Introducing, the all-powerful, natural, cleansing agent: soap nuts! “Soap nuts?” You might ask,“What in the world are soap nuts?”  Surprisingly enough, soap nuts are not nuts at all! They are actually berries from a tree (Sapindus Mukorossi) that dry up into hard shells like nuts, thus the name soap nut. The outer shell of the soap nut produces saponin, a natural cleaning substance that can be used as a laundry detergent.

I started using these back in January merely to save money. Due to my extreme skepticism, I initially bought only a small sample size just to try. I read a lot about soap nuts online but was not quite a true believer until I pulled the first wet T-shirt out of my washer for a sniff and surprisingly smelled…nothing! Soap nuts are a product of nature and are fragrance-free, so your clothes do not come out smelling like typical laundry detergent. However, the smell is unmistakably clean.

Since soap nuts are safe to use on baby clothes, I tested out many of my one-year-old daughter’s really gross clothes. I will spare you the details, but use your imagination. Every time I’ve washed them with soap nuts, they have come out clean in every way.

Soap nuts are incredibly easy to use and save me from washing money down the drain. I am a chronic over-measurer of all laundry detergents. Before switching to soap nuts, I primarily used liquid detergent. I hated measuring the soap and dealing with a goopy, soapy top, so I would just “eyeball” it and pour the detergent directly into the wash. See? Chronic over-measurer.

Using soap nuts, however, is so simple. Just place 5 soap nuts in a small muslin bag, and drop the bag down in with your dirty laundry. Soap nuts work in hot or cold water, and you re-use the same bag for 5-7 loads! That means when I walk into my laundry room, I don’t have to measure anything. I simply toss my bag into the wash with the laundry! Time-saver and money-saver!

Another reason soap nuts are such a money saver for me is that the cost per load is cheap! I did a lot of research before I bought soap nuts and found a really great company called Naturoli (pronounced naturally). Here is the deal on pricing from Naturoli:

If you want to try it first like I did, you can get the 4 oz. bag (40+ loads) for $10.95. Or, if you trust my word and want huge savings, you can click on the following links that will bring you to the listed products. The more you buy, the more you save!

There are many more sizes and combination packages available online in the Naturoli store. Use coupon code KCL40 to receive 40% off your 4oz. bag, making it only $6.57!

More great reasons to try soap nuts:

  • Free of synthetic materials
  • Less need for fabric softeners and dryer sheets
  • Great for HE machines
  • Earth friendly! Non-polluting and biodegradable!

The only con I can think of is that your friends will think you are “nuts” for washing your clothes with soap nuts. That is, until you let them try it!

By switching exclusively to soap nuts, I estimate that I will save about $50 this year in detergent alone – and that was buying the cheap-o detergents on sale and with coupons!

This has been a guest post by Brandie from Denham Springs, LA
Find out more about the KCL Contributor Network!

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28 thoughts on “The Soap Nut Secret: How to Spend Less than 11 Cents per Load of Laundry”

  1. John Kibler says:

    Hey folks!

    I haven’t visited in awhile. An email from Alicia Silverstone’s “Kind Life” site today about the NY mayor’s little (dumb) soda pop issue sparked my interest to do some posting. I just get so mad when “We the People” have our choices dictated! Errrrrr… :^[
    I’ve simply had with all the government mandated XXXX! It’s a good thread. Lots of commentary. I got on a major rant…

    Anyway, back to soap nuts (a lighter topic to be sure) there’s a new post on that’s one of the best ones yet imo. It’s called “Beyond laundry soap”.

    What’s REALLY cool is that it looks at soap nuts through a MUCH larger lens than I’ve ever read. It appears to be the first article of a series. Obviously somebody could write a BOOK about all that these babies can do!!! Highly recommended to read. You’ll see what I mean…

    Till another day!

  2. Anonymous says:

    I have to say I read this last week and was sooo intrigued I went straight to the site after reading a little bit throughout the internet and ordered a small package from NuturOil that is supposed to be about 80 loads. Well I got them today. I threw 5 in the sack tied it shut and have done 5 loads of clothes since being home after work. We have four kids. :)  I am IN LOVE! So far…… My husband of course thought I was crazy when I told him I found our new detergent and he was what I was using. He said what is that Rocks! Lol! I have to say I was skeptic as the kids clothes can at times get smelly from all the things they do all day and my husband being a tree climber. I pulled the clothes out the first load after lifting the lid a little after it started to see all the suds and they smelled so fresh! I would definitely recommend them to anyone. And I have a daughter thats had eczema for years, we have hard well water and from time to time my husband gets rashes and things on his skin so not knowing exactly what its from. But hopefully I can put all that to rest now. And all the uses you can actually use them for. Even to wash your hair. Can’t wait to try that too.

  3. Ashley Case says:

    I DID read the post above! TO ME THAT IS NOT A SAMPLE, which is why I asked!! Next time don’t be such a jerk!! A sample is either FREE or only a couple bucks to purchase a few. Wow some people have issues!

