Every once in a while I write about something besides topics that are not directly related to teaching. Since homeschooling involves every aspect of our lives, I wanted to tell you about a couple of laundry products that I am trying out. I have been looking for natural alternatives to laundry detergent ingredients that I can’t even pronounce the names and chemical laden dryer sheets. I found two products that I have been very pleased with and wanted to share with you!
Soap Nuts When I first heard about these I couldn’t quite figure out what they were. I thought maybe I had to prepare a soapy concoction, then gather nuts (acorns or some such thing), and have the laundry soap adhere to them somehow. I am happy to report that this is not the case! Are you curious? 🙂
Soap nuts are actually called by the Latin term sapindus. It is a genus of about five to twelve species of shrubs and small trees in the Lychee family, Sapindaceae, native to warm temperate to tropical regions in both the Old World and New World. (wikipedia) Here is a picture of the plant. (Ooo! Ahh!)
The interesting property that these nuts have is that they release a soapy substance.The nuts are dried and harvested and sold to consumers. These nuts can be used several times for your laundry loads before they have to be thrown away. You put the nuts in a muslin bag that is provided and use 5-6 of them per load. I just have to be careful to locate the bag as I am emptying the washing machine. So far, I am averaging 4 extra large loads per 6 nuts. It is actually cheaper than the expensive name brand soaps and the natural types of liquid detergents too.
I have been using these for a few weeks and I think they are working quite well. There is a slight vinegar smell when the soap nuts are wet, but I can’t smell anything when the clothes come out of the washing machine. I have quite a good sense of smell too! You can add a few drops of essential oils if you like to your wash water, but I haven’t done this. If you are interested in learning more about the product I am using, here is a link. CLICK HERE
Wool Dryer Balls are the other new product I have been using. These New Zealand wool balls actually absorb the moisture from your clothing while they are tumbling in your dryer. They lift your clothes and help reduce static that accumulates. I bought a package of 6, and while the directions say you do not need to use all of them in your loads, I have found that I need to use all of them if I am drying a large to extra large load. If I use fewer of them, the clothes are not quite dry and there is a little bit of static.
Overall, I am pleased with the wool balls and just need to be careful taking out the clothes as they want to roll out onto the floor. I just leave them in the dryer instead of removing them every time. They are surprisingly dry and I do not think they will mildew if I do this. They are supposed to last for several years and I am sure that depends upon how many times per week you have to use them. I am figuring that if they last a couple of years I will have saved money over buying dryer sheets. Here is a link if you would like to check out a description of this type of product. CLICK HERE
By the way, I am not being paid to give a review on either of these products. 🙂 I was wanting to share some ways I am trying to take care of my family without breaking the piggy bank. Have a great day!