• Affordability

Soap Nuts – Possibly THE MOST Affordable Way To Wash Laundry.

I have read erroneous articles discussing soap nuts as an expensive alternative to chemical detergents. Interestingly I have received more than one apology from journalists that simply didn’t do enough homework on the subject of soap nuts. Anything used improperly will produce unreliable data. One journalist claimed that the cost of soap nuts was in the 50 cents per load range. I promptly set her straight. Frankly, properly used, soap nuts can be one of the most affordable ways possible to do laundry – and the math is very easy.

Now, it is important to realize that it is not cost effective at all to buy samplers of soap nuts. The purpose of samplers is to try them. Period. If you like them, then you would certainly buy them in larger quantities to reduce your cost per ounce. That’s a very nice thing about NaturOli. Not only do they offer very large sizes of reasonably priced quality soap nuts. They even work well with co-ops, similar type groups and resellers of all sizes on even larger orders.

But let’s first compare the cost of using soap nuts to using commercial detergents – as average consumers. Let’s just crunch some numbers:

You can purchase 32 ounces of high quality soap nuts for around $30. That should be enough to last an average household six months to a year when it comes down to simply doing laundry. Used in the traditional manner, you will use approx. one-half ounce in a wash bag and will average about 5 loads from it. That yields approx. 320 loads. Now I can usually get more loads than that, but that is only because of some tricks I use to extend their life and maximize saponin extraction. To be conservative, let’s even just go with only four loads.

Oh, a note worth mentioning: I’ve seen some soap nut sellers claim less loads being possible. That is very likely a good indicator of the type and quality of soap nuts being sold. I’ve also heard of people claiming to use half the amount of soap nuts I suggest using. (I still don’t get that one.) But let’s bare in mind the many, many variables in how people do their laundry. We will devote more time on this subject later.

Again, being very conservative, at only four loads per half ounce that would yield us only 256 loads. $30 divided by 256 equals $0.127 per load. And we are talking standard loads – not high efficiency (HE) loads that will lower the cost per load dramatically.

Soap nuts affordabilty - cost comparisons. Photo: Private colellection.

Soap nuts affordabilty - cost comparisons. Photo: Private colellection.

Now let’s run some comparisons with NaturOli soap nuts at various popular sized bags with leading “natural” and other types of detergents in typical sizes in which they are available. Note all comparison items were priced from discount yet reputable and respected sellers. All NaturOli prices per load are based upon standard loads, not HE loads. He loads would be approximately half the stated costs per load.

– NaturOli’s 64 ounce bag of soap nuts: $57.95 for 512 loads ($0.113 per load)

– NaturOli’s 32 ounce bag of soap nuts: $29.95 for 256 loads ($0.117 per load)

– NaturOli’s 16 ounce bag of soap nuts: $19.95 for 128 loads ($0.155 per load)

– NaturOli’s 8 ounce bag of soap nuts: $12.75 for 64 loads ($0.199 per load)

– Seventh Generation’s Free and Clear Natural Laundry Detergent 2x Ultra: $11.99 for 50 loads. ($0.239 cents per load)

– All’s Small and Mighty 3x Concentrate for HE washers: $8.49 for 32 loads. ($0.265 per load)

– Mrs. Meyer’s Lavender Laundry Detergent: $13.49 for 32 loads ($0.421 per load)

– ECOS Laundry Detergent, Ultra Concentrated with Soy Fabric Softener: $9.49 for 26 loads ($0.367 per load)

– Tide’s 2x Concentrated Laundry Detergent: $14.99 for 32 loads ($0.468 per load!) This one really surprised me!

– Seventh Generation’s  Free and Clear Powder Laundry Detergent: $10.99 for 42 loads ($0.262 per load) Note: This is based on a package priced 4-pack at $43.99)

– Dreft’s 2x Concentrated Baby Laundry Detergent: $31.99 for 110 loads ($0.290 per load!)

– Babyganics 3x Concentrated Laundry Detergent: $13.49 for 33 loads ($0.408 per load)

– Method’s 3x Concentrated Baby Laundry Detergent: $10.99 for 32 loads ($0.343 per load)

Very quickly it becomes apparent that soap nuts (even when using our very conservative estimates) are very inexpensive compared to commercial detergents. The cost per “soap nut” load is dramatically lower! Used properly soap nuts can cut laundry costs by half or more. And this does not even factor in that you have virtually no more need for fabric softeners or dryer sheets.

(Forgive this brief departure, but at this point I can’t resist mentioning the environmental impact. Can you imagine the mega-tons of big plastic jugs and boxes that are completely eliminated from existence forever when using soap nuts? That’s staggering – and that’s only one of the many ways soap nuts are better for our planet. We will drill into this much more deeply in other articles.)

I gave a single mother, good friend of mine with three children a bag of soap nuts for the holidays. She has been working hard to make ends meet. Since that time she has raved about how wonderfully they worked, how her laundry never smelled so clean and soft, how her washing machine no longer smelled like mold and mildew. She had difficulty describing the scent, because there is no scent. How does one simply describe the scent of clean? Think about it.

She didn’t stop with laundry. She hasn’t stopped experimenting, and I last heard that the liquid she made cleaned her coffee maker better than even CLR did. Amazing.

We are all stretching our dollars as far as possible these days. We are also very concerned about all possible health hazards, and living greener lives. Unfortunately, what usually goes along with even supposedly “greener”, better products are higher price tags. One walk down any aisle in a grocery store, and this becomes immediately apparent. I have recently read numerous articles on the green profiteering that is occurring in nearly all industries.

