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Green Cleaning: Laundry Detergent (Soap Nuts)

Updated: Feb 8, 2021


Berry good for you, your clothes and the planet

Soap nuts (also called reetha) are the shells of berries that grow on small trees in the Himalayas. Traditionally they've been used in India for clothes washing and bathing because of the way they lather (the shells contain saponin, a surfactant that can be used like soap). Today they're making a bit of a comeback for the eco-conscious for laundry and home-made shampoo.


Even though there are mixed reviews of soap nuts online, I've found them great. And I particularly like that, because they come from trees, growing them means helping combat climate change.


In my experience soap nuts are:

  • Easy to use - pop them in a cloth bag and put them in the washing machine with your clothes or pre-make a laundry liquid (see below)