Before we start I just want to let it be known, I’m no figurehead for the ‘Au Natural’ lifestyle but, since trying to get pregnant and then finally giving birth I have tried to make an effort to reduce the amount of chemicals I knowingly use or at the very least try to understand better those we use in our home.
”Everything consists of chemical substances. Man-made chemical substances and substances extracted from nature have contributed greatly to increased prosperity. However, some have also caused serious damage to human beings and the environment. Not all chemical substances are hazardous but they can still pose a risk if handled incorrectly.”-KEMI (The Swedish Chemical Agency)
This therefore, is no bash or smug dig at anyone who uses detergent to clean their clothes, rather simply and in Booberrit style a sharing of something interesting I stumbled upon one lazy Sunday afternoon…
…If you have never heard of natures laundry fruit don’t worry, neither had I until by chance during an Instagram mooch (other than eBay, what else are Sundays for?) I came across the ‘All Natural Mums’ Page; a group of three mums from New Zealand who together strive to offer natural alternatives to every day, modern family, house hold needs. Their website offers an awesome collection of natural goodies from make-up and paints to bags and cleaning products.
At the time my husband and I had been discussing trying to source cleaning alternatives to replace our supermarket go to powders and detergents and although we had both agreed that it would be a good idea neither one of us had been successful in sources replacements. This meant that when I found these soap berries on the All Natural Mums site I was extremely intrigued (skeptical but, intrigued).
So, I had found these magic berries and managed to get my husband bought in to the possibility. My next problem was that these ladies were running a New Zealand based site, what reason did they have to go out of their way to send this product to little old me all the way over in the UK. None, other than the fact that they are 100% customer service focussed and proud of the products they advocate, so proud that they were excited to know their product info had reached us all those thousands of miles away. They kindly responded to all 101 of my questions via Instagram messenger and despite the time difference there was always one of them ready to respond in a very timely manner and even though they had not delivered to the UK before they worked out a way to get the product to me for a fee that honestly was less than what I would have paid to send an eBay parcel from one end of England to the other.
I ordered the 250g bag (the same range also offers 500g and a 1kg bags) of ‘That Red House’ Organic Soap Berries, which at NZ$19.95 (£11.20) was an absolute steal for 90 washes worth of specialist cleaning product! It also felt great to see that the product was proven to be:
- 100% Natural
- Waste Free
Everything I silently worried about every time I filled my machine up with a load and popped in my generic detergent pods.
The soap berries arrived in really good time (less than one week) and came well packaged a long with a small organic cotton wash bag to put them in and instructions on how to use. The ladies had already given me some advice on what to do; how many to use per wash and tips on adding fragrance, non the less it was reassuring to also have instructions to refer to (no matter how basic a task).
I followed the guidelines:
- 5 Whole berries per wash (re-useable for around 4 washes) into the wash bag
- 4 drops of the essential oil of my choice (I used ‘Miaroma’ Soothing 100% Pure lavendar Oil)-The berries themselves have a faint vinegary smell which is so faint it becomes odorless once put through the washing machine (if you chose not to use an essential oil for fragrance)
- Place the bag in the drum with the dirty laundry
- Wash at desired temp (I chose a 40° C wash cycle)
The result: beautifully smelling and well cleaned clothes. Both myself and my husband were pleasantly surprised! I watched the cycle with absolute glee as the berries started to lather up and fill the machine with suds, a shock since (I have to admit) the skeptic in me had been poised ready to declare ”I knew it!”
If I was to rate the wash it would be 9/10 only short a single point as I did find that on some heavy washes (and I mean heavy-I’ve a 10 month old baby and a husband who works with food, remember) I had to wash these loads twice but every time by the second cycle the berries had cracked through the grime. A price I’m willing to pay; piece of mind as they say is priceless. The greatest value for money however, through this entire transaction was the fact that at no point did I feel I had been sold a fad or that someone had tried to get their moneys worth out of me by up-selling products. I was advised to use essential oils to fragrance my wash, a product the All Natural Mums sell but, at no point was I made to feel I needed to order any extras from them. In fact I was told ”try the berries first, I’m sure you’re going to love as much as we do, they’re great and then you can come back for anything else you might like/need once you’ve been converted”. Their customer service was second to none and both their natural kindness and love of their product shone through every message they pinged backed to me. Something I don’t think you could ever put a price on.
If like me you fancy giving this product or any of the other ‘All Natural Mums’ ranges a go why not visit:
or follow them on Instagram: #allnaturalmums