Super Duper Soap Nuts!

I have been on a quest for the last few months to find a simple, natural, and effective laundry detergent that isn’t full of chemicals that either end up in my clothes or in the water supply.

To say that this journey has been an arduous one is an understatement. The sheer volume of products – even the ‘natural’ ones – is daunting.

So I opted to make my own detergent thinking a simple recipe could be found on the internet and voila! my clothes would be fresh, clean and chemical-free.

I was disappointed that after a few rounds of trials that didn’t go so well, I had to resort to using the most natural pre-made detergent at the store until my search would uncover the perfect formula.

I suppose I could have walked around in funky clothes, but that just isn’t nice to myself or others – especially in the hot weather!

I am ecstatic to report that yesterday while I was perusing Twitter a potentially amazing laundry detergent secret was revealed!

A video made by Hip Mountain Mama talked about using Soap Nuts:

Soap Nuts?! What the heck are those?

Turns out, soap nuts are a dried fruit that are organically grown in the Himalayas. The outer shell contains saponin, a natural surfactant (it forms soap-like, foam when combined with water) and has been used as a cleaner for centuries.

Even better, soaps nuts are:

  • Non-allergenic
  • Antimicrobial
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Harvested in a sustainable way

Multiple studies show they are comparable, if not better than traditional detergents, with regard to their cleaning ability.

So, as soon as I can get my hands on some, I am going to give them a try!

Have you used soap nuts before? I would love to hear your tips and comments here, Facebook or on Twitter.


16 Responses to Super Duper Soap Nuts!

  1. Fred says:

    Great post today. Absolutely amazed that such a natural product does exist and will look into finding some to see how they work. I wonder how soap nuts handle greasy stains or mud.

    What I was really glad to see on the video was the use of the wool balls for the dryer. Have been using those store-bought dryer sheets or liquid softeners for years and this is a friendly alternative. Are they hard to find? Craft stores? I could always buy some sheep and shear my own……uh,….maybe not. But then again, I could make more and sell them on-line. There’s an idea worth looking into! And the sheep could cut my grass for me.

    Glad I signed up. Keep em’ coming.


    • I have been using soap nuts exclusively for over 2 years now. They clean as good as Tide. Some stains require prespotting and for the whitest white you need bleach or hydrogen peroxide just like Tide, but with soap nuts you never need fabric softeners or drier sheets as soap nuts leave your clothes feeling soft, fluffy and fresh smelling. And no toxic chemicals or carcinogens. I have found the source for the highest quality and the lowest price by far.

      • I love soap nuts – Thank you for the comments and information. I am happy to hear that they leave your clothes soft, fluffy and fresh smelling – since I hate to use dryer sheets or fabric softener (gross!). I’ll check out the link you forwarded too. Have a great day!

  2. arimoore says:

    We use soap nuts. They’re easy to use and they work really well!

    • arimoore – thank you for your comment. I am so glad to hear that they are easy use and work well. Do you use them exclusively for laundry or have you tried making the liquid version to use as a cleaner around the house?

      • arimoore says:

        We use them only for laundry, sometimes with a little borax for very dirty loads or dingy-looking white clothes. No fabric softeners.

        Around the house, we use a mixture of water and a few teaspoons of vinegar, with a tiny bit of Sal Suds (by Dr. Bronner’s) and a few drops of tea tree oil.

      • I have used Dr. Bronner’s castille soap for a number of things but haven’t heard of Sal Suds. Thanks for the tip, I’ll definitely check it out. btw – I totally love tea tree oil – amazing stuff!

  3. Fred says:

    If you are searching for other castile soap alternatives, I would recommend investigating Kirk’s Natural Products or those of its sister company, Grandpa Brands Company. Kirk’s belongs to Leaping Bunny, claims to use no animal byproducts and never performs tests on any animals. We have been using their products for several years now and are very satisfied. Kirk’s even claims that their soaps can be used on hand washable fabrics and in the kitchen. Some items are available at retailers and others can be purchased online.

    • Thanks so much for the information. I’ll definitely check it out.

      • Fred says:

        The Soap Nuts Trial – We Have a Verdict

        I want to report back to you that I obtained a bag of soap nuts from Green Virgin Products. This brand wase recommended above through another comment and I believe in a Google ad on your blog. I completed my first test run and wanted to report to you my findings. (I also found Green Virgin on an internet search prior to the reader’s post. Very nice folks.) I have e-mailed them (Ken) and recommended your blog and website.

        The soap nuts performed very well and formed suds as claimed. It is recommended though that the soap nuts be broken in two for best results. Most of the Green Virgin nuts are already in that form. Beside the superior job that they did, what also impressed me was the lack of any chemical odor on the clothing articles as I removed them. There was absolutely nothing but a nice clean smell.

        I washed pants and jeans in the first few loads – all were soiled around the pockets and bottom of the legs. The jeans were used in my outside work – and ALL came clean. I repeat – ALL came clean. The fabric was soft, even after coming out of the dryer.

        There are more uses for this product – I will not take up an inordinate amount of space here, but will send you an e-mail through your website address about the topic. I would also STRONGLY urge you, after you read my e-mail, to consider a follow-up blog or two on the products. I think it would be a great service to
        your readers and future followers.

      • arimoore says:

        This is in response to Fred’s comment – try breaking the soap nuts up even more. We crunch ours up quite a bit and that seems to help get the saponin out easily.

  4. Fred says:

    Thanks Arimoore. I am a landscaper and my work clothes always need extra attention. And extra soap. Appreciate you passing on the advice. Have a great rest of the week.

  5. Pingback: A huge victory for soap nuts | Natural Soap Zone

  6. I wasn’t terribly pleased with soap nuts (we have really hard water) and I thought they probebly would never work for us, but then I got a sample of the Eco Nuts liquid which worked amazingly well. You just use a little tiny bit and it’s awesome!

    • Thanks for your comments and the information. I have been wondering about using soap nuts in liquid form but haven’t had time to investigate the options. The Eco Nuts website looks like a great place to start! 🙂

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