Saturday, April 28, 2012

Earth's Berries Soap Nuts Review (Celebrate the Earth)

AD DESCRIPTIONI don't remember how I came across soap nuts, perhaps from another eco-friendly blogger or while doing research for washing cloth diapers. I did more research and wanted to try them as they are a natural detergent. I was definitely intrigued. Indigenous to Asia, soapnuts, or soapberry, grow on trees. They apparently have a natural surfactant, called saponin, which foams when added to water. Soap nuts have many uses outside of household cleaning such as insecticide, medicine, and ornaments.

About Earth's Berries Soap Nuts

Earth's Berries Soap Nuts is a Canada-based retailer of soap nuts since 2009. The company's mission is to distribute a natural, eco-friendly, and inexpensive detergent into as many households worldwide. The Earth's Berries Soap Nuts website provides information about soap nuts and serves as a resource of uses and instructions for consumers. The soap nuts come from the Ritha tree in the Himalayan region of India. A firm believer in giving back to the community, Earth's Berries Soap Nuts owner Karen Salcedo sponsors 4 Himalayan students through the Elephant Thoughts Student Sponsorship Program.

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Where to buy
Earth's Berries Soap Nuts are available at selected brick and mortar stores and on the Earth's Berries Soap Nuts website.

I received a 250 gram bag of soap nuts for review. I was a little apprehensive about using it at first because although I've used eco-friendly detergents before, using berries was completely new. I was unsure at how it would function and questioned its efficiency. After trying it for myself, I am a believer. It performed just as well as other detergents that I used, the difference being that it's 100% natural.

As per the instructions, I warmed the soap nuts in warm water for 2-4 minutes, put the liquid in the detergent dispenser, and tossed the soap nuts (inside the muslin bag) in the drum with the clothes. Apparently, the saponin is released best in warm water, so if using it in cold water, it's best to soak in warm water first.

I've used it several times and am really pleased with the result, each and every time. How do I know that it has worked since I have an he washing machine? Well, I accidentally ran a load of laundry without any detergent once. While I was transferring some clothes to the dryer, I noticed that they still smelled "not fresh" and had some spots. Perplexed, I spoke to my husband about what had just happened and he suggested that maybe I forgot to add detergent (on the side, this was a 5 minute discussion on how I could not possibly have forgotten, but had to acquiesce given the lack of another explanation). So, despite the efficiency of an he washing machine, if the user doesn't add detergent, clothes won't get completely clean - lesson learned. 

One of my favorite things about using soap nuts is that I can get a lot out of the same bagful of soap nuts, about 3-4 loads of laundry. I can't say that about other powder or liquid detergents; once you use them, they literally go down the drain. Soap nuts are pretty economical in that sense. So despite the price tag ($30 for a 1 kilogram bag), they are actually competitively priced for an all-natural eco-friendly detergent.

Thanks to Earth's Berries Soap Nuts, one of you will be trying soap nuts for yourself.

1kg of Earth's Berries soap nuts.

Giveaway is open from April 28 to May 13, 2012, at 12:01 AM EST.

1. Open to US/CAN residents, 18 years and older.
2. Enter using the Rafflecopter form below. Comments left on the blog post do not count.
3. Winner will be selected via (per Rafflecopter) and notified by email. Winner will have 48 hours to reply back before a new winner is selected. 
4. Winner's entries will be verified. If I can not verify entries, a new winner will be chosen.
5. Earth's Berries Soap Nuts will be responsible for fulfilling prize award to the winner.

For complete rules on giveaways hosted on this blog, visit Giveaway Rules & Policy.

Good luck!

USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program
Mansfeld's World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops

Disclosure: I received a free product to facilitate my review. No other compensation was provided. All opinions expressed are my own.