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Lori Lavender Luz

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Thursday, October 23, 2008

Weird. Laundry. Giveaway.

Updated below with winners.
======================

I found a really strange thing to put in your washer.

Berries. Berries that call themselves nuts.
I'll explain.
While on a recent YouData expedition, I came across a webpage for Soap Nuts. I happened to have an open position for laundry soap, seeing as how my SA-8 supplier recently retired, and I was very unhappy with the massive amount of Tide powder required to wash a load in my high efficiency front-loader. (Such a shock after SA-8.)
So I read through the webpage and found enough to like that I placed an order.

Here's the scoop, per product literature:
  • Soap Nuts are berries that grow on trees in India and Indonesia (Elizabeth Gilbert's sequel is reportedly titled Eat, Pray, Laundry)
  • The shells of Soap Nuts contain saponin, an natural detergent
  • Soap Nuts are gentle on clothes and skin, and especially good for baby skin and sensitive (i.e. allergy-prone) skin
  • Soap Nuts are totally biodegradable and better for the environment than regular detergent. Further, they are harvested in a sustainable way.
Here's what comes in a Soap Nuts starter kit:
  • Three small washbags
  • A bottle of the essential oil of your choice (such as lavender or tea tree or lemon -- I chose plumeria, which made my sheets smell absolutely incredible)
  • About 48 dried berries.
To use, simply place 3-4 berries in a washbag and toss in the washer. If you'd like, you can add a drop or two of scent to the bag.
It's best to use a warm water wash and a cold water rinse -- cold doesn't release the saponin and hot depletes the berries too quickly. The bag of berries can be used 3-4 times.
With a special YouData discount, I paid $13 for the kit which should handle around 48 loads (about 40 loads per 100 grams of berries). Doing the math, that comes to about 27 cents per load. By comparison, Consumer Reports (May 2008) shows SA-8 at 42 cents a load and Tide at 22 cents a load.
(Next time, I'll get a 500 gram order, which brings my per load cost down to about 20 cents.)

So here are reasons why I'll probably stick with Soap Nuts for regular washes (but maybe not for Hubby's tougher loads -- we'll see):
  • It's better for the environment
  • It's natural for my family -- no chemicals
  • I can make a load smell however I want it to, or make it scentless (even though the berries smell vinegar-y, the clothes come out smelling refreshingly clean)
  • Our clothes got equally clean (I still added bleach to the load of whites) compared with chemical-based soaps
  • It's just novel and retro. I feel I made a major nature discovery, like Ayla did on every other page in Clan of the Cave Bear
Thumbs are up! Give it a try yourself. The kind folks at LaundryTree.com are offering All Thumbs readers* a special discount through November 15. When you get to checkout, place ALLTHUMBS in the discount code field. You'll save $2.
* US only because Soap Nuts are considered a fruit and are thus subject to import regulations by various governments.
=================================
Giveaway!
LaundryTree.com is offering TWO free starter kits to All Thumbs readers. Leave a comment -- a plea, a secret language, a haiku or limerick or just a "pick me" by 10:31 am on Halloween. We'll use random.org to select two winners who will receive their starter kits directly from LaundryTree.com.
Check back here the weekend of November 1 and 2 to find out the winners.
============================

UPDATED
The two winners of the starter kits are..............(drumroll)..........................
We are trying to reach you for mailing addresses. Make sure to connect with us by email.

***

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134 chiming in:

BethH6703 said...

pick me!

kamewh said...

I would love to be entered!!

Magpie said...

Pick me! It sounds intriguing...

Cathy said...

I saw these when I was on YouData. They looked really neat. So Pick Me

Tina said...

Pick me

Jingle said...

Oh, PICK ME! PICK ME! I've been wanting to try a natural detergent option, but I know that my husband won't buy it so I will have to prove it works before we spend money on something. Winning these would be perfect! They sound like a great all natural solution! Love it!

Kaci said...

I've read about these on the cloth diapering message board I'm on. Let's see...

I'm a little bag of nuts
Cleaning diapers for smelly butts
People put me in their wash
Spin around & around, oh my gosh!

MrsSpock said...

Heh- interesting....Are these berries compostable?

Lori said...

Yes, Mrs Spock. They are completely natural, and compostable.

Kristin said...

Awesome! I'd love to try them!

Stacy said...

I have always wanted to try these.

Angie Best-Boss said...

Truly, I just like the cool factor. I want to care about the environment, but I don't, not really enough to make major changes.

Vacant Uterus said...

