A couple of weeks ago I participated the the bloggy giveaway carnival at 5minutes4mom and let slip that I had won something. Well, I've finally had time to try it out, take pictures of it, and get the pictures uploaded. Just call me speedy.
And here it is: SoapNuts from LaundryTree
And when I opened the bag I found this:
The small fruits are the soap nuts, also known as soap berries. They contain saponin, a soap chemical, which is released when they are run through the wash cycle. You can read more about it at wikipedia. That bag should do six to eight loads of laundry. Since they are odorless, a small bottle of essential oil is also included, that one is citrus mist.
So I counted out four of the berries (they are technically not nuts) and tied them up in the muslin bag. The essential oil is put on the bag itself; I skipped this step since the bottle had leaked in transit.
I then dropped the whole thing on top of my laundry and chucked the whole pile in the washing machine.
I have no way of knowing how clean it got my clothes, but they were much softer. There was one shirt that had to hang dry, and even it lacked the stiffness that usually results in.
Another claim made about these is that they are good for people with sensitive skin. It doesn't seem to have helped me much in that area, but then I really can't say for sure since I had a major breakout a couple of days before I used them, and it still hasn't cleared up entirely.
I found a few places that suggested boiling them down to create a liquid soap which could be then be used for everything from dishes to bath soap. I'm somewhat curious to try it as a shampoo, I wonder if it would do for my hair what it did for the shirt.
Ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country.