Reviewed by Jane Warwick
I was delighted to review this product as I had heard a lot of positive things about the product. Some of these are that it is allergy friendly, economic as well as organic. The bag I received was a 1 kg bag and I was told it holds enough nuts for 330 washes. The nut part made me very curious. What nuts can clean my washing? It turns out that these nuts have been used for thousands of years as a natural detergent and they are commonly known as soap berries. I think soap berries personally sounds nicer than soap nuts. These nuts grow on trees of the Sapindus genus and are a source of Saponin which is a natural soap. This genus has about five to twelve species of trees and shrubs and are members of the lychee family which are native to warm, tropical regions of the world. All of this is very interesting, and I do like the fact that this “soap” is supposed to be gentle on clothes and help maintain the colour of clothes for longer.
The 1kg bag is made of cotton and inside this, there are two small zipped pouches for inserting the nuts when using them for cleaning clothes. What then puzzled me was why on opening the large bag are the nuts encased with a “plastic wrap”? Luckily on the company’s website I found the answer for this. The wrap is a biodegradable and compostable wrap which protects the soap nuts from oxidation and water damage during storage so helps to maintain the premium quality of the soap nuts. This is a good idea when they are being stored near the washing machine.
Enough of the talk now for the action. I opened the wrap and was greeted with a non scented smell which was not very pleasant so not a good start! I followed the instructions on the back of the bag which tells you how many nuts to use depending on the type of water you have and how soiled the washing is. These instructions are also written in French, German and Dutch. I placed 6 nuts into the pouch, placed my running gear (all of which was very sweaty) into the machine, and added the pouch on top as directed by the instructions. After the washing cycle at 30 degrees Celsius, I removed my sports clothes and these had a damp smell again not scented but not quite nice. However, I was determined to give these a good try so hung the clothes up until they dried. Once dried I smelt them again and to be fair the smell was not as bad and there was no smell of sweat. I decided to wash these clothes again after my next run and used the same nuts as these had dried and the instruction on the website states they can be reused up to four times which makes it very economical. The sweaty smell does go in the wash but there is another smell and as I am used to synthetic smells with my washing, I was not keen on this smell. The fact that my clothes were clean was hard to reconcile with the other smell.
There are so many pluses to these nuts. The ecozone soap nuts have won silver award 2021 by Made for Mums due to being hypo -allergenic and it is vegan friendly and cruelty-free that I find it hard that I do not particularly like these so I am not very likely to recommend it to others. I certainly am determined to try it again and if I do use it, I will add fabric conditioner to mask the smell, so it is not a total failure and I think in terms of economics and sustainability it is very good so I will give it 3/5.
I would not be able to recommend it for the cleaning award.
RRP: £12.99 on sale for £8.70 at the time of putting the review online
This product can be purchased from Eco Zone Direct here.