Memories... Like Mom Made!

Memories... Like Mom Made!
Out of dark moments, flowers grow.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

NaturOli Soapnuts Review and Giveaway from Like Mom Made

You asked for it, and here it is! A cloth diaper safe detergent giveaway! I have actually had this one planned from the start, but when I asked on the Wool Dryer Ball Giveaway what you would all like to see this week, this was at the top of the list!

So, Soapnuts aren't a liquid detergent. They are actually berries that have been harvest, deseeded, and dried. When they become wet and agitated, they secrete saponin which is the powerful surfactant that holds all the cleaning power!

There is so much more I can tell you about Soapnuts, about how to buy Soapnuts, how not to buy soapnuts, how they work, and all that they can do...

But honestly, that would take a week and we want to get on to the review and giveaway, right?

I have been cloth diapering Lorelei since I brought her home from the hospital. In the beginning, I always had disposables on hand just in case, since I hadn't yet perfected my wash routine and wasn't sure how well I would get the hang of it, but by the time she was a month old it was full time cloth diapering with very few to no breaks in between (with the exception of air plane travel).

Figuring out my wash routine was by far the hardest part of cloth diapering... I was learning there are so many things you can't use on diapers, and so many things you should avoid even though it seems cloth diaper safe, and even more things that you can choose from to use...

How do you know you are making the right choice? What all do you really need to put in the wash with your diapers? And if normal detergents are that hard on cloth diapers, are they really a good idea for the rest of my clothes?

My wheels were spinning.

I had heard several people talk about Soapnuts, soapberries, etc, as well as a few other types of detergents. I tried a few liquid detergents that were deemed cloth diaper safe and had varying results, but still felt like I wanted to get away from harsh chemicals and synthetic ingredients that were commonplace in all commercial detergents.

Finally about a month ago, I bit the bullet and decided to do some research on soapnuts and figure out what the big fuss was about.

I came across a website called and instantly found the information I was looking for. I quickly learned that there are scams within the soapnuts industry to watch out for, as well as other things to keep in mind while buying. I also learned that some companies will sell soapnuts by the "loads" and not the weight, which is a tricky way of driving up the price without consumers knowing the difference.

After I armed myself with information, I decided that I want to try NaturOli brand soapnuts. I ordered 3 lbs through a seller I found online and waited eagerly to receive them.

When they arrived they came in three separate bags, which was great because I would only have to open one at a time and could put the rest away out of the way so they wouldn't take up space on my dryer. NaturOli also included a muslin baggie to hold the soapnuts so they don't scatter in the wash, and a bottle of their signature 18x soapnuts cleaner, which they claimed made a brilliant household cleaner when diluted with water, could be used for spot treating, or could be put directly into the wash a few drops at a time in place of the soapnuts.

I was so excited when they arrived that I instantly put a few in the muslin baggie they included and tossed it in my washer with some clothes.

Throughout the wash I kept peeking to see what they were "doing". Soapnuts do not suds like commercial detergents do, but surprisingly, suds are not at all indicative of cleaning power. They just indicate that there is a surfactant present in the water.

After my clothes were washed and went through the spin cycle, I inspected my laundry to see how it looked. I felt like it wasn't as clean as it could have been, but decided that this was more the fault of my washer being crammed too full and the clothes being a little beyond soiled. The next load I didn't fill as full and I used some of the concentrated cleaner (diluted in a bottle with 16 oz of water) to pretreat some of the more heavily soiled clothes.

Bingo! This time they came out perfect.

The number one thing I didn't like about soapnuts is that they didn't leave my clothes smelling clean. Since there are no articifial perfumes or oils, there was nothing to give it that fresh laundry scent. I remedied this situation by adding a few drops of Tea Tree Oil, which I also add to my wool dryer balls, and it seemed to help. You can add any essential oil to the rinse cycle and make your laundry smell however you prefer. Lavender, Tea Tree Oil, mix and match, the sky is the limit.

I will admit, though I am trying to become more green and steer away from harsh chemicals and artificial perfumes and dyes, I am still a "scent" junkie... When I was pregnant with my girls I would literally stop in the laundry detergent aisle like three times before leaving the store. I would stroll up and down the aisle and breathe in the amazing clean laundry scent... It is a tough habit to break, but I am getting there. I do add the occasional splash of fabric softener or tide unstoppables scent beads, or even a scoop of oxi clean. I have noticed that I haven't been using as much, and I am hoping when I run out of the commercial detergents I have now,  I won't be tempted to buy them again.

As far as my cloth diaper laundry goes, I feel like the soapnuts are really doing the trick. I do add a scoop of oxi clean to every cloth diaper load but this is more to help keep my cloth nice and bright and not because the soapnuts aren't cleaning them. Yes, I realize that the oxiclean is not a natural solution, but for now I am sticking with this routine because it does work for me.

So on to the giveaway!

I am going to be giving away a 1 lb bag of NaturOli Soapnuts! I will ship this bag of soapnuts directly to the winner within a week after the contest ends on May 12. I will not be including a muslin baggie, as I need mine for my own washing machine, but I am sure a sock tied in a knot would make a suitable substitute.

I will be including the pamphlets NaturOli included when I ordered the soapnuts. NaturOli did not provide this prize and has not paid me for my review or this giveaway.

To enter, just follow the rafflecopter instructions below. If you complete a requirement asking you to leave a comment, make sure your name is in the comment, otherwise I won't be able to verify that you completed the entry. All incomplete entries will be deleted before drawing.

The contest closes on Mother's Day and the winner will be notified between the evening of Sunday the 12th and Monday the 13th. The winner will have 48 hours after notification is sent to claim their prize. If the prize is not claimed at the end of 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn.

Don't forget to check the main giveaway post to see what other giveaways are available for you to enter!

*May 4 Update* So as you all probably know, I now have FIVE amazing giveaways up and running. I was moderating the giveaways and kept thinking it was odd that everyone was telling me about their nest and pea pod necklaces on this giveaway. Finally I decided to look in to it and realized I gave the WRONG instructions on the blog post comment option. Oy vey! So everyone who completed that entry thus far gets credit for ANY comment. From now on, I have a more appropriate option available to follow!" rel="nofollow">a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I have never tried soapnuts but have wanted to.

  2. I would love to try soapnuts! Thanks for the giveaway!!

  3. The necklace I would love would be for my mother! Antique bronze with 2 eggs in the nest and 2 on the chain for the grandkids! (Amanda Tengler)

  4. I kind of like the peapod one better. It would be in bronze and would have four peas for each of my kids.

  5. I like the nest. It would have one for my son. I actually already have one from you and love it!

  6. I would create a nest with four eggs in it... This would be for my beautiful friend Rachel who has 4 boys :-)

  7. This could be something neat to try!

    Tiphani Ruark

  8. I already have a nest/egg necklace, but would love to get my sister one. It would need three 'eggs'

  9. I would love to try these, it took us awhile to get used to the no scent smell of homemade laundry soap too.

  10. Wow Never heard of Soap Nuts before, With 2 dirty boys in the house, These would surley help get their clothes smellin fresh! :)

  11. they're so versatile... if you look into their products more you can use them for everything from soap and shampoo to laundry!!!

  12. I would like to try these because I have heard good things and I am curious about them. I like natural products.

  13. I have never tried soapnuts but I would love to.

  14. Soap nuts are awesome, I've been using them for a while now. They make my washing soft and nice, I've been adding some essential oils too for added scent :)