Thursday, August 7, 2014

Soap Nuts Liquid Laundry Detergent [Review]

Ever since I switched to natural cleaning products, I cannot stand the harsh smells of some of the popular laundry detergents. Not only are the synthetic scents not healthy to breathe, but the chemicals and brighteners that are contained within the big plastic bottles are harmful to our bodies and to the environment. While there are many natural and non-toxic alternatives to laundry detergent, soap nuts takes the #1 spot for the most natural. Soap nuts produce a natural saponin that combines with water to create a 100% non-toxic laundry detergent. Soap Nuts Liquid Laundry Detergent is a natural and non-toxic way to clean your clothes.

Soap Nuts Liquid Laundry Detergent  (8 oz, 120 HE wash loads, $18.95)
Rating: total green check marks out of 5.

The Good
The Not So Good
Liquid easier to use than soap nuts
Cloth diapers (2 days old) were still stinky
Made with USDA Organic Soap Nuts

Chemical-free extraction process

Contains low-toxicity preservatives
(caprylyl glycol, phenethyl alcohol)

The natural laundry detergents I have used for a few years come in a powder form. While I do appreciate the natural and non-toxic ingredients, I have to rinse my hands after scooping because the powder ends up getting on my fingers. I love that Soap Nuts Liquid Laundry Detergent is in a pump bottle. For my top loading washing machine, I use three pumps. No mess. No soapy hands.

Soap Nuts Liquid Laundry Detergent contains three ingredients: Soap Nuts Liquid (extracted with water and chemical-free filters from USDA Certified Organic soap nuts), Caprylyl Glycol (preservative rated 0 by EWG Skin Deep Database), Phenethyl Alcohol (preservative rated 1 by EWG Skin Deep Database).

The bottle shipped in a box and was protected fairly well. No damages to the box or the bottle. The liquid laundry detergent comes in a plastic bottle with a screw cap. The pump comes separate. Initially, I could not screw on the pump top, so I asked my husband for help. He was able to attach it within one minute. After a few pumps to get the liquid in the line, I was ready for laundry.

The first wash included two day old cloth diapers, including ones that were stained with poop. After the usual cloth diaper wash routine, I smelled some of the inserts that previous had poop on them. They did not smell clean. I went through another wash routine with the Soap Nuts Liquid Laundry Detergent (using 2 pumps each time for a small cloth diaper wash load). After the second wash, the cloth diapers smelled a little bit cleaner, but there was still some remaining dirty diaper smell.

The next wash included regular clothes and bath towels. I used 3 pumps for a large wash load. The clothes came out smelling clean. I have done a few more washes of regular clothes and dirty towels with Soap Nuts Liquid Laundry Detergent and have been pleased with the results.

The Soap Nuts Liquid does have a slight fragrance to it. I did some research on the preservatives and read that Phenethyl Alcohol is also used as a fragrance ingredient. This preservative could be contributing to the smell of the soap nuts liquid. The smell washed out and did not linger on the clothes. I need to look into whether this smell is the natural soap nuts smell or one of the preservatives that is used. Read more about the low toxicity preservatives that Soap Nuts chooses.

Soap Nuts Liquid Laundry Detergent is easy to use, non-toxic for my family and for the environment and is effective. Though I will continue to use my other natural laundry detergent for the cloth diapers, I will use Soap Nuts Liquid Laundry Detergent for regular laundry.

Disclosure: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. All opinions are my own. 

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