26 August, 2011

My Laundry's Dirty Little Secret

Have you ever had one of those stains that no matter what you put on it, it just will NOT come out? Welcome to my laundry room! My husband is a farmer, and most days I don't even bother asking what the stain is. It's not coming out whether I know what it is or not. So, when a friend posted the link to this blog, where the author claimed she got out several different stains with a bar of Ivory soap and a wacky little product called Eco Nuts, I was intrigued. 

I had heard of Eco Nuts before, (if you haven't check this out) They are biodegradable, hypoallergenic, nut allergy safe, reusable (yes, really) and fragrance free. I like that last one, I HATE it when every cleaner has to smell like some fake rain forest. I'm allergic to a lot of the chemicals they use to make artificial fragrances (they give me a major headache). So the fact that these have no fragrance? OK, let's give it a try! 

I've been using the Eco Nuts for a week or two now and I must say my laundry comes out equally as clean as it does with traditional laundry detergent, with the added benefits of Eco Nuts being free of chemicals, artificial fragrance and artificial color (I mean, really! Who cares what color their laundry soap is anyhow?) Also, Eco Nuts are fairly cheap (and quite pack-able for ski vacation this winter, a bag with 4 Eco Nuts can be used for 10, yes T-E-N, loads of laundry!) so I'll skip the standard harsh detergents and use these. Also, you don't have to use fabric softener (even less funky fake smells!) and your clothes will still be soft. We'll see how it works without dryer sheets this winter. 

Now, you must understand that clothes in this house are either not going to have any stains, or they will be one large stain (obviously there are exceptions, but one of those options is the norm). I've tried just about every stain remover you can name (and some of the best known ones are the ones that work the least!) so I was more than a little skeptical by this blogger's claim that something as common as Ivory soap could get out stains. So I gave it a try on a BBQ sauce stain on my new pair of khakis (grrrr) and a blood stain (don't ask) on a pair of jean shorts. The results? Bye-bye stains! What?! Really? Hmmm, this just might be worth a try on my husband's work jeans. 

And so I present to you:

                          Exhibit A:                                                 Exhibit B:

The stains: Probably oil and grease of some kind, along with mud/dirt, maybe some diesel fuel. By the way, I'm talking machinery grease and oil here, you know, from tractors and grain trucks and combines, that sort of grease. I realize that in these pictures, these stains look like just dirt, but believe me, these jeans have looked pretty much exactly like this through several washes now. And yes, they've been through the dryer.

Here's what you'll need: 

Spray bottle and Ivory soap (clearly this is not a new bar of soap)
Because jeans absorb water, I had to kind of spray the stains and rub with the soap at the same time. You want it to kind of lather, it should look soapy (if that made sense).

Isn't it nice that I'm left-handed and shoot photos with my right hand?
I'm just ambidextrous like that :)
Here's what the jeans looked like all Ivory-ed up:

Exhibit A:

Exhibit B:

And, just for the fun of it, here's Exhibit C: (it's going into the wash without Ivory for comparison)

Into the wash they all go!

Along with the baggie of Eco Nuts

Alta needs to use the grass. Que Jeopardy music while you wait!
I hung the jeans outside to dry, so if they look a little stiff, that's why.


Exhibit A:

Exhibit B:

And, last but not least, the control (yes, I watch Mythbusters, what's your point?) Exhibit C:

The stains on Exhibit C are somewhat lighter, but compared to A & B, they look like they need to be scrubbed with Ivory and put back in the wash! 

Conclusion: Even if you don't try the Eco Nuts, definitely give the Ivory soap a try! You've probably got a bar or two around somewhere. Shockingly cheap stain remover that actually WORKS! Thanks to Tonya at 4littlefergusons for posting the link to ChemicallyInclined

PS: I have an HE washer, but EcoNuts can be used in regular top-loaders as well!


  1. Oh wow! That is an amazing difference!!!! I said it when I read Chemically Inclined's blog, and I'll say it again: I am going to have to get some of these!!!!!

  2. So glad this worked for you!! Ever since we switched I've been amazed at how something so simple (and so enviromentally friendly!) could workd so well!

    Oh, and I had no idea that Comment Hour had bad links? I've never had a problem with them before... weird. But, I have removed their link from the post that I had them in, so hopefully it will be safe to go to my site now! Let me know if you have any more trouble.

    If anyone wants to see the original experiment: http://chemicallyinclined.wordpress.com/2011/06/22/experiment-laundry/

    And here are the results!: http://chemicallyinclined.wordpress.com/2011/06/23/the-results-are-in/

  3. Oh, and I shared this on the Eco Nuts Facebook page. Hope that's okay, let me know if not and I'll remove it! I want to get the word out that Eco Nuts really do work just as well as chemical laden detergents!

  4. Tonya, you definitely have to try them! So much cheaper and so easy!

    ChemicallyInclined, thanks so much for the great idea! I checked your links again and they work fine with no warnings now so I have edited my post and reattached them :) It's fine that you shared it, I wish more people knew about Eco Nuts (I'd like to just buy them at the grocery store) I can't even walk past the detergent aisle! It makes my eyes burn and gives me an instant headache.

  5. Hopefully if enough people start using them we will find them in the grocery store soon! I get mine at Healthy Baby Boutique in Newton when I am there. It's just easier to pick them up I think.

    I know what you mean about the smell! (Although, I don't have a severe reaction like you)We just recently went to Florida to see my husbands family and while there I decided to wash some of our clothes before we left. Well, they didn't have Eco Nuts and I didn't bring them with, so I just used her soap.

    OH MY GOODNESS!! I can't get over how heavy the smell is. And heavy is the only way to explain it. It just clings to everything and it isn't natural at all. So glad to be back to my Natural smelling laundry!

  6. Stephanie, I had no idea you had a blog!! What an interesting post!! I'll have to keep this in mind! Thanks for the information!