A different kind of clean
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It’s a safe bet most of us prefer the things in our lives when they’re clean — clean dishes to eat off of, along with clean clothes to wear and a clean body to put in them.
What can be problematic for some is when the soaps and detergents we use to get things clean do more harm than good. Chemical ingredients do not need to be harsh to irritate or dry out skin, and in recent years a movement has grown to find more natural ways to get things clean.
Enter Peggy McClelland, or The Soap Nut Lady as she’s more widely known. McClelland is passionate about healing bodies and the Earth, and she can often be found at all three Hy-Vee grocery stores in the Madison area spreading the word about the all-natural cleaning agent with a funny name.
McClelland says she grew up with a special appreciation for nature.
Her father was involved in a health ranch when she was younger, where everyone grew their own food and it was chemical free. “I know my attitude toward helping our bodies in whatever way possible came from there,” notes McClelland. “I have always felt a need to help people as well as our Earth since I was small.”
With soap nuts, McClelland found a healing touch when she needed it most.
She was living in Florida when her daughter and husband died unexpectedly within days of each other. That tragedy led her to Wisconsin, where friends thought she’s find an ideal location to reconnect with nature and heal.
One day, she saw what she thought were soap suds floating down the Peshtigo River, but were more likely phosphates and other pollutants. Realizing the extent to which common household cleaning products contained unnatural chemicals she decided to find a natural alternative. That’s when McClelland discovered soap nuts.