of laundry soap and haven't noticed a problem with things not getting clean.  I'm not cleaning diesel oil off my clothes though ... mostly just cat and dog hair! 

Seems like maybe the weird smelling washing machine thing wouldn't be an issue if you were still doing at least some loads with Tide for your husband's work clothes?


I think you have me mixed up with James or Shandi. I don't have the front loader and I don't have the soap nuts yet. I ordered them today. I have heard ppl complain about the smell of front loaders though. Not having one, I can only guess that maybe the inside doesn't dry out fast enough.
I will see what laundry the soap nuts can handle. I am not confident about the asphalt clothes, but always open to pleasant surprises. I'll report back once I have some results! I usually just eyeball the Tide to the number 2 line (as opposed to the 1 line for small loads or 3 line for large loads) and ALWAYS wash full loads.
(I'm kind of excited, which is silly....but that's me!)

PJ

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Re: Soap Nuts / Soap Berries as laundry soap?
« Reply #12 on: October 22, 2012, 08:27:10 PM »
I think you have me mixed up with James or Shandi. I don't have the front loader and I don't have the soap nuts yet. I ordered them today.

No, I get that ... I was just thinking that I hoped you wouldn't be put off experimenting with the soap nuts by the possibility that your machine could end up smelling funny.  :-)
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caligulala

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Re: Soap Nuts / Soap Berries as laundry soap?
« Reply #13 on: October 22, 2012, 09:54:53 PM »
If you don't end up liking the soap nuts, we use Charlie's Soap which you only use a teaspoon per load. We bought the 5 gallon bucket 2.5 years ago and have gone through about 1/3 of it. I calculated that it costs about 6 cents a load. No smell and no residue. Love that stuff.

fiveoh

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Re: Soap Nuts / Soap Berries as laundry soap?
« Reply #14 on: October 23, 2012, 08:03:35 AM »
Slightly off topic but did anyone see econuts(soap nuts product) on shark tank last friday?   I didnt even know these existed until I saw that and now I came here and saw this thread.  :)

ErinG

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Re: Soap Nuts / Soap Berries as laundry soap?
« Reply #15 on: October 23, 2012, 11:35:09 AM »
I don't know what Shark Tank is. I found them by browsing for homemade laundry soap and and other frugal laundry ideas.

Woolie

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Re: Soap Nuts / Soap Berries as laundry soap?
« Reply #16 on: October 24, 2012, 08:48:25 AM »
I used to use them. I didn't notice a funny smell or anything like that though. Not on my clothes or in my machine.

I do have an HE machine and on some clothes I felt they just didn't do as good a job as other types of detergents. I found on my young son's extra dirty played-outside-all-day clothes that they didn't always seem to get everything out in the first wash. However, I have a friend that has a non-HE machine and her husband works in a machine shop so his clothes are often covered with oils and grease and dirt and she says they work very well on his clothing.