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Grow Your Own Laundry Detergent

Disclaimer: I received a box of the Eco Nuts(R) for free in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

Yes, you can grow your own laundry detergent – and the even better news is until your tree is large enough to produce, you can buy soap nuts or Eco Nuts(R).

Eco Nuts(R) are the dried berry shells from the soapberry tree (Sapindus spp.).



What Are Soap Nuts?

Soap nuts are the fruits of the Sapindus tree.

They are often called soapberries or Indian soap berries and are quite popular.

Inside of the shell an amazing natural cleaning essence is found that is easy enough to turn into a detergent.

Soap nuts are nothing new, and in face have been used by Indian households for centuries.

The soap berries are picked and then left to dry in the sun.

Once dry, they are gathered and packaged until time to turn them into soap.

Where Do Soap Nuts Grow?

There are several varieties of this trees so you are sure to be able to find one that you can grow in your own backyard.

The tree the Eco Nuts (R) come from that are in this picture is the Sapindus mukorossi, and comes from a tree that is grown mostly in Asia.

There are varieties of the Sapindus tree that grow in USDA Hardiness Zones 6 to 9 and some that do better in USDA Hardiness Zone 10 and higher.

Be sure to choose a tree that is hardy in your particular USDA Hardiness Zone.

How To Grow Soap Nuts

Sapindus trees tolerate poor soil, drought, heat, wind and salt.

They need full sunlight and very well-drained soil.

They can be grown from seeds, however it might be just as easy to purchase a larger plant so you have harvest the fruits faster.

Traditionally the seeds are removed from the soap berry before it is used or sold.

Soap berry trees do need require pruning to shape them when they are your, but once established in the garden, they require very little care.

How To Use Soap Nuts

The berries are a wonderful green alternative to traditional man-made laundry detergents.

The saponin that they soap berries produce is a 100% organic substitute for chemically made laundry detergent and other soap based cleaning products.

Here is how to use soap nuts:


How To Use

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How To Use Soapberries In A Dishwasher

Besides laundry, these soap nuts have lots of other uses.

You can use them in your dishwasher or make a cleaning spray out of them.

To use whole soapnut berries in a dishwasher, place three of them in the bottom of the silverware rack.

Be sure to fill the rinse aid with vinegar and run as normal.

You can add a pinch of orris root powder to the detergent to add a little bit of natural scent that is similar to violets or lilacs depending on who you ask.



Soap Nuts F.A.Q.

Q: What else can you use soap nuts for?

A: Soap nuts have a variety of uses including:

  • laundry detergent
  • dish soap
  • hand soap
  • shampoo
  • body wash
  • pet cleaning wash
  • dishwasher soap
  • cleaning supplies
  • shaving cream
  • natural pesticide for plants

Q: Are soap nuts good for hair?

A: Yes, they are very good for hair and actually help hair grow in addition to helping prevent lice, thicken hair and give it bounce.

Q: Are soap nuts good for the skin?

A: Yes, soap nuts help prevent dry skin, can brighten the complexion and even out skin tone in addition to helping fight acne and soothe eczema.

Q: What are the benefits of soap nuts?

A: Soap nuts have a number of benefits besides being able to be grown in your own backyard.

Here are a few of the other benefits:

  • they do not need fertilizer or chemical pesticides to grow.
  • they are said to help with skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis and rashes caused by allergic reactions.
  • they are naturally allergy-free, anti-fungal and antibacterial.
  • they are great for sensitive skin.
  • they are said to help with dry skin.
  • they have an anti-aging and anti-oxidant effect making them a good choice for people with mature and aging skin.
  • they are safe house on delicate skin, such as that of a baby.
  • they are said to help dry up oil and reduce the appearance of clogged skin.

Q: Are soap berries and soap nuts the same?

A: Yes, they are the same.

Q: Are soap nuts effective?

A: Yes, they contain high saponin levels, are naturally organic and clean very well.

Q: Are there disadvantages to using soap nuts?

A: Yes. They do not work well if you are washing your laundry in cold water. It is necessary to use warm water,  or better yet hot water to wash clothes in.

Q: Do soap nuts expire?

A: No, they do not. If they draw moisture they will become sticky but that won’t affect their cleaning capabilities.

Q: How many times can you reuse soap nuts?

A: Three to four times and then you can add them to your compost pile.

Q: Can you use fabric softener with soap nuts?

A: It is best to use white vinegar with a little essential oil for scent instead of using store bought fabric softener. However, you can use store bought fabric softener if you wish and it will not diminish the cleaning capabilities of the soap nuts.

Homemade Laundry Soap Recipes

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