Simple and Economic Safe Laundry Alternative

Ever wonder where the water from a load of laundry goes or even what’s in it?  99.8 percent of Americans use commercial household detergents, fabric softeners, dryer sheets and other chemical cleaners.  Most contain synthetic fragrances and chemical whiteners threaten ones health as well as the environment by building up in our water/ways that eventually venture into drinking water and fish populations, posing a major threat to human health. The EPA states increased exposure to these substances cause skin and respiratory reactions, or more severe issues like cancer, poisoning and neurological and reproductive problems. Make  laundry  earth  and family  friendly with just a few easy new modifications to your   routine.

By the Number.

* 17,000: the number of petrochemicals available for home use, only 30 percent of which have been tested for exposure to human health and the environment.

* 63: the number of synthetic chemical products found in the average American home, translating to roughly 10 gallons of harmful chemicals.

Using common scents

Dryer sheets most often contain chemicals that are suspected carcinogens, although there is another option to reduce your exposure to these toxins and still get fresh-smelling laundry. Simply reach for a easy homemade sachets that can be tossed in with the wash or placed on a closet shelf.   Handcraft an organic lavender (or scent of your preference) sachet and use essential oils to freshen up your laundry

Perchloroethylene, the  “No Perc”  in Dry-Cleaning

Dry-cleaning was developed in the 1850s when Jean-Baptiste Jolly used kerosene as a solvent to clean heavily soiled clothing which  progressed to the adoption in the 1920s of the chemical known as Tetrachloroethylene or Perchloroethylene (perc) which also increased the cleaning power available to dry cleaners. Be “in the know; Now,” as thankfully there is a rise  in more environmentally friendly chemicals.

Health and safety of  Dry-Cleaning

Perc is also a toxic chemical that poses health and environmental concerns if used improperly. OSHA classifies Perc as a potential human carcinogen and reported symptoms to high exposure of perc include depression of the central nervous system and damage to the liver and kidneys. Even brief exposure can cause confusion, dizziness, headache, drowsiness, and eye, nose, and throat irritation.

Like many chlorinated hydrocarbons, tetrachloroethene is a central nervous system depressant, and inhaling its vapors (particularly in closed, poorly ventilated areas) can cause dizziness,headache, sleepiness, confusion, nausea,

Commercial detergents leave chemical residues on clothing

According to Dr. George Grant, toxicologist and founder of the International Academy of Wellness, the “National Cancer Association released results of a 15 year study concluding that women who work in the home are at a 54% higher risk of developing cancer than women who work outside the home.”  Thankfully we can easily reduce these chemicals.

These recipes come from Michigan State University Extension, Readers Digest Practical Problem Solver (1991), and grandmothers everywhere.

Laundry Soaps and Cleaners

* For laundry detergent, mix 1 cup grated Ivory soap (or Fels Naptha soap), 1/2 cup washing soda and 1/2 cup borax*. Use 1 tbsp for light loads; 2 tbsp for heavy loads. Oxy Clean is also non-toxic.

* Adding 1/4 to 1/2 cup baking soda per wash load makes clothes feel soft and smell fresh.

* To get wool and cotton blankets soft and fluffy as new, add 2 cups white vinegar to a full tub of rinse water. Do not use vinegar if you add chlorine bleach to your rinsewater.

Newest Trend on the Market, ancient Mother Nature Secret! Go nuts and air out your dirty laundry with soap nuts

Many are curious about Soap Nuts.  Soap Nuts are truly a timely economic rediscovery for environmentally friendly detergents and cleaning products. From the Facts and Number previously mentioned, one can see why the consumer is so actively seeking new, better earth friendly products.

The  growing informed consumer is becoming aware of facts that previously went unnoticed such as the presence of Triclosan in anti-bacterial soaps, bisphenol-A in plastics and that air fresheners doused in phthalates.  These hazards are present in items that a person uses on a daily basis, but also harmful to health but also deplete the environment.

