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'Āina The Zero Waste Shop

Soap Nuts ~ Natural Laundry Detergent

Soap Nuts ~ Natural Laundry Detergent

Regular price $8.00
Regular price Sale price $8.00
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Organic soap nuts are a natural alternative to store bought laundry detergents. Soap nuts are a dried berry from the Sapindus Mukorrosi tree which is found in tropical and sub-tropical areas of Nepal and have been used for centuries as a soap. When agitated in water, these berries produce saponin which acts as a natural cleanser.

Depending on the size and efficacy of the shells, four to six shells (but possibly more for smaller pieces) will be enough for a full load. Place the soap nuts in a cotton muslin bag and tie securely shut. There will be little to no bubbles during the wash cycle. This doesn’t detract from their ability to clean. Wash water may smell slightly of apple cider vinegar. If fragrance is preferred, organic essential oils can be added to the muslin bag. Soap nuts can be re-used several times before they start to disintegrate. It is time to compost the shells when they start to look mushy and grey.

Soap nuts can be used for anything you would normally use detergent for, such as washing the car or clothing. They can also be used as a base for shampoos and hand lotions or as an all-purpose cleaner around the home. Jewelers in India and Indonesia have used the shells to remove tarnish from jewelry for many centuries.

Soap Nut Concentrate:


You can make a soap nut liquid by boiling 20 soap nuts with 4 cups of water and straining the liquid. This liquid requires refrigeration and keeps for one week.

Soap nut concentrate is a natural soap that can be used for cleaning your home, laundry, dishes, and even for cleaning your hair and skin.

How to make:

  • Place soap nuts (about 20) and 2 cups of water in a small pan. Heat on high until boiling.
  • Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 20 minutes. Cover the pan so water doesn't evaporate.
  • Add 1 more cup of water and simmer for an additional 10 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and let cool completely.
  • Remove the soap nuts. Add a preservative and any essential oils that you want to use. Store in a mason jar with a lid.

*Can use with essential oils and option to add vinegar for a powerful cleaning solution. Store in cool place. Expiration is about 2 weeks.

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