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Soap Nuts

Updated on December 31, 2010

Let Eco Friendly Soap Nuts Gently and Naturally Wash your Clothing!

Traditional laundry detergents have a major negative effect on our environment and our bodies. There are many unnatural chemical additives in most laundry detergents that are harsh and abrasive on the skin. They also pollute our rivers, waterways, and ground soil, while hurting our wildlife and destroying our clothes. Soap nuts are an eco friendly alternative to laundry detergent that is much more gentle on your clothing, and will not have harmful effects on the environment. Read on for more information on soap nuts, where you can buy them, and what they can do for you.

Sandipus, aka Soap Nuts What are Soap Nuts?

Just what are soapnuts?

Soap nuts, of the genus Sapindus, are a small leathery skinned fruit ranging in size of about 1/2" to 1" in size. Soap nuts contain a natural soap detergent cleaner called saponin, which can clean you clothing in an environmentally friendly way. Soap nuts can also be reused over several washes, and are even suitable to wash delicate clothing from wool to silk.

How Do you Use Soap Nuts?

Directions to use soap nuts to wash your clothing

Chartreuse has made available small sample size soap nuts with 4-5 berries in a muslin bag for only $2.00 each. To wash your clothing, soap nuts will use more on hot/warm washes than cold. For a cold water wash, you will place 4-5 berries in the drawstring bag provided, tie it up, and soak for 3-5 minutes in hot water if using the berries for the first time. Add the bag to the washing machine along with the clothes and wash as you normally would. The soap nuts will last 5-7 washes. Keep the berries in the bag until they turn soft or gray in color, and saponin can no longer be felt on your hands when the berries are gently squeezed when wet. They can be composted once they've been used up. For hot water washes, the berries will last only one wash for 3 berries.

Cold water washes will not only save you money on your utility and electric bill, but your clothing will last longer, and you'll be a little be greener at the same time.

Chartreuse's Laundry Soap Nuts:

-8 oz soap nuts, approximately 80 loads


-Sample Size (4-5 berries in a muslin bag)


Note: the soap nuts are contained under the link "shop for products" on the right hand side once you click through.

Feel like buying these right now?

Click here to start shopping!

By the way, these soap nuts go great with Chartreuse's reusable dryer sheets!

Have you used soap nuts before?

See results

Soap nuts are reusable!

You can reuse soap nuts again and again on cold washes. This makes them even cheaper than laundry detergent in most cases. Soap nuts also contain natural laundry softeners to make your clothes fresh scented and super soft (and your clothes will last longer, too).

Ten Reasons Why you Should Switch to Soap Nuts

Save the environment, save your clothing, save some money!

1. Soap nuts are better for the environment. Traditional detergents produce hazardous suds, soap runoff, and leak chemicals into your clothing and into the water.

2. Soap nuts will make your clothing last longer. They're much gentler on your clothing than harsh detergents, yet still removing dirt and grime, so your clothing will be wearable much longer.

3. You won't have to buy fabric softener any more! Soap nuts have a natural softener in them that leave your clothing amazing soft.

4. Soap nuts will save you money if reused! Soap nuts can be used 5-7 loads. This adds up!

5. They're odor free, so people sensitive to allergies from traditional detergent will love them.

6. Soap nuts work better on a cold wash, so you'll be saving even more money on your water and electric bill (they work good on a hot wash, too).

7. They're reusable. Soap nuts can be used over and over! See the rest of this page for details.

8. They're fun to use! It's a fun idea for kids, and it's interesting to see soap nuts in action. If you have any doubts, visit the website so you can see some of the reviews (click shop for products, then scroll down to "soap nuts").

9. You can compost soap nuts. Just throw them in your compost bin once they've enjoyed a long healthy life!

10. You're helping third world countries where these magical berries grow. Saponin is largely grown in impoverished nations like Nepal that need the sales of these berries to survive, so you're doing a good thing!

About the importer of these soapnuts

The berries are picked and then sorted twice before being packaged. Our importer cares as much about the environment as well we do. They are careful to minimize waste and packaging at all stages of the process.

Now available, liquid soap nuts!

Liquid Soap Nuts

from Chartreuse 8oz 96 loads HE, 48 regular loads

The liquid version can be used as you normally use your laundry detergent. It has all of the natural properties of soap nuts, but in a concentrate form.

Make your own Squidoo Lenses!

Sign up to make your own lenses for charity or yourself!

Check out more environmentally friendly and organic products from Chartreuse!

Check out more environmentally friendly and organic products from Chartreuse!
Check out more environmentally friendly and organic products from Chartreuse!


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    • smithlights profile image


      8 years ago

      I've never heard of these! Wow! Where are they from? Are they fairtrade?

    • Angelina Gherna profile image


      8 years ago from California

      wow, how interesting!

    • StephanieB-Writer profile image


      8 years ago

      Coming back here to order from you when I'm ready to order. Thanks for the great lens!

    • SelfAndSource profile image


      9 years ago

      I never heard of these until yesterday from a friend. Ordered 2 sample sizes to check them out at home. Thanks for the lens. Love It.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Learned something new today, thanks. Wonder if soap nut trees would grow in a greenhouse? Or in Florida.

    • kimmie1967 profile image


      9 years ago

      I had read some about these before, but was not sure how they would work with a front loader machine, so was glad to see they have a liquid version now. Still think it would be fun to just throw the soap nuts into the washing machine though. Ha ha

    • CherylK profile image

      Cheryl Kohan 

      10 years ago from Arizona

      I've never heard of these but I am buying some, today! I've tried making my own laundry detergent but wasn't satisfied with the results. Will let you know what I think of the soap nuts. Thanks for the heads-up!

    • greenerme profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago

      [in reply to ILOVENY] These are imported, since they cannot be grown in the U.S. They're lightly scented, but do not have any smell that remains on the clothing after a wash. To add scent, you can use natural essential oils (just a little). I honestly don't miss the scent of laundry detergent at all!

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Well that is news to me! Are they from the US or imported and what do they smell like? I'm always looking for green alternatives so this sounds right up my alley!

    • teamlane profile image


      10 years ago

      Soap nuts? Nicely unique!

      Blessed by a SquidAngel today!

      ~ Colleen :o)

    • Demaw profile image


      10 years ago

      Always interested in new green products.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Soap nuts sound very eco friendly! Thanks for sharing another great green idea.

      I love visiting your lenses! ~ Susie

    • slcalvin profile image

      Sharron Calvin 

      10 years ago from Santa Fe, New Mexico

      I have been using soapnuts for awhile now but since I have been rving fulltime, it has been hard to find a top loader machine. Glad to learn they work better in cold water. Great lens!

    • EelKat13 profile image


      10 years ago

      I've always been "green" about most every thing, since back in the 1970's, but one of the things I never found a green alternative for was soap. I have never heard of soap nuts before, those are just what I was looking for!

      This lens has been blessed.

    • greenerme profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago

      [in reply to HenryEgg] They do! They clean them just as well, and one of the great things about them is that they don't irritate your skin (like traditional detergents sometimes can). They also have a built in fabric softener, so our clothes have actually been softer, longer lasting, and looking new.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      What a fascinating concept! Have you found that they clean clothes equally as well as traditional laundry detergent?


    • jolou profile image


      10 years ago

      I use Seventh Generation products but these soap nuts sound really interesting. Definitely a much better choice than harsh chemicals on our clothes and in the environment.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      this is really quite interesting! Money wise I make my laundry soap from scratch but it sure would be neat to use these.


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