Review: Nellie’s All-Natural Laundry Soda: For cloth diapers & sensitive skin

Nellie's All-Natural Laundry Soda

Here’s my review on Nellie’s All-Natural Laundry Soda, distributed by Moo Moo Kow. I know some of you have been waiting for this, after the article on How to Wash Cloth Diapers: Everything You Need to Know. Having used the entire packet meant for 50 loads, I like that Nellie’s is cloth diapers-friendly and suitable for sensitive skin (like mine and Vee’s). And there’s a discount code at the end for the detergent and Moo Moo Kow cloth diapers!

About Nellie’s All-Natural Laundry Soda

These are the main features of the detergent:

  • Ingredients stated on package: Sodium Silicate, Coconut oil based surfactants (Find details of ingredients here)
  • Country of origin: Made in Canada

They’re available in 2 sizes — 50 loads packet and 100 loads tin.

First Impressions

Over the past year, many cloth diapering mums (especially in Singapore) have found it difficult to get the popular Pureen H-A-D Liquid Detergent. So when Abby from Moo Moo Kow approached me for a review, I gladly accepted, hoping to give mums an alternative option.

Cloth diapers users have very specific requirements for a suitable detergent. Generally, no fabric softeners, enzymes, chlorine bleach, essential oils, laundry soap, and artificial fragrance. For green reasons, I also prefer one without phosphate and is biodegradable. The simple ingredients in Nellie’s All-Natural Laundry Soda seem to be up to the challenge.

Moreover, it’s also front loader and high-efficiency (HE) friendly, exactly what my washing machine needs.

Packaging: The 50 loads pack comes in a resealable plastic zipper bag, which is unique for powdered detergent.

Scoop: Initially, I couldn’t find the scoop and thought there wasn’t any. So I recycled a plastic medicine spoon to scoop the powder.

Our Detailed Review

Rating Guide: Oh no!     ★★ Poor     ★★★ Fair     ★★★★ Good     ★★★★★ Excellent!

(a) Packaging: ★★★★ I like the zippered package, which keeps the powder neatly inside. The super-duper concentrated powder also takes up little space.

Powdered detergent is convenient during travels —  I simply need to scoop some into an airtight container. In the past, I’ve brought liquid detergent around and faced a major leakage once. (Leaking detergent within the luggage is seriously no fun!)

However, I found the scoop only after many washes. Perhaps the scoop should be taped to the upper end of the package to prevent it from being buried deep down.

(b) Effectiveness: ★★★★★ I’ve tried Nellie’s with cold, warm and hot water; where it dissolves easily. When handwashing a few items, I used 1/2 a 5ml medicine spoonful. There was little suds and took about 4 rinses (in a small pail) to remove all the suds. This is similar to my experience with Pureen H-A-D. The laundry smells clean and of nothing artificial, which I like.

For several weeks, I used Nellie’s to machine wash full loads of clothes and cloth diapers. Initially, I experimented with a reduced amount of 1 x 5ml medicine spoonful. This was too little and the diapers didn’t smell clean. An extra rinse was needed to clean them.

Then I increased the amount to 2 x 5ml medicine spoonfuls. The clothes and diapers turned out clean and were residue-free. Even after using the entire pack, there was no need to strip wash the cloth diapers.

Both Vee and I have eczema and we’d no flare ups due to using Nellie’s. Great that it’s gentle to our sensitive skin.

(c) Overall Value: ★★ Each 50 loads pack (0.6kg) retails at SGD23 while the 100 loads tin (1.5kg) retails at SGD49. (In Canada, the retail price is much lower at USD9.99 and USD18.99 respectively.) I managed to use the pack over about 50 loads, which means SGD0.46 per load.

I did a price comparison with other cloth diaper detergents sold in Singapore. Of the below, I’ve only tried Nellie’s and have a box of GroVia Tiny Bubbles waiting to be tried.

Nellie’s All-Natural
Laundry Soda
Diaper Detergent
Tiny Bubbles
Weight 0.6kg 1.7kg 1.7kg
Loads 50 66 60
Price SGD23 SGD25 SGD30
Price per load SGD0.46 SGD0.38 SGD0.50
Tried? Yes No Not yet
Seller (Singapore) Moo Moo Kow Milagro Trading Mummy Knows Best


From the table above, I note that Nellie’s is most concentrated among the three, which means saving on delivery costs for online purchases.

Tip: For more savings on delivery costs, I’d buy heavy detergent at a retail store or fair.

Overall, Nellie’s All-Natural Laundry Soda is a suitable detergent for washing cloth diapers and for a family with sensitive skin. Before getting it though, I’d wait for a good discount, perhaps 20% to make it more price competitive.

(Good news: limited time 20% discount code below!)

What we like about it:

  • Washes well with minimal and natural ingredients
  • Suitable for washing cloth diapers (residue-free) and for sensitive skin
  • In powdered form — convenient for travelling
  • More concentrated than competitive brands (refer to table above) — save on delivery costs

What can be improved:

  • Tape the scoop so that it’s easier to find

Get Your Own (with Discount!)

To get your own Nellie’s All-Natural Laundry Soda and Moo Moo Kow cloth diapers, visit Moo Moo Kow.

  • Special Treat: 20% discount on Nellie’s detergent products; 10% on Moo Moo Kow cloth diapers (read review here)
  • Discount Code: MR20110623
  • Validity Period: Until 22 July 2011
  • How to Buy: Please email your order using Moo Moo Kow’s contact form and indicate the discount code above. Or visit its booth at Baby Expo 2011 (1-3 July 2011), Singapore Expo Hall 6B, Booth D3.

Live outside Singapore? You may also check the price at Amazon here: Nellie’s All Natural Laundry Soda, 50 Loads Bag*

Disclosure: I received a Nellie’s All-Natural Laundry Soda 50 Loads pack for review and Moo Moo Kow is a banner ad sponsor at the time of writing.

*: affiliate link to support the growth and maintenance of Mummy’s Reviews™

P.S. Catch up on all my cloth diapering tips here.

6 thoughts on “Review: Nellie’s All-Natural Laundry Soda: For cloth diapers & sensitive skin”

  1. Hi Vee, thanks so much for having reviewed this. in fact I am using Nellie’s right now but I cant seem to figure the amt right. I wash my CD daily, abt 7-8 CD in a front loading machine. not sure if it is HE.

    Any advise?

    1. Hi cxinyi, 7-8 CDs seem like a small load. You may start with half a scoop. Then touch and smell the diapers after they’re washed.
      – If they feel soapy, then rinse again, reduce amount next time.
      – If they smell of pee, then rinse again. If they smell very bad, do a short wash with some detergent. Increase the amount next time.

      1. wah! thanks for the fast reply! hope you are still enjoying the confinement =)
        just to clarify, if they smell of pee, I should rinse again. and should that repeat rinse get rid of the smell, then i should increase the amt of detergent the subsequent wash. is that correct?

  2. I was surprised to find nellie’s all natural laundry soda at Ace Hardware earlier today. The 50 load pack was about RM50 (SGD20) and the 100 load tin was RM93 (SGD36). I think the cheapest you can get is from iherb. International shipping is a flat rate of USD4 to most countries and the 50 load pack is only around USD8 whereas the 100 load tin is around USD17!

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