Washing & Cleaning with Soapnuts

Wash and Clean with Soapnuts

Doing the Laundry

Using soapnuts to wash and clean is simply a wonderful way to maintain an eco-friendly and green lifestyle, but more importantly to reduce the use of harsh chemical agents which can harm our environment. Now we can wash and clean all we want without harming Mother Nature. It can be made into a totally natural and eco-friendly mult-purpose cleaner for today’s household washing and cleaning needs. It's great for a wide range of washing and cleaning purposes as well as being gentle to the environment.

For hand washing, you can make a tea with 8 soapnuts and wash as usual.

Soapnuts produce low suds and are suitable for use in both front and top loading machines.

Use warm/hot water for soiled washing and a cold wash for refreshing clothes. Depending on your preference, the rinse cycle need not be used as this is a low sud product or you can reduce the number of rinse cycle. I do suggest that you start off with washing the laundry as normal to get a feel of it first.

If you enjoy scented laundry add 5 - 8 drops of essential oil to the washbag.

Quick Notes:

Store the soapnuts in a dry and cool area. Sometimes the soapnuts will absorb some moisture and turn sticky but this will not effect their cleaning properties.

Soapnuts are ideal for HE and front load washers. Try adding 5 - 8 drops of your favourite essential oil to make the laundry smell nice. If the soapnuts become mushy, gray, and no longer has a soapy feeling,   they can be thrown away or be used as compost in the garden.

Try adding some vinegar as a fabric softener or baking soda to whiten your whites (we recommend that you do not mix your colour and white clothing items).

For heavily soiled or stained clothing and fabrics, please pre-soak with other  detergents or oxygen bleach or pre-treat it with other detergents before adding to the final wash. 


Make Soapnut Liquid Solution

Put 15-20 pieces of soapnuts shell in around 4-5 cups of water and let it soak for 12 hours. Then strain and use. Soapnut shell can be reused until it no longer has a "soapy" feel to it. The longer the soapnuts sit in the water, the more concentrated the liquid becomes.

Alternatively, bring to boil the 15-20 pieces of soapnuts shell in 4-5 cups of water, and simmer for 30 minutes. Cool and strain liquid into a bottle. These soapnuts cannot be reused again.


This soapnut liquid can also be used for washing and cleaning a wide range of items. As this very pure soapnut solution has no preservatives of any kind, it has only a very limited shelf life for only a few short days (usually 3 ~ 10 days). To extend its shelf life, the best way is to keep it refrigerated (some people freeze it into ice cubes and use as needed).



Place 5-6 soapnuts into the washbag and secure to the cutlery holder. You may add vinegar to the rinse aid dispenser for sparkling clean glasses.

General Purpose Household Cleaner

 Keep the soapnuts liquid in a spray bottle and use to clean the bathroom, kitchen, and floors.

Jewellery Cleaner

Soak your jewellery in the liquid for a few minutes. Use an old soft toothbrush to gently remove debris. Rinse with clean water and polish with a dry cloth.

Window & Glass Cleaner

Fill a spray bottle with 250ml water, 15ml vinegar and 15ml soapnuts liquid. Spray and wipe windows or mirrors clean. Polish with newspaper.

Dishwashing Machine

Fill the dishwasher's soap dispenser with soapnuts liquid. Add vinegar as a rinse agent.

Liquid Hand Soap and Shampoo

Fill the soap dispenser with soapnuts liquid, use it to wash your hands and hair

NOTE: Avoid contact with your eyes, as it would sting quite a bit. Flush with lots of water if that happens.

Pet Shampoo

Dilute one part of soapnut liquid with 3 parts water. Pour over pet, wash thoroughly and rinse with clean water. Please avoid the pet's eyes. It will leave the fur soft, clean and helps repel pests.

Plant Pest Repellant

Add around 3 parts of water, 1 part soapnuts liquid and 4 teaspoons of Neem oil (optional) to a clean spray bottle. Shake well and spray on your plants.

Handwashing Delicate Fabrics (e.g. Silk, Satin, Batik)

Add one cup or more of the soapnuts liquid to half or less of a pail of warm water. Gently wash your delicate clothes. Rinse with warm water and hang or lay flat to dry. It works great for silk, satin, batik fabric materials.


These are just some of the general guidelines on how to use soapnuts, do feel free to experiment, adjust and modify the recipe to suit your own household cleaning/washing applications and needs.

For more information on how to use Soapnuts, please join our Facebook Group: Gaia Soapnuts Malaysia for more comprehensive information on using Soapnuts. There are also many online video clips on YouTube on the many and fascinating ways of using Soapnuts.