Disclosure: This post contains a referral link. That means if you make a purchase using the link I may receive compensation that will help me buy more soapberries. So, thanks!
I was so excited when this little box of soapberries arrived! Finally, a toxin free laundry “detergent” that I could feel good about using. A completely natural solution! My kids looked at me like I had lost my mind. In the exact words of my teenage son, “Mom, why do you have to be so weird? Why can’t we just use regular laundry detergent like normal people?”
We have been using regular laundry detergent like “normal people”. That’s all we’ve ever used. I’m over it, and here’s why:
Everyday we are exposed to toxins that are truly detrimental to our health in our laundry detergents, fabric softeners, hand soaps, body soaps, deodorants, perfumes, shampoos, candles, air fresheners and many other products that I once didn’t think twice about using. These toxins are known as “endocrine disruptors” which means they can mimic the natural hormones in your body, possibly causing overstimulation, or they can interfere or block the way your natural hormones are made or controlled. That’s not good.
Some serious health issues have been linked to endocrine disruptors:
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome (pcos)
- Male reproductive disorders
- Premature death
- Obesity and diabetes
- Neurological impacts
- Breast cancer
- Female reproductive disorders
- Immune disorders
- Liver cancer
- Parkinson’s symptoms
- Prostate cancer
- Thyroid disorders
See why I don’t care about using regular laundry detergent like “normal” people? I want to do everything I possibly can to keep my family healthy, even if it means making my kids think I’m a weirdo. There’s no such thing as “moderation” when it comes to these chemicals. A little can do a lot of damage.
Here’s a list of some offending toxic ingredients, where you typically find them, and why you should avoid them:
Commonly seen on personal hygiene product labels as “fragrance”, this ugly ingredient has been studied and linked to hormonal changes, lower sperm counts, obesity, thyroid disorders and diabetes.
- Glycol Ethers
Common in paint, cleaning products and cosmetics, this one has been linked to shrunken testicles (yikes!), lower sperm counts and blood abnormalities.
- Triclosan & Triclocarban
Found in antibacterial products and toothpastes, these have been found to disturb thyroid, testosterone and estrogen regulation as well as create problems such as infertility, obesity and cancer. There are some new laws regulating the use of this so we shouldn’t be seeing them in our products any longer. Watch out for the replacement chemical which hasn’t been banned – benzalkonium chloride.
- Propyl paraben, Isopropyl paraben, Butyl paraben and Isobutyl paraben
These are in cosmetics, body washes, lotions and some snack foods! Studies have shown they are associated with hormone disruption and decreased fertility.
I could go on, but I think you get the point. This stuff is bad news. Our skin is our largest organ so we need to pay attention to what is going on it. Maybe you don’t have any of the serious health conditions I listed above. That doesn’t mean you aren’t at risk. Your body, your mind and your health are all affected by these chemicals that aren’t found in nature. That’s the reason we’ve switched to these soapberries. It was the next step in removing more toxins from our home.
What are soapberries?
Soapberries are the “fruit” of a soapberry tree, which typically reaches between 20 – 30 feet in height and grows in tropical regions. Each berry contains a substance called saponin, a natural soap, which is released when the berry absorbs water.
Are they safe for people with sensitive skin?
There is no fragrance (so just be aware clothes will come out clean, but not scented) and they are 100% hypoallergenic which makes them great if you have sensitive skin, allergies, psoriasis or eczema.
Can I use them in my HE front-loading machine?
Yes! I use them in mine!
Are they expensive?
Absolutely not. One box of these berries replaces about 7 bottles of laundry detergent and does about 300 loads of laundry. These will save you money!
How do I use these?
The “berries” come in a box with two small linen bags. You simply put 4 – 5 berries in one of the bags, tie it up, and toss it into your machine. Re-use the same berries for up to 5 loads. When they become shriveled or dried out, you can throw them in the trash or use them in your compost pile!
As you work to rid your home of toxins, just remember to read the labels on EVERYTHING! Even things that claim to be “all natural” or “organic” can sometimes contain harmful ingredients. I’ll be talking more about toxins and sharing other simple and frugal solutions with you. I want your hormones to be healthy, too!
If you have any questions about any of this, I want to talk about it in the comments! When we first started to discover how serious these things were, it was a little hard to believe, so I get it if you’re skeptical about how much any of this really matters when it comes to your health. So coming up on the blog later very soon I’ll be sharing my sister’s story of her journey with pcos – how after years of focusing on nutrition she discovered that getting the toxins out of her house was the missing link. In just one year she lost 75 pounds and her cycles, which has previously been non-existent or only come sporadically, became completely regulated. All because she removed the endocrine disruptors in her soap, shampoo and other common household products.
Do you have a story about what removing toxins did for you? I’d love to hear it! Share it with me in the comments.
EWG – https://www.ewg.org/research/dirty-dozen-list-endocrine-disruptors