Soap nuts VS Ecoegg which is best for you and your laundry needs?
Both options will help to reduce your plastic consumption, are kind to your skin and are generally cheaper than regular washing detergents.
But there are some subtle differences that might cause you to pick one over the other for your laundry needs.
First off let me explain a bit about each of these options and then I will move on to how they compare.
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What are soap nuts?
Soap nuts are not actually nuts, but berries that grow on the soap nut tree, the Latin of which is Sapindus Mukorossi, also known as the Reetha tree.
The outer shell has special properties that when added to water release a natural soap that can be used to wash clothing, dishes, or the body.
Related reading: Soap Nuts Pros and Cons – Should You Make The Switch?
What is ecoegg?
Unlike soap nuts, Ecoegg is man-made. The Ecoegg has an outer plastic casing in the shape of an egg, and inside there are pellets that release a natural surfactant that cleans your clothes.
Related reading: Ecoegg Pros and Cons – Should You Make The Switch?
Soap nuts vs ecoegg – where they are similar
Both options are proven to cleanse clothing well.
Soap nuts contain natural saponin which is released when the outer shells are soaked in warm water.
The Ecoegg contains washing pellets, both white and black, and they each have a job to do to get your clothes clean.
- The white pellets in the Ecoegg release biodegradable surfactants which lifts dirt and cleanses your clothes.
- The black tourmaline pellets weaken the adhesive force between the dirt and fabric and also change the pH of the water, which helps to naturally soften your laundry.
Neither soap nuts nor the Ecoegg will whiten your clothes. Ecoegg makes a ‘whites’ version of their egg which contains a natural whitener.
Soap nuts are naturally antibacterial.
The Ecoegg has natural surfactants which by definition should be just as effective at removing bacteria as regular detergents.
Neither soap nuts, Ecoeggs, or regular detergent will disinfect clothes or remove viruses. To do that you would need to add a disinfectant to your wash or use very hot water
If you want to stay natural consider adding vinegar to the final rinse cycle as it is a natural disinfectant and fabric softener.
Unfortunately, both soap nuts and Ecoegg, do not fair well on stains like tomato, oil and grass for example.
You will need to use a separate stain remover, by either applying directly or adding a stain remover to your wash, like Oxyclean.
You shouldn’t need a separate fabric softener when using either soap nuts or the Ecoegg because they both naturally soften your clothes.
Sustainable & eco-friendly
Both options are sustainable in that there is minimal packaging for both, especially when you compare to the plastic containers that regular laundry liquids come in.
Ecoegg has a plastic outer casing, but it will last for many years before you need to throw it away.
Used soap nuts come from trees that grow in abundance and can be put on your compost heap.
Used Ecoegg pellets must go in the general waste.
Here is what Ecoegg.com have to say on the subject:
Although the ingredients are biodegradable and do not contain any harmful chemicals, we have not tested the effect on wildlife and plants, so cannot recommend putting the pellets in your compost.
Kind to skin
Both soap nuts and ecoeggs are kind to the skin because neither contains any harsh chemicals that could exacerbate skin conditions such as eczema.
The Ecoegg has been certified as an ‘Allergy Friendly Product’.
Both are naturally fragrance-free.
You can buy Ecoeggs with an infused fragrance if you prefer it. Although be aware that the fragrance does not last for the life of the pellet. You would be better off adding a few drops of essential oil to your wash.
As with any other detergent, it is not safe to leave your Ecoegg or your soap nuts within reach of children.
When used as a shampoo you should be very careful not to let the soap nut suds get in your eyes as it will sting a lot.
Easy to buy
Both soap nuts and Ecoegg are super easy to purchase. You can buy them both on eBay or Amazon.
Ecoeggs also can be purchased directly from the Ecoegg website. The outer casing of the Ecoegg can last up to 10 years and you simply replace the pellets.
Prices are affordable compared to regular laundry liquids and powders
The prices of both products will vary depending on where you get them.
As a comparison, you can currently buy a 210 wash Ecoegg for £14.99 which works out at just 7p per wash. When you buy refills you don’t need to buy the whole egg again, only the pellets, so the price per wash will go down.
A 1kg sack of soap nuts can be bought for £11.99 which is said to be enough for 100 washes making the price per load 12p.
Both options are very probably cheaper than your usual regular washing powder per wash.
How long they last on hot washes
The shelf life of both soap nuts and Ecoegg is very long indeed.
How many washes you get out of each option will depend on the size of your washing machine and how hot you wash.
If you do a lot of cold or warm washes, Ecoeggs will last longer because it is higher temperatures that wear out the pellets the quickest.
It’s worth noting that Ecoegg advises that you clean the inside of your machine once per month with one of their Ecoegg detox tablets to get the best results.
Soap nuts do not work so well on cold washes because they need warmth to help the suds release from the shells. For cold washing, you should soak the soap nut muslin bag in hot water to release the saponins before you add it to your wash.
If you have a large washing machine of more than 8KG capacity, you will likely need to use two Ecoeggs to get a good wash. You will need to add more soap nuts too.
Soap nuts vs ecoegg – where they differ
Now we know the similarities let’s look at the differences between the two.
How using soap nuts vs Ecoegg for your laundry differs
To use soap nuts put 3-6 soap nut shells into a muslin bag and add it to your wash. At the end of the cycle remove the bag and let it air dry until the next wash. You can reuse soap nuts for a second wash.
The Ecoegg comes with a bag of pellets that you put inside the egg. The pellets will last for 70-210 washes depending on the size you bought. Once you add the pellets you will not need to open up the egg again until it is time to change the pellets.
Place the Ecoegg on top of your washing and run a cycle as you normally would. At the end of the cycle remove the egg and let it air dry.
Soap nuts can be used for handwashing clothes
Soap nuts are ideal for handwashing clothes. Simply add the muslin bag with the soap nuts shells inside to the bowl and wash your clothes as normal.
You could handwash clothes with an Ecoegg too, but the Egg will probably take up too much space in the bowl and could be more unwieldy. I think soap nuts win here.
Soap nuts can be used for washing the dishes
The soap nut ‘tea’ can be used to wash dishes. Simply soak some soap nuts in a cup and then add the strained liquid to your washing up water.
Soap nuts can be used for washing your hair
Again make a soap nut ‘tea’ with a few of the shells and you can wash your hair with soap nuts.
Soap nuts can go in the dryer
It is not recommended that you put Ecoegg in the tumble dryer. If you have a washer-dryer then you would need to fish it out before the drying cycle starts.
Soap nuts can safely be left in the whole cycle.
Soap nuts VS Ecoegg – helping you to decide
Soap nuts have more uses. You can use them for dishes and as a shampoo and they can be easily disposed of on your compost heap.
Although soap nuts have multiple uses, the Ecoegg is more practical to use for laundry. You add the pellets and then use them until spent.
If you need to do a lot of hot washes then soap nuts will be a better option. But if you wash on cold, the extra step of having to soak the nuts first might put you off.
Ecoeggs are fine in cold washes, but won’t last as long if you use them in hot water.
Ecoeggs seem to be the cheaper option per wash, but it depends largely on where you buy them. You might find soap nuts very cheaply and you can even try growing your own soapberry tree!
So, in a nutshell (pun intended ?), it all boils down to how hot you wash.
If you regularly wash on cold then go for Ecoegg, if you do hot washes a lot then soap nuts could be a better option for you.