Are you looking for ways to save money on everyday household items? One place to start is the laundry room.

If you have a large family you probably go through many bottles of laundry detergent, fabric softener, and dryer sheets throughout the year. Today, we are going to discuss how you can eliminate the need for buying laundry detergent by using soap nuts to clean your clothes.

What Are Soap Nuts? How To Use Them For Natural Laundry Care

*This post contains affiliate links. Please read my full disclosure policy for further details.

To be honest, when I first heard of this idea I thought it was nuts!  No pun intended, lol!  I mean a “nut” to clean your clothes? I learned of soap nuts through a friend a couple years ago and had no idea something like this even existed. She said she liked them, so I thought I would give them a try.

To my surprise, they worked great! To not to have to buy laundry detergent ever again is amazing. It has saved me so much money, and not to mention these are natural and eco-friendly.

Eliminating chemicals from my everyday life has been something I’ve been working on for years.

Related Article: How To Use Wool Dryer Balls And Why You Should

Pin it to save for later!

What are soap nuts? How to use them for natural laundry care.

What Are Soap Nuts?

Good question! Many of you probably never even heard of them. Like I said before, I just learned about them a couple years ago.

Soap nuts are an effective cleaning agent that is 100% natural with no chemicals, toxins or artificial perfumes.

Soap Nuts, also known as Soap Berries are a berry shell that naturally contains soap.  They are a berry fruit related to the lychee and are actually not nuts at all.  So that means they are completely nut-allergy safe.

They earned the name “nuts” because of the way that they dry into hard shells resembling nuts, as opposed to squishy fruit.

They grow on the Sapindus Mukorossi (soapberry) tree in the Himalayas.  The natural soap found in these berries is called saponin.  Saponin is a natural cleaner that works as a surfactant, breaking the surface tension of the water to penetrate the fibers, and leaving dirt suspended in the water that is rinsed away.

When you are using soap nuts you are only using the shell, not the whole nut. The harvesters have already removed the seeds.

It is actually technically incorrect to refer to soap nuts as “soap” because they contain no glycerin, whereas true soap does.  Interestingly soap nuts also act as a natural fabric softener. So double bonus!

Why Use Soap Nuts?

Soap nuts are gentle on both clothes and skin, making them ideal for those with sensitive skin, eczema, allergies, or multiple chemical sensitivities (MCS).  Because they are so mild, they are perfect for baby clothes and cloth diapers.

If you are nervous about trying something different you could always take precaution and first wash one small item in a sink or do a patch test before washing an entire load.  Upon doing my research on this, I have yet to find anyone complain about having a sensitivity to them.

Also, these wonderful little berries are great on your septic and greywater systems.

Unlike commercial soaps, that have artificial foaming agents, soap nuts do not produce lots of bubbles of foam.  Although all commercial detergents and soaps market themselves heavily around that sudsy visual, foam simply is not an indication of cleaning ability.

Another advantage of using soap nuts is that they are extremely affordable.  They cost pennies each and can be used for multiple loads. I bought a box for $7.11 and it will wash 100 loads.  That’s $0.08 per load.  To me, that is unbelievably amazing cost-effective laundry solution!

How To Use Soap Nuts For Natural Laundry Care

Soap nuts can put used in top loading washing machines and also high-efficiency front loaders.

The main requirement for front load washers is that the detergent is low-sudsing and soap nuts definitely fit this description.

They can even be left in the washing machine for the rinse cycle, allowing them to act as a fabric softener for your clothes.

Place 5-6 soap nuts (roughly ½ ounce) in the provided small muslin bag that comes with your purchase, tie it closed, and throw it into the washing machine with your clothes. It’s that easy!  They can even be used with any temperature water.

You can reuse the bag of soap nuts for 4 or 5 loads of laundry.  The soap nuts will be gray and dull when they need to be replaced. When they are done being used the good news is they can even be composted because they are 100% biodegradable!

Other Uses Of Soap Nuts

Soap nuts are truly a versatile cleaner and can be used in every room of your house.

Soap Nut Liquid Recipe

  • Place about 15 soap nuts in 8 cups of water.
  • Bring to a boil and simmer for approximately 30 minutes.
  • Add 1 tbsp of salt as a preservative. As an alternative, you can add a tsp of citric acid. Stir to dissolve.
  • Allow to cool. Strain and store the soap nuts liquid in an airtight glass jar or old detergent container.
  • Shake before use.
  • It can be refrigerated to extend its shelf life. Or simply pour liquid into an ice cube tray and place in the freezer and keep until needed.

Additional Uses

Liquid Laundry Detergent

When making soap nut liquid recipe for laundry as per the recipe above you can also add a ¼ cup of Borax or washing soda to help with whitening. Shake before use. ¼ to ½ cup should be used per wash depending on size of load.

All Purpose Cleaner

Pour soap nuts liquid into a spray bottle. 15 drops of your preferred essential oils can be added. Use full strength or dilute as desired. Use for sinks, counters, floors, where ever you wish really!

Window And Glass Cleaner

Fill a spray bottle with about 250ml of water. Add 25 ml each of soap nut liquid and vinegar. Spray and then wipe clean with dry cloth.


Use the prepared soap nut liquid to wash hair. Leave it on for 5 min and rinse with warm water. If your hair feels dry, reduce the quantity used.

For Hand Washing Clothes

Add about 2 tablespoons of soap nuts liquid to wash water and stir, or make a tea with your soap nuts muslin bag. Simply hand wash as usual.

Jewelry Cleaner

Soak jewelry in soap nuts liquid for a few minutes. Use an old soft toothbrush to remove debris. Rinse with clean water and polish with a soft cloth. Soap nuts have been used as a jewelry cleaner for ages.

Pet Shampoo

Use the soap nut liquid as a shampoo for your pets. They will feel and smell so fresh and its mildness is perfect for dogs with skin conditions.

Carpet Cleaner

Spray or sponge on any carpet stains and blot clean.

For Car Wash

Use the soap nut liquid in a spray bottle (you can add 15 drops of your preferred essential oil) and use on your car’s interior. Or dilute soap nut liquid in half a bucket of water to use as an effective and safe exterior car wash.

Insecticide And Insect Repellent

A soap nut solution will deter pest from your plants, pets and yourself, an absolute must on your next camping trip! Imagine using a safe, natural, chemical-free, biodegradable insecticide.

Fruit And Vegetable Wash

Since soap nuts are a fruit, they are completely safe and effective as a fruit and vegetable wash. Just spray concentrated liquid directly on fruit or vegetable, rub in and rinse.

Buy It Now

Final Thoughts

Have you every used Soap Nuts?  How did they work for you?  Did you like them? Share your comments below! Thanks for reading!

✨If you are new to my blog, my main focus here is to help you make and save more money. Be sure to check out the Save Money section of my Resources page to the services and tools I use to save extra money!✨