Soap nuts as a detergent

Soap nuts are actually not a nut at all; they are in fact a berry from trees that grow in particularly in India and Nepal.  Saponins are nature’s cleansing agents that act like soap when they come in contact with water. The saponins dissolves in the water and function as detergents. The soap nuts allow water to penetrate well into the fabric thereby washing and cleaning them. The dirt is attached to the surfactant which is then drained along with the water.

An Easy Win-Win Simple to use, cost effective, safe and “YES!” they work. Think about it. The less that we expose ourselves to chemicals, the better off we are right?  If you stop and think about the quantity of products and environmental impact we have contact our skin everyday and the conglomerate of particles that we inhale, there is no doubt we are a walking chemical slew.

With the dramatic up-swing of allergies and disease, more people every day are becoming aware of and  notice the effects of the chemicals that we are exposed to (through no fault of our own).

Long term effects of chemicals in detergents and soaps…

  • Remain trapped in the clothes then create skin irritations and release harmful vapors
  • Detergents contain allergy causing enzymes and dermatitis.
  • Lung and heart problems can occur from the Sodium hypochlorite
  • Higher risk to develop breast/prostate cancer or infertility from the nonylphenoxy ethoxylates
  • Clothes wear out much faster
  • Sodium hypochlorite presents in the detergents cause lung irritation, respiratory reactions, and cardiovascular damage and damage your eye and skin.

Why you should use soap nuts

Extremely Economical and Cost Saver

  • They replace many products such as laundry softner, additives, and dryer sheets. Just look at the taxes alone you are saving from not having to buy so many products.

·      You save on water consumption and water softeners

·      They reduce clutter. With so many less products to buy no need for tons of storage.

·      They cut down on waste. With lots less products to buy, means less garbage to dispose of.

·      Safe for the environment and you. They are 100% biodegradable….non polluting……organic…non hypoallergenic…safe for septic systems

·      Easy to use: Can use them in their natural state, or grind them into a powder using a coffee grinder or blender. Store the whole nut, or the grindings in an air tight container.

Soap Nuts for Eczema

It is never recommended that anyone with skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis should use cleansers for their skin. This is a very difficult advice to follow, considering that cleansers are present in almost everything that is commonly used in and around the house.

Soap nuts are a part of the list of minerals and herbs in Ayurvedic cleansers and shampoos and are used in Ayurvedic medicine for treating eczema and psoriasis. Eczema can afflict both males and females alike, and even age is not a factor. Common symptoms of mild eczema can be dry and itchy skin but in more severe forms of the condition the skin becomes broken, raw and bleeding.

Managing Eczema & Psoriasis

Instead of prescription medicine to manage your eczema and psoriasis, try using soap nuts liquid as it provides a completely natural and hypoallergenic laundry detergent with no chemicals for treatment. Soap nuts are so gentle on the skin that they can even be used for babies and people who develop allergies to commercially available washing products.

This is extremely helpful for people who suffer from skin disorders because many times the clothes that are being washed with conventional detergents or soaps can cause the skin condition to worsen. Soap nuts are a natural product and have a very mild and pleasant aroma. Using them as a laundry detergent instead of usual commercially available detergents is a very simple way of getting relief from these skin conditions.

How to use for Laundry, a little is a lot!

Fact:  A 1lb  bag of soap nuts hand packed in biodegradable packaging is highly capable of 160-200 loads of laundry!

Soap Nuts also are a safe replacement for many chemical-based, multi-purpose cleaners. Liquify the Soap Nuts and use the solution to clean windows, bathrooms, kitchens and floors. It can also serve as liquid hand soap, laundry soap for ultra delicates and shampoo.





Shampoo & conditioner

Clean, silky shiny hair, dandruff treatment

1 tsp. soap nut ground, mixed with a little water.

Body wash

Clean, healthy, soft soap free skin,

1 tsp. soap nut mixed with a little water.

