Pop quiz: What do you use to clean your clothes and linens when doing laundry? Time’s up! Everyone have their answer? Many of you probably said laundry detergent or listed the brand you like to use. Are you ready for an idea from left field (on my field anyway)?
How about washing your laundry with sun dried fruit, and only those pieces with NO detergent, fabric softener, bleach or dryer sheets? Yes, I’m being totally serious. Would you use it? Are you now thinking I’m completely nuts and worrying that I smell god awful? Don’t worry; I use normal soap for my clothes and my clothes smell spring fresh!
I’m totally not making any of this up. I accidently came across a company that sells a small fruit from trees grown only in India, Indonesia and Nepal. They’re called SOAP NUTS (actual fruit name – not company name). I feel the need to point out that they are neither soap nor a nut, but for some reason that’s their name. Makes a whole lot of sense huh? Anyway, these small fruits are sun-dried (like yummy sun-dried tomatoes only you don’t eat them) and de-seeded then used in your washing machine to clean your clothes. I’m totally not shitting you!
The site was completely legit and very enthusiastic about their funny little product. They gush how they clean your clothes without using chemicals or fragrances. I don’t really get how the whole thing really cleans your clothes but I’ll explain how they supposedly work.
Step 1: Place several of these odd and dirty looking brown/black “shells” into a little cloth baggy.
Step 2: Toss said baggy into your washing machine and NO other cleaning products.
Step 3: Set to wash in warm or hot water and rinse in cold water (that would be adding more steps for my washer since I would have to manually turn it off, reset water temp then turn it back on just the rinse cycle. Laundry sucks enough with out all that!) Oh, it says to leave the baggy with the soap nuts in for the rinse cycle although I don’t get why.
Step 4: Remove clothes from washer and little baggy and toss clothes into dryer with NO dryer sheets.
They claim that after all this you will have completely clean and soft clothes. I’m kind of left saying “HUHH?” I mean laundry is pretty basic but one of the key elements is soap/detergent, otherwise you’re just wetting and drying the clothes for nothing! According to people who use this stuff, a substance called “saponin” is what is supposed to be cleaning your fabrics. Uh huh.
It’s supposed to be a historical version of soap and I get that maybe it might have some qualities that may clean some things, but come on people! Could you really trust these little dried fruit things to make your clothes feel all clean and fresh? Would you feel just as satisfied wearing them after using these instead of your trusted detergent sitting in your laundry room? I wouldn’t and would just want to rewash everything before I felt they were clean to wear (I think being a slight germaphobe might have something to do it).
Here’s the really gross part though! The stuff that is supposed to be cleaning your clothes is described as a “honey like liquid”. Uh, ew? Plus they warn that you may see black marks on the baggy after the wash is finished. Oh yeah, that screams clean in my book! They also admit that the fruit/nut, whatever it is, actually has a “noticeable pungent smell”. It’s claimed that just the nuts will smell this way, but the clothes won’t. I find that a bit hard to believe, but whatever!
The final crazy thing is that they’re supposed to be all natural and great for the environment, you know, they’re “green”. BUT, you have to use warm or hot water in order for the goopy ooze to release from the brown balls of stink and “clean” your laundry. So, you have to use more energy and your hot water to wash whatever load it is, just for these fruit/nuts. What happened to using cold water for your laundry to save energy and hot water? Isn’t that what’s recommended to be environmentally friendly?
I call bullshit! I tend to lose that game though, so maybe I’m totally wrong and completely talking out of my ass but I still don’t want those little things rolling around with my clothes that I want clean.
I’ll stick with my laundry detergent that I know and love, thank you very much!