Soap nuts are not only growing in consumer awareness when green is “in”. It is growing in awareness at a time when we all can use conserving a little more of our own green. No time could be better than now to discover all the wonders of soap nuts.

18 replies
  1. Leonard
    Leonard says:

    Your site is one of my favorite blogs and man, I tell ya, I’ve read a bunch about soap nuts. I’m glad I found you. Keep up the good work.

  2. Nuriah
    Nuriah says:

    I agree!! I did the math. It costs me 13 cents a king size load, using ~5 soap nuts 5 or 6 times. I buy NaturOli–best deal anywhere.

  3. Eugene Purpora
    Eugene Purpora says:

    Excellent soap nut blog! I thought you were putting video on your blog posts. I think it works. Best wishes, Eugene.

    All in time, Eugene. Hang in there!

  4. Dena
    Dena says:

    It is quite interesting since i knew something about soap nuts but i wasnt sure on what to believe… There are a lot of myths on the web. Thank you for much clarification. You have the best web site about soap nuts online.

  5. lori
    lori says:

    Fabulous! Your rationale and deductions are brilliant! Soap nuts are a genuine gift from nature. Best of luck in spreading the word! And soap nuts are spreading like a wildfire. It won’t take any luck with a little time. 😉

  6. a hard working nurse in beautiful Colorado
    a hard working nurse in beautiful Colorado says:

    I have been scouting around for quite a while just for good content articles about soap berries, not just sales pitches and the same old hype that is everywhere. I know first hand that they can be wonderful for helping to remedy many skin irritations, and I have many patients who will benefit from what soap berries can do. Checking out Google I discovered this great site. I am seriously elated to find so much straight information on one site. I will be forwarding it and recommending many people your way. I see that you like NaturOli Soap Nuts. They should have many more links to SoapNutsPro. But, that is where I’ve been buying mine, and where I’ve been referring people. Have been completely satisfied with every purchase. Between this site and theirs, what more can one want??? You cover the more complex details and science surrounding soap berries so well. You answered every single question I had. That’s impressive, because I had a lot of questions about soap nuts. Great work!

  7. Muriah
    Muriah says:

    It took me time to read most of the posts and comments on your soap nuts blog, but worth it. I love all the new things I’ve learned. Excellent site! You have the best reviews, information, FAQ, about soap nuts and soap berries anywhere!

  8. Quincy - while struggling along at Yale
    Quincy - while struggling along at Yale says:

    Your blog has absolutely exceeded my expectations. Since I started looking through your site I have come to understand fresh information about soap nuts, aka soap berries – and had previous information either reinforced or completely overturned. Impressive. I’ll send many folks that I know. Many of us have debated various pros and cons regarding soap nuts. I believe you cover virtually all the main issues extremely well. Good work! I’ll be back in touch if I write a paper about the world’s benefits from the use of saponin. I’m highly considering it!

  9. Mohammed
    Mohammed says:

    Soap Nuts Affordability ….. very cool post! Very timely during these tough days. Soap nuts are incredibly cheap to use. Thanks for all the extra tips!

  10. Georgette (from the Great State of Maine)
    Georgette (from the Great State of Maine) says:

    Was recently turned on to soap berry based detergent. Works extremely well! I LOVE NaturOli’s 18X soap nut liquid! One pump and that’s it. No more scratchiness or itchiness! Huge cost savings when you figure it out. Half the cost of Tide. I do use a soap nuts stain stick (from NaturOli, too) on armpits and spots, and sometimes I add some Oxiclean with my whites if they are getting dingy. That’s it, though. Everything is soft and fresh without a perfume smell. Don’t need any other laundry supplies. I use 18X for almost everything around the house now, too. I mix about an ounce or two of Extreme soap nut concentrate with a cup of water and I’ve got the best darn glass cleaner I’ve EVER used – and without the all that ammonia and that awful medicinal smell! I’m VERY impressed!

  11. Cheryl - frozen in Chicago!
    Cheryl - frozen in Chicago! says:

    Thanks for all your information and insight! Soap berries are saving me a TON OF MONEY! I have FOUR kids (2 thru 9), and a husband that works literally in the dirt almost daily. It’s not as bad right now because everything is frozen solid. You gotta see his work clothes in summer! Disgusting! I do a LOT of laundry! I would have NEVER realized the changes I could make without reading SoapNutsPro. We are being SO ripped off at the store. (deleted) Tide and the all the rest of them! AND these OTHER so called GREENER ones I think are WORSE! They get me even madder! They cost MORE and really they’re NO better AT ALL! That should be fraud or something. It’s WRONG! You should be on Discovery or Science Channel or some 60 Minutes type show or SOMETHING. I mean it! Some of my friends GET IT when I talk about this with them. A bunch are still oblivious to what’s going on. People need to know more about Soap Nuts (soap berries) and the many other things you write about. This is VERY important stuff! Please keep doing what you’re doing. I’m spreading the word. When my friends DO GET IT they feel EXACTLY the same as I do – (deleted) over. We are so behind you in your efforts. From your many supporters in our Windy City! Love ya! Cheryl

  12. Purax
    Purax says:

    Great read! Never knew about them.

    Wish I had a nickle for every time I’ve heard that! Soap Nuts are on their way to becoming “household” words! Thanks for visiting! Come again soon!

  13. Trust Austin
    Trust Austin says:

    It drives me nuts that the natural cleaning products always seem to cost double the regular ones. I am tickled pink with joy that this one doesn’t!


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