Pick ME!!

Vacant Uterus said...

Also, I heart Clan of the Cave Bear. When I wanted to read it at far too young of an age, my mom pasted little pieces of paper over all the sex scenes so I could. I then snuck the real thing out of the library, hid it between my mattress and box spring and proceeded to read every single sex scene by flashlight! Go Jondalar!

MrsSpock said...

I just saw this in my Gaiam catalog for $19. Dangit...I might just have to try it. Would they work with cloth diapers? I've only found 2 reviews of this on the Diaper Pin, both both were positive.

Furrow said...

!em kcip = pick me!

A.M.S. said...

Laundry is a chore
Green product would make better
I hope I am picked!


Laudry haiku is fun! :)

Lori said...

These look pretty neat. I would love to try them!

Susan said...

Pick me! I do a tyon of layndry weekly

Dora said...

pick me! pick me!

Jessica said...

I've heard so many good things about this!

sundaygirl at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

Ooh, ooh! Pick me!
Kristine
kvicker at hotmail dot com

Alissa said...

this is so cool. Ive never even heard of this, but i hope to have the chance to try it.

aschrader85(@)gmail(.)com

Lisa Sharp said...

I have been trying to win some of these for a long time. :)

Katie said...

Thanks for the great giveaway!
katiellloyd at yahoo(dot)com

Mommie Daze said...

I've wanted to try these for a while.

david_colleen@mei.net

Dee said...

oh that is so neat! I've never heard of such a thing! SO..PICK ME PICK ME! I wanna give them a try!!!

Jenny said...

I've been wanting to try these with our daughter's cloth diapers.

the_other_alice_(at)yahoo.com

Peggie said...

I want them. Pretty please!!

peggie dot loden at gmail dot com

Bebemiqui said...

Ah, many thoughts of pickles will be yours if I win these nuts...soap nuts.
bebemiqui82(at)yahoo(dot)com

Stacy said...

I have wanted to try these for awhile, so I hope I win.

hetz-junk(at)hotmail(dot)com

Tara said...

I keep hearing about these!!! I would love to win.

Tara
cloudspassby78 (at) yahoo (dot) com

jenny said...

wow i love to win some soap nuts i love to see just how good thay work not olny that but this would help me out a lot thanks

Katie Stacey said...

this sounds so cool. a product i would really love to try.

seemommysew said...

sounds really interesting

the schros said...

i'm in

Amy said...

Pick me! sounds cool
amytarnold(at)gmail.com

rebecca said...

I've always wanted to try these!


gitrecca (at) gmail (dot) com

Campbell said...

(Sing to the tune of "Tiny Bubbles")

Tiny Soap Nuts,
In a bag,
Release saponin,
And make the earth feel glad.

Tiny Soap Nuts,
Last awhile,
I'd love to try them,
Winning would make me smile!

Michelle said...

I keep seeing these around and really want to try them!

michelle said...

Oh, pick me! I would love some soap nuts.

michelle at northofthe49 dot com

§wanny said...

how very cool! I so want to try these

TXsunlover said...

My sister loves these but I haven't tried them yet. Thanks for the chance to win your great giveaway!
proudyaya04 {at} yahoo {dot} com

Laura said...

I'd love to try this!

Becca said...

I really really really want to try these out, thanks!

sara l. said...

I would love to try the Lavender set on my sheets!
Thanks for such a fun giveaway!
sblilly14(@)yahoo(.)com

Kathy - mom of many said...

Interesting concept! Would love to try it!

AudreyO said...

I have never tried these. Many have written rave reviews. I'd love to try them.

Shannon said...

oh I would love to try these!
Heard a bunch of hype about them!


Shannon
palmersf(at)bellsouth.net

emerzim said...

I feel like i have been trying to wine these forever. I might just have to buy some...

Lisa said...

I thought of taking a shot at a haiku, but the creativity is all used up for today! I'd love to win some Soap Nuts!

Sarah said...

this sounds like such a great alternative to regular laundry soap. I am always looking for ways to 'g green' and this just seems like an obvious choice. i love that you can add scents to the wash! I REALLY HOPE I WIN!!!

sorry for not leaving a poem, im not too good at them

Anonymous said...

I'm gonna go for random
"Neko" means cat in japanese
KawaiiNeko2008 (at) aol (dot) com

lisalmg said...

I've seen these and think they are so neat! I would really love to try them!
lisalmg (at) ktis (dot) net

paula h said...

Ickpay Emay, Leasepay. AnksThay.