Head Lice

Effectively kills lice and makes it easy to remove eggs

Same as shampoo

Dish Washing

Clean chemical free dishware

1 tsp. added to dish water


No soap residue, chemicals, less fading, no need for fabric softener

Small net bag with a 5-6 soap nuts in it

Jewelry Cleaner

Gold, silver sparkle again

Make a paste with 1 tsp ground soap nut, and water rub on and polish

All purpose cleaner

Floors, counters, almost any surface

Boil about 1/4c.soap nut shells in 2 c. water. let simmer for 10 mins.

Pet shampoo

Gentle leaves coat clean and shiny

Same as for shampoo


Natural garden pesticide

Mix one tsp, in 2c. water

Go nuts and air out your dirty laundry with Kasia soap nuts

BERRY- FRESH SOAP NUTS organic all-purpose cleaner USDA CERTIFIED   •   ORGANIC   •   ALLERGY-FREE A SAFE ALTERNATIVE TO CHEMICAL CLEANERS Common laundry detergents contain phosphates, ammonia, phenol, brighteners, artificial fragrances, EDTA and SLS, all which can remain 
on your clothes after washing. This residue can cause skin irritation (rashes, itching, allergic reactions) and sinus problems, as well as long-term toxic effects on the environment. Kasia’s Organic ‘Berry-Fresh Soap Nuts’ are . . . . . . perfect for sensitive skin (such as eczema, psoriasis and allergies) because they are naturally antibacterial, antifungal and antimicrobial. No added chemicals or perfumes are added. . . . more effective than toxic detergents. Your colors remain bright, fabric structure is maintained, odors are eliminated and static cling is reduced. Use on all fabrics — at all temperatures — in top or front loading machines. Tough on odors and stains; soft on delicates. . . . economical. Soap Nuts cost much less than chemical detergents — laundry is cleaned for less than 13 cents per load! Plus, no fabric softener is needed and they offer an unlimited shelf life. . . . multi-purpose. Use them to clean virtually in your home. . . . ecological. Soap Nuts do not pollute, are safe for septic systems, and are 100% biodegradable and compostable! . . . grown on Sapindus Mukrossi trees found in the Himalayans. (Beware of cheaper, smaller and darker soap nuts available on the internet. They contain lower levels of the active ingredient saponin, and therefore 
are less effective at cleaning.)

how to use for laundry 1.    Put 5–6 Soap Nuts (about 1/2 oz.) into a ‘wash bag.’ 
    If desired, add in your favorite Essential Oil for extra 
    antimicrobial properties and scent. 2.    Toss bag in washing machine with dirty laundry. 3.    Reuse wash bag 4–7 times — or more. 
    (Note: Number of loads vary due to water temperature, hardness, 
     washer type, duration of cycles, etc.)

how to use as a liquid detergent
for everyday cleaning Soap Nuts also are a safe replacement for many chemical-based, multi-purpose cleaners. Liquify the Soap Nuts and use the solution to clean windows, bathrooms, kitchens and floors. It can also serve as liquid hand soap, laundry soap for ultra delicates and shampoo. “Liquid Soap Nut Soak” Recipe 1.    Bring four cups of water to a boil in a heavy sauce pan with a lid.
2.    Turn off the heat and toss 6–8 Soap Nuts in the saucepan with 
    the hot water.
3.    Cover the sauce pan. Let it sit overnight.
4.    In the morning, remove and discard the remaining shells.
5.    Pour the cooled liquid into a container with a lid. Give your Soap Nut Soak a scent of essential oils — 
lemon or tea tree oil for bathroom cleanser, 
lavender for cold water laundry loads, and 
sweet orange for dishwasher cleaning liquid. This batch of Soap Nut Soak will 
wash at least 8 loads of laundry 
use 1/4 to 1/2 cup for each load).

Resources: Wikipedia: Tetrachloroethylene

Kassie Kuehl is a respected leader in, and advocate for, natural health and beauty care. The founder of Kasia natural line of skin care, expert in ammonia-free hair color services, and stylist for Kasia Organic Salon, Kassie combines her experience as a nutrition coach with her ongoing Functional Medicine research to apply a whole of body “Beautiful Health’ approach to hair care and styling. More information and educational articles can be found at

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