Green Virgin Products is an online retailer based out of Florida that sell environmentally friendly and healthy cleaning products. We tested their original de-seeded soap nuts and their soap nuts liquid laundry detergent to great effect.
What's To Love?:
healthy for you and the environment
Soap nuts are much healthier for your family and the environment than conventional laundry detergents. Even those touted as 'eco' or 'green' are often made of synthetics and are filled with chemicals and carcinogens. That 'fresh' smell of Tide isn't indicative of clean clothes, but rather a garment covered in 'parfum' and other fragrance.
The coolest part about soap nuts is that they are designed by mother nature!
Green Virgin Products has done an excellent job of keeping them in their purest and soapiest form. Our soap nuts arrived in the mail in a muslin bag. They also came with a smaller muslin bag, which is the "wash bag" that you place your nuts in so they don't get lost in the load and wind up in the dryer.
We have a HE front loader and have had great success with soap nuts. I have heard of folks struggling because there is not enough water in some HE machines to get the nuts 'going'. But for us there was no issue.
Every so often a soap nut would sneak out of the wash bag and end up in the bottom of the dryer. Kind of annoying, but not that annoying.
Soap nuts are usually grown in the tropics. Like any product that is largely manufactured far from our home in Canada, we want to be extra vigilant with the source of soap nuts. Make sure the farming and harvest is sustainable for the earth and the farmers.
Soap nuts are the only zero-waste laundry detergent option we have found. They are 100% natural and when they have released their saponins are totally compostable. From the earth back to earth with nothing in between! Make sure you get your soap nuts in bulk to reduce unnecessary packaging.
Another tip we learned was that after you are finished with your soap nuts (aka you have used them to wash a few loads) you can get a little more oomph out of them by saving your used nuts and then boiling them to extract the last of the saponins in liquid form. Some people even skip washing with the nuts and go straight to boiling them to create a liquid.
In addition to being crazy green, soap nuts are crazy affordable ! They are more affordable than conventional detergents on a load by load basis. The Green Virgin Soap Nuts we got will cost us roughly 10 cents per load if we use them whole, and even less if we make them into a liquid detergent. Amazing!