Google+ Organic Gardens Network™: Eco-friendly Laundry Soap Grows on Trees

Monday, January 7, 2008

Eco-friendly Laundry Soap Grows on Trees

Today I want to introduce a great new laundry product I have been using for a few months. I came across a laundry soap that actually grows on trees, has real implications for sustainability, and replaces all chemical detergents with an eco-friendly solution. There are many toxic laundry rooms around the world just loaded with commercial laundry products like detergents, fabric softeners and dryer sheets. All these products contain very high levels of toxic chemicals known to cause many disorders and diseases. Not only are these chemicals bad for us to inhale and wear on our skin through our clothing, they are also contributing to the killing of fish and ecosystems, and birds as these chemicals are flushed downstream every day. The wonderful natural laundry product I am talking about is called Maggie's Soap NutsTM..

They are these terrific little nuts that are actually the dried fruit of the Chinese soapberry tree native to India and Indonesia. The scientific name for the tree is sapindus mukorrosi and it grows a small fruit surrounded by a firm outer shell, much like a lychee or rambutan. This tree is unique because it synthesizes its own natural soap-like saponins that coat the shell of the fruit. When the fruits ripen and fall off the tree, local families harvest them and then remove the inner fruit from the outer shell. The shell is then dried in the sun, using no chemical processing or manufacturing processes. In fact, the whole process uses no fossil fuels whatsoever, except in the transportation of the product to the western world (which is efficiently accomplished by ship).

It is the fruit’s outer shell, rich in natural saponins that act as water surfactants, that the native families in India have used for centuries to wash their own clothes. They put 2-3 shells into a small burlap bag and throw it in with the laundry. The soap nuts, as they are now called (even though they have no relation to actual nuts), absorb water and release their saponins which then circulate as a natural surfactant in the wash water, reducing the surface tension of the water and freeing dirt, grime and oils from the clothing. When the clothes are rinsed, the soap nut saponins are washed downstream where they remain harmless to the environment. No synthetic chemicals, no fragrance chemicals, no foaming agents or other toxins - just nut shells grown by nature.

You can get your own Soap the Rawmaste Store over there in the right navigation of my blog. Once you are in the store, just click on the category called Cleaning Products and you will be taken right to the various sizes that are available. You can buy a small trial size to try it out before you buy a larger package. I recently bought a package that will wash 200 loads. I will not have to buy any soap nuts for quite a while.

One of the good things about using soap nuts is that you put 3-5 soap nuts in the little cloth sack that comes with the product, toss into your wash load, and you can reuse the same nuts for up to four loads. I do this all the time and every load comes out clean, silky, and smelling fresh. It even removed stinky kitty urine from a pair of jeans after only one washing. That really impressed me, because you know how difficult it is to remove kitty urine odor. Soaps nuts worked!

Maggie's Soap NutsTM.will replace both commercial laundry detergents AND fabric softener. They leave your clothes clean, unscented and feeling nice and soft. In addition to being reusable, they are also obviously totally biodegradable and hypoallergenic. Your clothes, your skin, your family, and your planet will thank you for using this RAWsome product! I love it – raw laundry soap. How great is that?!

Happy Washing! (=^_^=)


  1. what a cool sounding detergent! I'm going to try it. I have used Seventh Generation in the past ( and have liked it very much, but I am really intrigued by the idea of "soap nuts"! It sounds cute! For facial and bath soap my whole family switched to Pauls organic soap in 2007. Paul's organic is the most refreshing all natural soap we've ever used ( I've also heard about Child's Play organic lawn care products ( and will be trying these out over the next few months. There are so many areas in our daily lives that can be greener - we all have a long way to go!

  2. Thank you for your post and for offering these sites for Paul's and Child's Play. I have not heard of them and will definitely be checking them out. (=^_^=)


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