You may well ask, what the hell are those things?
They are my new laundry detergent.
At least, I think they are. I am still in the testing stage. I've only used them in one laundry cycle so far and they appeared to work great, but I want to try them in several washes before I'm convinced.
Have I lost my mind? And...how did I find out about these things?
Facebook, of course. Someone mentioned this company in their "reply" to a post on the environment. They raved about this product.
Two things made me go immediately to their website:
So, I did.
Result: Apparently perfectly clean clothes with NO scent. And it was a stinky wash, with old blue jeans and some tee shirts I'd worn on a couple of recent hot days. As far as I can tell, the berries did exactly what I wanted.
Aside from the apparently effective washing (I'm still reserving a final opinion until I do several more loads and see what I think then, so stay tuned), I love the fact that the company is family-owned and based on Massachusetts on Cape Cod. The box they came in was recycled and didn't contain any nasty styrofoam peanuts--all that was in there was the bag with the berries. And this sweet note was included in the box:
Adorable. What's not to love? Unless the product doesn't work, and so far I think it does. Time will tell.
No really--I am not getting any money from them for writing about this. And as I've said, I am initially impressed and hopeful but am reserving judgement until after a few more uses.
(After I ordered this product I discovered that my local excellent natural products store also carries soapberries, but apparently a different brand. If I like these, perhaps I'll give those a try also. Who knew there were different brands?)
UPDATE: It's now three washes later. I took the soapberries out of their bag to see what's happening to them. As you can see, the bottom one has split open. In fact, though it's not immediately obvious, they are all splitting open. The one at the very top is clearly in the process of splitting. From what I read on the SoBerry website, these are still quite usable, likely for at least 2 more washes. I will check after each wash I do.
And the results? Thus far my clothes, sheets, and towels are still getting very clean, and there's no artificial scent to deal with. One thing I forgot to mention is that if I need to pre-treat a stain before washing, soapberries can't be used for that and I'll need to use my standard laundry pre-treater. But I don't have to do that very often so that's not an issue for me.
I am really liking these a lot. Unless something happens to change my mind, I think I have found my new laundry detergent--and it's guaranteed not to pollute! The used berries are completely compostable, so I'll just toss them in the garden when they are done.
I'm a textile artist (traditional rug hooking, punch needle rug hooking, and other textile arts), a long-time meditator, a certified meditation teacher and coach, and focused on learning about the interplay of art, creativity, and mindfulness every day.
SITES TO WATCH:
Insight Meditation Society
Oxford Rug Hooking School
Zentangle: The Official Site
Green Mountain Rug Hooking
Massachusetts Tarot Society