04 April 2010

Greening my laundry

For laundry, I used to use Seventh Generation's Chlorine-free detergent:

But that was way too much plastic for me, and recycling is not enough for me anymore. After becoming an avid reader of Fake Plastic Fish, I've become much more conscious of plastic. I prefer to focus on the first "r" which is reduce. I switched over to the Seventh Generation powder laundry:

Plastic free packaging. Great. However, when you open it up, there's a plastic scooper. Drats. Also, there's a lot of stuff listed in the ingredients list. I'm not too sure about that. Then I found this:

From Laundry Tree. They are shipped to your home and do not contain any plastic, and soap nuts is just dried fruit. I'm thinking about trying this next when my powder laundry runs out.


  1. The Laundry Tree products seem fruitful for the environment, however this raised an important question that I need to do more research. I am an avid Bio-Kleen fan. I am aware that it comes with a plastic scoop every time I buy a new box of laundry soap. It is very small and it can be recycled easily. Really I could live without the plastic scoop by re-using one of my small measuring cups for soap only. I like the Bio-Kleen powder because it lasts more than several months before I run out of it. Since the soap nuts that Laundry Tree gets are from overseas, it makes me wonder where Bio-Kleen gets their raw materials. So this raised the question of which product has the overall less impacts on our environment?

  2. i've checked the soap nuts out and i'm convinced. for a front-loading, cold-washer, all i have to do is soak the soapnuts and have a batch ready to use. the soapnuts also can be re-used. you can reuse it until it "runs" out of "soap".

    and it can be used to clean your bathroom, kitchen, jewelry, plants/repel pests, wash your produce, and use as shampoo (they remove lice!) and window and glass cleaner. soap nuts benefits people with hair loss, and can be used as toothpaste. definitely multi-purpose. more than you can say for biokleen? :)

    by ordering soapnuts from Laundry Tree, we provide work for about 300 people everyday, specifically unemployed women, and they pay them fairly. that is if you want to take their word for it.

    from the picture on their website, it seems soap nuts come in a brown bag. i'm not sure if it has a plastic inner sheath or what packaging it might come in. when ordering you can specify they not include any new plastics.

    and best of all- soap nuts are antimicrobial, which means when they go down the drain - they don't ADD to the sewage, they actually help in breaking down the gray water.

    PLUS - no rinse cycle needed when you use soap nuts... that was the most amazing part of all this. definitely will save a lot of WATER in the long run!

  3. Thanks Raychelle for your summary on Laundry Tree soap. I am now pretty convinced about giving it a try. It would be a good experiment.

    Definitely I won't be using Bio-Kleen as toothpaste. Haha. One of my main concerns is that I want to support my local co-op food store. That store stands alone against many giant supermarkets in the area, so I feel great when I buy Bio-Kleen products and bulk food from the the co-op store. Since I became the member of the co-op food store, I will see if they can order Laundry Tree soap to see if it will sell well there. However , I am very interested to hear what you and P has to say about the Laundry Tree product after using them for laundry.

    And speaking of plastics...I think it would be great if laundry soap companies stop giving away plastic scoops and encourage their customers to use something permanent such as reusing something like tablespoon (TBSP) to measure their soap for laundry.

    Speaking of laundry.. I gotta do laundry now.. then air dry my clothes. Thanks for the laundry talk otherwise I would've forgotten about it. Hehe.

  4. i completely understand and support you when it comes to co-ops. i feel the same way. maybe the co-op can sell soap nuts in bulk? :)

    and ONE more thing... actually probably the most important thing of all: soap nuts have one ingredient - soap nuts.

    biokleen: Ingredients: Soda ash, zeolites, sodium citrate, vegetable fiber chelators, sodium precarbonate, grapefruit seed extract, grapefruit pulp, orange peel extract, natural corrosion inhibitors, surfactants (from coconut), degreasers (from coconut), conditioners (from coconut), low pH silicates, sodium sulfate.

    imagine the number of plastics discarded involved in holding each of these items , mixing each of them, shipping each of them, etc.

    soap nuts: fall from tree. lay out to dry. put in paper bag. mail.

    the same principle applies to food - the less ingredients, the better (the less processed).

    and that reminds me, i'm doing my laundry tomorrow! :)

  5. I also tried biokleen but chose seventh generation cuz there's a plastic bag in the cardboard box holding the powder in addition to the scooper. Seventh generation had just the scooper.

    Beth of fakeplasticfish recommended soapnts because they come in a plasti free package.

  6. You raised another very valid point. Thank you for getting ahead with your research and sharing your conclusions too. It is amazing that nuts fallen from trees can be used as laundry soap. I never thought of that until this post was published. So I am going to inquire the store about looking into the Laundry Tree soap nuts.

    Yup, laundry talk makes people wanna clean their dirty clothes!! :D

  7. P, I wasn't aware that Seventh Generation powder soap boxes do not carry plastic bags. Thank you for pointing that out.

  8. I am grateful to learn about soap nuts. As soon as my laundry detergent runs out, I am going to start using soap nuts.