Non-toxic Laundry Options: Soap Nuts & Detergent

Non-toxic Laundry Options: Soap Nuts & Detergent

With so many allergies from commercialized laundry cleaners, it’s no wonder soap nuts and non-toxic versions are on the rise.

Having issues with this myself in the past, I have found two DIY non-toxic laundry options that are effective to keep my clothes clean and my skin happy.

Though over the counter scent-free natural products are available, some of these cleaners still have traces of allergy-related chemicals, labels can be deceiving just be sure to check the ingredients list beforehand.

What Are Soap Nuts?

Contrary to the word nut, soap nuts are berries that are harvested from trees that grow in the Himalayans. Related to Lychee, these berries are a part of the Sapindaceae family, harden they form a shell that resembles a nut, thus the name.

When the shell absorbs water, a natural surfactant is released which contains saponin. When used in laundry, these nuts penetrate the surface of the water which then penetrates the fibers of the materials, lifting dirt, oils, and stains.

Soap nuts are great for people with skin conditions, chemical sensitivities, baby supplies such as clothing, cloth diapers, and bedding.

How To Use Soap Nuts


1. Add 5 soap nut shells to a muslin cloth bag that closes, tightly shut to secure shells.

2. Start wash cycle

3. Put clothes and soap nut bag in wash

4. Wash as normal

Hang the bag to dry – soap nuts bag can be reused several times, up until they start to turn mushy and grey.

Test your soap nuts on 1-2 items at first before washing a whole load to see if you need to make any adjustments such as the pro tip below.

Pro Tip #1: Need some scent? Add a few drops of organic essential oils to the bag. The soap nuts do tend to smell a little like apple cider vinegar at first, but the smell fades in the dryer or when you hang dry your items.  

Purchase soap nuts here (not an affiliate link)

Non-Toxic Laundry Detergent

3 cups Natural Washing Soda

10-15 drops Organic Essential Oils (optional)

1 Cup baking soda (optional)

Mason or reusable glass jar

1. Mix these all in the jar

2. Add 1-3 Tablespoons to load depending on size

3. Wash as normal

Purchase natural washing soda here (not an affiliate link)

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