Category Archives: green living

Nuts and Balls……….

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I adore my nuts and balls, soap nuts and wool dryer balls that is ;o) On our journey to lessen our environmental impact as a family and to clean up/ minimize the amount of toxic products we expose ourselves to daily, we have cut out commercial made laundry soap and dryer sheets. Mind you this is coming from a previous laundry soap, fabric softener AND dryer sheet all at one time ADDICT. I felt as thought the laundry soaps smell was my personal perfume and signature scent so changing to an all natural, unscented version was especially difficult ( to stop using commercial deodorants was the HARDEST) for me to try. I started my journey with the homemade soap recipes off the Internet. They were OK, nothing spectacular and still some of them called for bars of grated hand soap. The dry powder was a pain and messy with all the spills from the children “helping” me do laundry and the liquid was gooey/ lumpy and really just a pain in the ass. If I made too much and had to store it, the soap would separate and settle which required my husband to hook the paint stirrer attachment up to the drill to remix, which made for another mess to clean up.  Needless to say I fell back into the commercial laundry soap routine after awhile just do to shear convenience. Thankfully I found soap nuts.

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Life size photo

These are nuts from a Sapindus tree (sometimes a shrub) located in several areas world wide. The berry from the tree is harvested, de-seeded and the outer cracked shell is what is packaged and sold as a laundry detergent. The quickie version of why it works is that the skin of the nut/berry contains a surfactant that breaks the bond of oil and dirt causing them to release while being washed. I bought a 5 pound bag for around $40 almost 2 years ago and with my family of six, doing one load of laundry a day, we STILL have half a bag left –VERY ECONOMICAL !!! When we are finished with the nuts we throw the rest of the shell into our compost barrel.

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Use 4-5 seeds in the bag and placing into washing machine. You can reuse this for many washes ( around 6 times at my house)

So while my love affair began to take off with the soap nuts, my dryer life was still lacking. I tried vinegar and those plastic spiky balls that were an absolute waste of money then finally I spent one late night on a Internet time sucking search stumbled upon the wool dryer ball. I found a great little farm right here in the U.S.A. (Stoney Mountain Farm) that makes the most beautiful handmade dryer balls right from their very own herd.

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SOooooo stinky cute

I think this one is just relieved to get some of that coat off LOL

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Look at these balls !!! Gorgeous I tell you :o)

ImageI was worried that my laundry would smell like barn animals when I used them, especially with added heat and I am happy to say that besides the 1st load smelling a bit like hay (which was fine for me, I like hay) my laundry smells wonderful and clean. Truly clean, no perfumes, no oily textures or petroleum based coating on our clothing. These dryer balls have held up for almost a year now too even with the daily drying. The best is when I add a few drops of lavender oil to a old washcloth the last 5 min of the dryer time….snifffffff…HeAvEn !!! Oh and what sealed the deal for us is that our bed sheets are the absolutely the best, a perfect combo of crispy and soft. There is nothing else like clean sheets on the bed. When I return from trips to middle of nowhere Haiti, the one thing I ask for is that hubby could have clean sheets ready for me so I can scrap the dirt off of me, shave and then jump in our awesome bed…….sad I know LOL.  Do you have any green laundry tips or recommendations?

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