by Carly Foubert, CFICE Communications RA

Laundry detergents can be hard for your skin and clothes. They contain a lot of chemicals and companies are not required to provide a list of ingredients, which means you have to do the research about what you’re washing your clothes with.

It can be difficult and frustrating finding a good laundry detergent. Since it will be in contact with your skin when you’re wearing freshly cleaned clothes, it’s important to make sure you’re using a detergent that won’t irritate your skin or be toxic.  

Behold! Soap nuts! Just kidding, they’re actually berries, but either way they are fantastic! They are a natural, biodegradable, and petroleum-free alternative to detergent. 

Soap nuts

© Timo Kirkkala via Flickr

The shell of the berry contains large amounts of saponins. Saponins are a natural surfactant, which are compounds that lower the surface tension of a liquid and allow it to be used as a detergent. It’s a natural detergent! Sounds wonderful, right? They’re also hypoallergenic!

You can purchase soap nuts at most health stores, organic grocers, and also online.  You can use soap nuts by place 4 to 5 berries inside a small cloth bag and then putting them in the washing machine with you load of laundry and voila! Naturally cleaned clothing! 

You can use the soap nuts for multiple loads of laundry before they stop cleaning well. Once this happens you can add them to your compost since they’re biodegradable.