Pig latin for Pick me, please. Thanks.


hafner611 {AT} gmail {DOT} com

Deane said...

Very interesting, I would love to try these out. My mother is very green so these would be right up her alley. SO pick me!
deane_williams at sbcglobal.net

Lilith Silvermane said...

I have been wanting to try these for months! They would be great for my kids to use in their laundry!

LilithSilvermane(at)gmail(dot)com

The Barnharts said...

i have really been wanting to try these- hope win! daisy_collections@yahoo.com

Sandra said...

SoapNuts, SoapNuts your my "Green" friend,
Will your cleaning ever end?
Tiny package with lots of power,
Just some berries from a faraway flower.

Oh to have you would make my day,
All my laundry trouble would be washed away,
Perhaps someday we will be destined to meet,
A Bloggy Giveaway winning would be a wonderful treat!

owatz (AT) telus (DOT) net

Kristan said...

these sound so strange that i just might like to try them. ;)
andrewandkristan(at)hotmail(dot)com

Suzie G. said...

Roses come from bushes,
Soap nuts come from trees.
I stink at writing poems,
But please pick me!

Amy said...

This prize sounds wierd but intriguing. Thanks.
aleach6179 AT gmail DOT com

Becca said...

I have been really wanting to try these...What a treat to win! Thanks! cross_home2001 (at) yahoo (dot) com

TJNMBT said...

Ok, pick me! I've wanted to try these too. Hope I win!

Lanie said...

Cool! Would love to try them. Thanks for the chance to win.

amyd29 said...

I really would like to try this!!pick me!
ahdrad2932(at)msn(dot)com

Hil'Lesha said...

Must pick me, because I'm nuts. ;)

lilacbutterfly [at] earthlink.net

Julie said...

I'd love to try these!

Cathy said...

WOW you blog has gotten very very popular. I will never be able to win another thing. But I am very happy for you.

Jody said...

I would love to try these... I just may use the discount if I don't win!

JackieS said...

Clothes lay on the floor
Water, soap nuts, toss them it
Come out clean and bright

Or so I hope they do :)
jackieksheaffer(at)yahoo(dot)com

Paige said...

laundry is oh so much fun
I love it when it is all done
But it still blows my mind
When a crayon I find
That's melted all over the drum.

Reva Skie said...

I would love to try these.

Richelle said...

These sound interesting!

Sarah Z said...

Pick me because I really want to try these - they are environment friendly!

Thanks!
Sarah
believedreamcourage (at) gmail.com

Heidi said...

These sound like an interesting thing to try.

Sandy said...

please enter me...mrs.mommyyatgmail.com

Betsy said...

I would love to try these!

Genevieve P said...

I've been wanting to try these!
parknj at basicisp dot net

jnmacdonald said...

I've heard of these, but have yet to try them so... pick me!

Granola said...

They look like fun and laundry can use all the "fun" it can get! Thank you!

HeatherLow said...

How cool. I'd love to try them.
Heather
poncey76@hotmail.com

Julie said...

I'm all about natural. See my giveaway. I would love to try these. They sound very interesting.

bonobo said...

Thanks for a great giveaway!
jjdragonfly [at] gmail {dot} com

brooke said...

Okay I wish I could be super creative right now but I've been sick for two days and my son is recovering from an ear infection and now complaining about the other ear, my 4 month old decided she wants to be awake at midnight and dear old hubby is still out of town... so... "Insert witty funny remark here" wiicked13 [at] yahoo [dot] com

Arian said...

Oh wow! I wanna try...

Stephanie said...

very cool - would love to see how these work!
tvollowitz at aol dot com

ahiltz said...

This sounds so interesting and I would love to try them! Thanks so much for doing this giveaway for us!
ahiltzy@yahoo.com

eyeslikesugar said...

I would LOVE to try these. How fantastic! Thank you for this giveaway; I hope I win :)
eyeslikesugar (at) gmail (dot) com

Cherie J said...

Please pick me. Been wanting to try this.

cherierj(at)yahoo(dot)com

karen and co. said...

These sound great!

piece of me said...

oh I so want to try these!
livlifelov at yahoo dot com

Becky said...

I would love to give these a try!

oremgirl1 at yahoo dot com

noreen said...

clean clothes and better for earth, count me in

Chantelle said...

Awesome Giveaway. Thank you for the chance to win :)

Amber said...

I want to win some Soap Nuts! Thanks for the giveaway.

jenna said...

