Soap nuts have been around forever. So why are we just starting to use them now? Traditional chemical laundry detergents have become more and more popular over the last century, particularly for their sudsing ability. People associate "sudsing" with things getting clean. In actuality, the cleaning agents clean the soap. The chemicals that cause the soap bubbles do nothing. Saponin, or soap nuts, naturally clean and suds in the washing machine. These berries are reusable and safe for the environment. They do not cause the water to be treated with harmful chemicals, and are less destructive to your clothing.
The average saponin berry (soap nut) will last a few washes, and are cheaper than traditional laundry soap. Hot washes use them up quicker. Soap nuts are unscented, and really do work on your clothing. I've been using them over the past few months and have noticed that the laundry is softer and seems to last longer now. They have a natural fabric softener in them that will help your clothing feel softer, so you won't have to use fabric softener. That's another additional savings! Soap nuts are available from Chartreuse, or you can read more about soap nuts here.