Source: Mountain Rose Herbs
Standardized: soap nuts
Other: Chinese soapberry, washnut
Sapindus mukorossi Gaertn.
Plant Family: Sapindaceae
Native to India and Nepal, soap nuts are now found in both the eastern and western hemispheres. The soap nut, which is actually a berry, forms a hard shell when dry that resembles a nut, hence the name. The berry shells contain saponin, a natural surfactant that is released when the shell absorbs water. Considered a natural detergent, soap nuts have become a popular environmentally friendly alternative to chemical detergent. Sapindus mukorossi is a gentle option for those with allergies to chemicals in detergents. It is generally considered safe for use on septic and greywater systems, however, we recommend you consult a professional.
There is considerable discussion as to what variety of soap nuts is preferable for use as a laundry soap alternative. Any soap nut from the genus Sapindus will work just fine as they all have sa