I so, so, so want to try these! It would be incredible if I won!
frog123 (at) cyipcom (dot) net

Becky said...

I would love to try this.

The Heller Family said...

I've been wanting to try these!
hellerfamATyahooDOTcom

Jesica said...

I have been wanting to get some of these to try.

You could save me money if you just picked me to win some. :)

Katie said...

I would love to try these. Thanks. katie_mmartin at yahoo dot com.

Katrina said...

I would love to win! Thanks for the giveaway!

Becca Ann said...

Thanks for the chance!

Ginny said...

I've been wanting to try these for along time. You know I never paid attention that they are berries. We have a bush that has little red berries. My girls always crush them, when I ask what they are doing they say they are playing with soap. My youngest is 7, she just recently told me she never knew they were berries, she honestly thought she was playing with soap. Could never figure out why I was getting mad. Would it be crazy to gather some & try to wash my clothes, LOL.

blueviolet said...

I've been hearing about this quite a bit and I've been thinking...why not using something that's natural and chemical free if it works? I see no good reason not to so I'd love to check this out and I'm excited to do so!
doot65{at}comcast[dot]net
Elizabeth

Kirby McCauley said...

The more I read about these the more I want to try them!

Nissa said...

Oh how I want to try these!

cl said...

Thanks for the giveaway! These are on my try this.

Suz said...

I have heard good things about Soap Nuts and would love to try them myself.


txhottie_86 at yahoo dot com

micaela6955 said...

I would love to try these, I am always doing the laundry so these would be great! (and a fun natural way to get the job done)

micaela6955 at msn dot com

Lalycairn said...

neither money nor laundry detergent grows on trees.
Soap nuts do.

Ha. That's my lame attempt at a haiku. ;)

Soap nuts are awesome. I need some more!

Lalycairn (at) gmail.com

jskell911 said...

I have been dying to try these!

Becky N. said...

Pick me, pick me!! I'm eager for ways to green up my living, and these are just so funky, I have to try them!

Jacqueline in Atlanta said...

Dying to try these. I have read about them before. Hard to believe we have been creating laundry soap all this time and there it was - hanging on a tree!!

Thanks for having the giveaway!

itsahumanzoo said...

I would love to win these! I have heard some great things about them through a cloth diapering community! Thanks for the giveaway!
Angela
itsahumanzoo(at)gmail(dot)com
P.S. I’m giving away a subscription to Parents Magazine on my blog, so if you or someone you know might be interested, stop on by! :)

Molly C. said...

I really really really want to try these.......

msrodeobrat said...

i think these look really neat and i would love to try them

Sweetpeas said...

Pick me please!

Anonymous said...

I'd like to try these.
-Terra
partymix25(at)hotmail(dot)com

Jeni said...

Pick Me! Pick Me!

kamewh said...

Thank you for the great giveaway!

kerin0874 (at) yahoo (dot) com

Nina said...

I would like to try these. Great giveaway! Thanks for the chance to win.

NinaGonzalez(at)yahoo(dot)com

Miss Heidi said...

Please enter me. Thanks.
Heidi
sweet_soul_sistermi@yahoo.com

Sarah Berry said...

Pick me!

frugallm said...

I have been wanting to try these!

elkmeese at yahoo dot com

Ira said...

There is a low cost, green eco friendly, healthy natural way to make a homemade liquid laundry cleaner from soapberry which grows on the Chinaberry tree and has been used for thousands of years. It works very effectively.

Charlotte said...

I've seen these before and I'm dying to try them!

charlotte(dot)evard(at)comcast(dot)net

pinklady said...

I've never seen or heard of these before...very interesting. Oh, pick me.

Lori said...

me, me, I never win.

Lisa said...

There was a cranky lady from gimlet she was asked to write a funny limerick, try as she must she came up a bust because nothing much rhymes with ole soap nuts!
Stormy5475@aol.com

Michelle said...

These are so cool! I'd try them just because they are different, but their eco-friendliness are a major bonus.
shellbell212 at gmail.com

Tammy said...

Wow sounds like this soap does the job of everything except changing the channels on the tv! Hope I get picked!

Anonymous said...

I run around all day
The laundry can be a chore
If I had soapnuts to use
It wouldn't be such a bore!
Pick me for your contest.
I'll use the soapnuts daily
And then if you ever meet me in person
You'll be grateful my clothes aren't so smelly

Enjoy!

Jen
mariettaseller(AT)yahoo(dot)com

Jinxy and Me said...

I would love to try these. Thanks for the giveaway!

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