I work from home 2 days a week.
I got a "solar clothes dryer" (clothesline).
I began composting.
And I decided to try these:
They are called "soap nuts" and they are supposed to contain saponin, a soap-like natural substance.
I have done 3 loads of laundry with them and so far, so good. You put 3-5 of the little nuts in the muslin bag and toss in the wash. Each set of nuts lasts 4 washes or so.
The only thing I DON'T get is that the little bag stays in the wash during the rinse cycle, a fact my mom pointed out. So either the chemical isn't very strong, isn't really doing anything, or my washables are going to get more and more saponin-y. I don't know about THAT part. Hm.
Anyway, if you want to give the soap nuts a spin, I have 2 spare bags and some nuts to give away. Leave a comment and let me know you'd like them. I will choose at random.
EDITED TO ADD:
The nice soapnuts people found my blog and said:
Wow! Thank you for mentioning our soapnuts on your blog -- and for sponsoring your own LaundryTree SoapNut giveaway! We regularly participate in giveaways with bloggers, but I believe this is the first time we've found someone kind enough to share their OWN samples! =D
If you'd like to give away a few more samples (and it's not too late) we'd be happy to provide up to 10 for your readers. (You can choose the winners and send us the addresses -- we'll be happy to take care of mailing them).
Also... I didn't want to "hijack" your blog post with advertising, but I DID want to answer to your question about the bag staying in the wash: Hot water causes the fruit to release its saponin, but cold water has little, if any, effect on them. So the saponin is released during the wash cycle, and is washed away during the cold water rinse.
Thank you for posing the question -- we have updated our site to include this info.
Thanks again, and have a wonderful day...
So they answered my question AND expanded the giveaway...I love the internets sometimes!