A few months ago the family went out to Heritage Prairie Farms and among other things at the farm we found a great product by Naturally Green. It was none other than natural laundry detergent and fabric softener in the form of soap berries. We tried a small pouch of the product and really enjoyed the outcome. Our laundry didn't smell like laundry, it smelled like fabric, if that makes any sense. There was no odor or scent and everything was soft and clean. This included our STINKY load of clothes from the gym!
As we've done with all of our other transition items in the house we used up the last of our Tide and Downey. I don't care for wasting what we've already purchased, so when we change items we always use up the last of the old. When I ordered our soap berries I went for the BIG bag of 350 washes.
Soap berries are a fruit that comes from the Himalayan region of Southeast Asia. They are dried when you receive them and ready for use. In my 350 washed pack I received the berries and 3 small wash bags. The small wash bags hold the berries for washing. You place about 4 whole berries, or 8 halves, into the the small bag and tie and toss into the washing machine. We use cold water for all washing, except towels, so our berries will last about 7 washes. In between washes you pull the berries out of the small bag and allow them to dry. The berries do not go into the dryer.
We have always used Tide laundry detergent because it's the only thing that doesn't irritate Kevin's skin. So on average we pay about $15 - $17 for a large container that cleans 96 loads, $12 (120 loads) for Downey liquid softener and $12 (240 loads) for Bounce fabric sheets. Our total per load of laundry is about $0.30. We have a HE front loading machine.
The cost of the soap berries 350 load bag, shipping included, is about $38 and comes out to $0.10 per load. This is a $.20 per load savings. I don't know about you but thats a good savings for us! On top of that it helps the environment and is a chemical free option. I realize there were shipped or flown here and it hurts that it's not local. I'm always on the search for new options to remove chemicals from our house and this is one that presented itself that we are very happy with.
In the process of reading through the Naturally Green site I came across a video they shared from For Greenies. Their site is currently down so I can't fully check it out. But there appear to be a few other uses for soap berries. One being that you can use them in soap dispensers for hand wash. I'll be looking for that tutorial as soon as the site comes back on line.
These are the cute little berries out of the package :) Here's to happy chemical free washing ahead!