Soap Berries (also called soap nuts) are natural and eco-friendly alternatives to commercial laundry detergents. They work just as well as standard laundry detergents as well as being good for the environment, gentle on your skin and even safe for cloth diapers!
While soap berries resemble nuts (often being called a “soap nut”) they are not a nut. They are actually a berry and a member of the Lychee family. The soap berry contains a natural soap that effectively breaks the surface tension of water to penetrate through the fibers of clothing and remove dirt and stains.
When using these natural cleaning products to wash your clothes, don’t expect them to foam up like commercial detergents. The amount of foam a product makes does not give any indication of cleaning ability and typical commercial detergents add artificial foaming agents, like sodium lauryl sulfate, to give the appearance of “clean” but also cause skin irritation. The small gentle suds produced by a soap berry are just the natural saponins (soap) in action.
When used in washing machines, soap berries offer the same cleaning power as typical detergents. While certain stains may need additional spot treating (as with most detergents), these eco-friendly berries work wonderfully on everyday laundry, baby clothes and cloth diapers. Also, because they do not contain artificial chemicals, they can be used comfortably by those with sensitive skin conditions and allergies.