Easy Fixes, Minus the plastic, Nature
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Laundry June approved 

We’ve been using this Seventh Generation Laundry detergent since a couple of years now, thinking: It says ‘Natural’, ‘Non-toxic formula’, ‘Caring today for seven generation of tomorrow’, lots of xyz-free Health Facts: Hypoallergenic, Fragrance-Free, Bleach-Free, Dye-Free and what not. Especially the green leave and the blue sky with white puffy clouds… how could this not be a good choice?

Now trying to reduce the amount of trash I was thinking about this bottle. Looking closer…. darn! Sodium lauryl sulfate! The stuff that makes the foam and that has been linked to cancer and other nasty things [source]. Hopefully the rinsing cycle was good enough.

Back to the bottle: It says that it can be recycled. In California you can throw plastic bottles into the blue bin but what really happens with those, is unclear.  Only around 9 % of plastic ends up being recycled. [source]

And, in Oregon you  can’t even put it into the recycling bin. Maybe Oregon is just more honest? I don’t know.

So, I’m looking for alternatives.

laundry detergent

Homemade: There are tons of recipes online describing simple and quick ways to make laundry detergent on your own. It seems as if Borax is part of all of them and unfortunately I stumbled upon this article which says that Borax is not a healthy choice either. Even the detergent from Juniperseed, contains it.

And I know you’re waiting for the June part of this story. Just one more moment.

Currently we’re in the testing phase with Soap Nuts, especially the brand Eco Nuts. Here is a great description of what soap nuts are. In order to use them, we put 4 or 5 into a small cotton bag and simply place it in the washing machine. No other detergent. Those nuts last for a bunch of laundry loads. I think, we used them around 8 times or so and then they felt done. The come in a carton box and there is no plastic involved at all.

June tested them intensely. First test step consisted of opening nut after nut to see if really all of them are empty. They are.

Second test round: If eating is not an option as Mama says, maybe they are good for storing under Mama’s pillow?

Finally June confirms, she loves them, because she can finally do all the washing by herself. Counting 5 into the little baggy, throwing it mightily into the washing machine, telling Mama how to put the clothes in, throwing the door shut, telling Mama to turn it on, running away. Done!

laundry with eco nuts

So far, we had no laundry that was really dirty, but soon we’ll have a monster diaper pooper who will take those guys to the next test level.

More to come on the soap nuts front, stay tuned.

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  1. What a cutie… And what a nice way to teach kids about laundry! I’ve tried to grow soap nuts and failed but in Indonesia we used them to wash mud and grime from our clothes and everything literally sparkled after 🙂 I use olive oil based, detergent free unpackaged soap now. I heard the same thing about Borax and was shocked to discover you can’t carry it on a plane either.

    • Ariana, is would be so amazing to pick the soap nuts from the tree in the garden before using them for laundry! I’ve never thought about bringing washing detergent in my carry on luggage. Did you need it during the flight?

      Thanks for reading my post!!

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