Updated: Nov 6
Are You Familiar With Soap Berries?
Just in case you were new to using these or needed a refresher, we wanted to send you this step-by-step guide to help you with your transition from regular detergent. There's a short FAQ at the bottom to address some of our most commonly asked questions.
You got this!
Step 1: Put 4-5 berries in the bag and tie it shut (so you don't lose your berries)
Step 2: Tie the bag shut and put it directly in your washing machine with your laundry
Step 3: That's it!
Enjoy your clean laundry. When this load is finished you can take the bag out when you are putting your laundry in the dryer and use them again.
Re-use these up to 10 times.
But Wait! You Have Questions!
Yup, we we've been there. We know.
Here's some answers to commonly asked questions that people have the first time they try these out:
#1 - Yes, these are actual berries. From a tree.
You'll notice they are hollow or they may be in pieces. This is because the detergent is in the dried shell. We take out the seeds because not only do they not contain any detergent, but they are big and heavy and make it cost more to ship. You can read more about these berries here.
#2 - Leave these in through the whole rinse cycle
It may freak you out to think that these will be in the whole time. How will the clothes get rinsed? Worry not, friend, you actually want these to be in the whole time. The cleaning agent that is in these berries also acts as a 2-in-1 fabric softener. In fact, extracts from these berries are actually used in other natural commercial fabric softeners, too. This acts differently from your standard chemical softeners because chemical softeners work by coating your laundry with wax that can irritate sensitive skin (eewww). The detergent from soap berries is clean rinsing and works by opening up fibers making them soft and fluffy. Some people use this in place of fabric softener in conjunction with other detergents, too. try doing a load with towels and experience the softness.
#3 - What about stains?
These work great on some stains but not so great on others. If you have a stain, we suggest pre-treating before washing or adding some oxygen bleach to make sure it gets taken care of.
#4 - It's too much work to keep track of how many loads in order to replace. Or I just don't want to.
You don't have to count your loads. We promised this would be easy. You'll notice after some uses that they will become thin as a piece of paper. You won't even have to look in the bag - you'll be able to feel through the bag that there's barely anything left. You can compost these bits in your garden or if you're really lazy you can just leave them in the bag and add new berries (we won't tell!).
#5 - You won't see bubbles
Bubbles don't clean. The fact is, people expect to see bubbles and big detergent companies actually add foaming agents to their detergent just so that you see the appearance of bubbles and think it's cleaning better! But there's a foaming agent creating the bubbles and a detergent in there doing the cleaning. We don't add anything like that to our soap berries. Not all detergents and soaps create bubbles and it doesn't mean they aren't doing their job. If you put the berries into a jar and shake it vigorously, you'll see some suds, they just don't form easily in a washing machine environment. Your laundry will still get clean. We promise.
More Hints and Tips:
For a comprehensive look at how to tell exactly when your nuts are used up check here for a video and chart
Do not overfill your washing machine, the Eco Nuts work more efficiently with more agitation and room to work. There is no need to add fabric softener; your laundry will come out soft and fluffy without it. Make sure you store Eco Nuts in a cool, dry place.
Eco Nuts can be used in both standard and high-efficiency machines (HE). Eco Nuts work in all washing machines with any temperature water.
That's as simple as it gets! If you are washing clothes or items that are a little more soiled than usual, try these advanced methods:
Very Heavy Soils: Pre-soak 4-5 Eco Nuts in the sack in hot water for a few minutes and add the “tea” with the sack and put fewer clothes in the machine to provide the most agitation.
Brighter Whites: Separate whites by themselves and add some bleach according to bleach instructions (we recommend eco-friendly oxygen bleach, but any will work). A cup of lemon juice will also work naturally.
Wet Suit Wash: We highly recommend our Liquid detergent for use with wetsuits and other outdoors equipment. However, the nuts will still work in a pinch.
Put 5 Eco Nuts in a wash bag and toss in a glass of warm water and let soak for 5 minutes. Add the water and the bag to your washtub or bucket and agitate the suit. Rinsing is optional but recommended to remove sand. Dry normally by hanging. Alternately, you can place the bag in a bucket of water and leave it in the sun before you go surfing. the “tea” should be ready for washing when you get back.
*the number of washings you will receive depends on the number of Eco Nuts in the wash bag, the amount of water, the water temperature, and whether or not you choose to leave the wash bag in the machine for the rinse cycle as well as whether or not your machine does an extra rinse or steam sanitizing cycle. Experiences can vary widely depending upon those variables as well as types of machines and types of water. This can vary and lead to more or fewer washes depending.