Those were my first thoughts upon hearing about Maggie’s Soap Nuts.
So what are Soap Nuts?
No, they aren’t really nuts (so no worries for those of you who might have nut allergies), but they do grow on trees. And yes, they are a soap! Let me explain. Rather, let me let Maggie’s Pure Land explain…
Maggie’s Soap Nuts are the dried fruit of the Chinese Soapberry Tree (Sapindus mukorrosi), related to the lychee and rambutan. They are harvested in Indian and Indonesian jungles where Soap Nut trees are holding forests and families together! Maggie’s Soap Nuts fall to the ground where they are collected by local folks who have used them for centuries. No fertilizer or pesticides are ever used.
How do they work?
Soap Nuts contain saponin, a natural cleaner (and fabric softener!) used for thousands of years to clean clothes, just like the plants used by Native Americans for washing.
How do you use it?
All you do is add 5 soap nuts (2-3 for HE washers) into the provided cotton sack, tie it closed, and drop it in with your clothes. Take out the sack before you dry the clothes, and reuse the nuts up to 5 times (twice as long if you use cold water). Once the soap nut shells are dried up and have no more saponin, compost them. They are 100% BIODEGRADABLE!
What about the liquid version?
Because Maggie’s Soap Nut Laundry Liquid is super concentrated, all you need is about a capful. Or for those of you, like me, that need to be more precise, use 1 ounce (1/2 ounce for HE washers) for normal loads of laundry.
What did I think about Soap Nuts?
The Soap Nuts looked and felt really foreign to me at first. They are sticky and smell of vinegar. Yuck! I was a little worried. Okay, A LOT worried. However, my clothes did not feel sticky or smell vinegary after the wash.
The laundry liquid had a very slight lavender and tea tree scent, but again, that fragrance was not left on the clothes.
Actually, I really enjoyed the experience of using the Soap Nuts, but I think I would prefer the liquid version, if given the choice. I admit that it took a couple of loads for me to really get used to the idea and to trust that my clothes were getting clean. I mean, I didn’t see any bubbles (they are low sudsing) and my clothes didn’t smell like anything. (Like many of you, I grew up thinking that something is clean based on the commercialized smell of “clean.” The perfumes in detergents have nothing to do with how clean they actually get your clothes. That was a hard concept for me to let go of.)
Ultimately, how could I tell that it was working? Well, my laundry was whiter, brighter, softer, and there were no stains.
Soap nuts are found to be the best detergent for washing cloth diapers. They effectively eliminate all lingering smells. They will ’strip’ the diaper of detergent build-up, increasing the diaper’s absorbency!
I have actually been using them for that very purpose (that and baby clothes). Comparing them to my other cloth diaper detergent detergent, Maggie’s Soap Nuts work better. Much better.
The only suggestion I have is to include a measuring cup for the laundry liquid. I personally didn’t have a dedicated cup just for the laundry, so it was a bit of a pain for me. Before I knew you could use the cap as a measuring tool, I would have to tote (or remember to tote) a little measuring cup from the kitchen to the basement every time I did laundry, which is daily for my household. If you are comfortable with using the cap, then no cup is needed. (I like to be more precise than that to insure that I am using the correct amount and making my laundry liquid last longer.)
But wait, there’s more! You can use the liquid as a skin cleanser, shampoo, pet shampoo, toothpaste, dishwasher detergent, multi-purpose cleaner, jewelry cleaner, produce wash and more!
I haven’t actually used Maggie’s Soap Nuts for anything other than a laundry detergent, but I do plan on eventually branching out. Shampoo, perhaps? It sounds fun to experiment with them, but maybe that’s just the scientist in me coming out!
I did a few calculations to see how much they would really cost me. If you purchase Soap Nuts from Maggie’s Pure Land online shop, you do have to pay for shipping. All of these calculations are based on shipping to my neck of the woods…
The 64 ounce laundry liquid advertises 128 loads for $24.99 ($38.03 with shipping). That comes out to less than 30 cents per load.
The kilo sized Soap Nuts advertises 200+ loads at $34.99 ($47.31 with shipping). The final price is less than 24 cents per load (if it lasted you only 200 loads), or less than 12 cents per load if it lasted you 400 loads.
Amazon sells the kilo sized bag with free shipping for $33.95. That’s less than 17 cents per load. And if it lasts you 400 loads, it would be just over 8 cents per load! (They sell the liquid, too, but it doesn’t include free shipping.)
But how does that compare to my old detergent? I was really curious to find out…
On Amazon, the 170 ounce Tide HE (110 load) sells for $34.97. Are you ready for this? That’s less than 32 cents per load.
Hello? Are you listening? IT’S A LOT CHEAPER TO USE SOAP NUTS! (Not to mention better for you, your clothes, the environment.)
So what are you waiting for? Buy some Maggie’s Soap Nuts today.
Or, you can…
WIN THEM: Maggie’s Soap Nuts offering 4 (F-O-U-R) winners their choice of either a 5-load raw Soap Nut sample with a cotton bag OR an 8-load liquid laundry soap sample.
Happy washing from Maggie’s Pure Land!
HOW TO ENTER:
There are lots of ways you can win! Just make sure that you leave a separate comment for each entry. If any of the required steps for are missing, ALL of your entries/comments will not be valid. Bonus entries can be completed after the mandatory entry.
To enter, leave a comment telling me which you would prefer, the raw nut sample or the liquid sample. This is required and must be done before the extra entries!
- Subscribe to the Village of Moms blog via Email on the sidebar. You must confirm/verify your subscription by checking your email inbox to complete the process. (2 extra entries)
- Follow Village of Moms on Twitter or join the Village of Moms group on Facebook. (1 extra entry each)
- Blog about wanting to win this giveaway and link it back to this post. (3 extra entries)
- Tweet about this giveaway. You can tweet once a day for an extra entry every day. Copy and paste: 4 Winners can WIN Maggie’s Soap Nuts from @villageofmoms http://anationofmoms.com/?p=1384 #giveaway #win (1 extra entry, daily)
- Grab our teal button (on the sidebar) and display it on your blog or website until the contest is over. (2 extra entries)
- Leave a comment on any non-giveaway post. (1 extra entry)
***Giveaway closes August 13th @ 11:59 EST and winner will be chosen via Random.org. Open to US and Canada.***
Winner is announced on this blog under the featured “Recent Giveaway Winners” section after the giveaway closes. Winner will have 48 hours to respond to my email, or another winner will be drawn. We will not share your email with third parties.
Disclaimer: The sample product(s) reviewed was provided free of charge. VoM was under no obligation to review it if we so chose, nor was VoM under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product. The views and opinions expressed in this post are solely that of VoM, and are completely honest and without influence. VoM has reviewed this product(s) because we like it and think it would benefit our readers. To view our full policy, please click here.