  4. i’ve been using these for about a year. i ended up grinding mine & using the powder because i couldn’t keep track of how many times i used them – like ur scrabble magnet idea!! there was also directions, with the ones i bought, for boiling them to make a liquid. trying to eliminate as many chemicals as i can!

  5. Hello Everyone, we are so excited to see this article get published!  If anyone has any questions about NaturOli or soap nuts that you are having trouble getting answers to please feel free to message us on Facebook at we host many discussions on soap nuts and will be happy to help you become more familiar with them.  -The NaturOli Team

    • Anonymous says:

      I placed my order with you guys last thursday. And got them today. Have to admit I bought the 80 plus load at $16 bucks with shipping but used them today and absolutely loved them. I even boiled a few on the stove to make a liquid to use. PS I LOVE The deep penetrating foot rub sample you included with my order. I just ordered a bottle of that tonight after rubbing it on my feet  :)

  6. John Kibler says:

    Did you know that the Green Dot Awards recognized soap nuts 3 or 4 years ago? They said, “soap nuts…possibly the most significant green innovation in history for everyday household cleaning needs.” THAT sold me!!!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Perfect timing. I needed to buy soap for my babies clothes. Just ordered a sample.Thanks KCL.

  8. This is crazy my sister is gonna love it!

  9. Anonymous says:

    I am very intrigued by this idea.  Would clear up a lot of space on my shelves.  But I think the regular homemade soap with borax, etc. would still be cheaper.  I still like the smell of Tide/Downey better.

  10. I love this idea and if you want a scent you could add a couple of drops of doTERRA certified pure essential oils!

  11. Anyone have any problems with being allergic to it….or does it wash completely out of the clothes and leaves no residue?

    • John Kibler says:

      I’m a soap nut user of many years, and inquired the same in the beginning. When asked Naturoli, they reported an incidence of allergies to be about as common as olive oil. i.e. exceptionally rare. My daughter has bad nut allergies that concerned me, but I found that they aren’t NUTS at all. They’re like a dried cherry (a fruit). There’s some good posts on Soapnutspro about this. Since she’s VERY sensitive I still did an easy patch test. No problems at all.

  12. I was actually very skeptical when I read about the soapnuts, but I bought the small size (15 loads) on amazon for about $6.00. I used them and I was pleasantly surprised. My clothes came out clean and clean smelling. They do not have a scent per say, just “clean”. I also used them on my bath towels and I got the same result. I do want to note that I did use spray and wash on stains just to make sure they did come out of my kids clothing. I think all in all these are great and I definitely plan on buying more.

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree Megan. I think I would go for the “Clean” smell over the scent anyway. I don’t want something to mask the odors and make me think their clean. I want them to be clean and believe me washing mine today I sniffed and smelled as many places possible to try and still find some funk on the clothes I took out. Lol

  13. Wow, this is very cool.  i have never heard of soap nuts but I can see how the savings can add up and you avoid all those chemicals smells.  thanks for sharing this!  

  14. The laundry soap I buy at Walmart (SunplusOxi) is less than $6 for a 98 load dispenser bottle (with no coupons or discounts). For the equivalent 640 loads that would be about $39.  The soap nuts are $49. I think I will stick with the laundry soap…

    • Toothy Grins says:

       Hi Lisa,  thank you for doing the math on this.  It’s close but it looks like you got it right! 

    • Maja Sahanic says:

      maybe… but your soap has chemicals which can be very harmful, especially for children or anyone with any skin issues, acne, eczema. 

    • John Kibler says:

      You really can’t compare chemical products and chemical-free products. Chemical products are typically MUCH cheaper. Except for some name brands where I think there’s more cost associated to marketing, advertising, and packaging than in the usable product!

    • Anonymous says:

      But thats just the math for using it as laundry detergent. And honestly my clothes came out cleaner today… Besides being able to use it as a household cleaner, shampoo, carpet cleaner, insect repellent and compost for the yard. If you add in all those at the same time. I don’t think you’ll come up with the same results.

  15. Cathy Taylor says:

    does it work okay in high effiicency washers?

  16. Brandie Satterfield says:

    They do not totally dissolve, but they are compost-able after you finish using them! The way that I keep track of the 5-7 loads is interesting…A while back I had some old scrabble tiles that I turned into magnets to spell out things on the refrigerator. I pulled out the letters SOAPNUT (7 letters) and stick them to the top of my washer. (I have a top loading machine) Then, as I use the soapnuts, I transfer one letter until I I move them all over. I also put the bag under running water and squeeze it (when I get to 5 loads or more) to check to make sure they are still producing suds. Hope this helps!

  17. Wow I think I will try those….

  18. sully says:

    oh my i haven’t seen those since i was a child back in guatemala there are tons of those trees over there people dont use them, but my girlfriends and i used to make soap out of it to clean all of our tea party dishes. since we were not allow to waste the real dish wash soap. who knew we were on to something.

  19. do they totally dissipate? or…how do you keep track of the 5-7 load use for each set of nuts?