Soap me nuts

Written by Kajsa IngelssonSeptember 22, 2016

I made the most amazing discovery last week! But let’s back up for a second and I’ll tell you about the issue that fueled my search for the solution aka the amazing discovery!



There are three problems:

1. Phosphate-containing detergents creates algae blooms in freshwater. These in turn use up the oxygen available for aquatic life. The result of this is eutrophication, a process by which a freshwater aquatic ecosystem slowly dies due to continual oxygen depletion.

2. Surfactants, or surface-active agents, are chemicals that cleans by reducing the surface tension of oil and water. In a freshwater environment, surfactant-containing detergents break down the protective mucus layer that coats fish, protecting them from parasites and bacteria. It also makes it easier for aquatic life to absorb pesticides, phenols and other pollutants in the water. Furthermore they persist in the environment and break down into additional toxic byproducts and disrupts the endocrine systems of humans and animals.

3. Laundry and dishwasher detergents come in plastic containers that are generally non-reusable and non-recyclable, according to the EPA.

Pretty bleak, don’t you think? But fear not because as I mentioned in the beginning, I found the solution!


It’s spelled S O A P N U T S!

A soapnut is a berry shell that naturally contains soap. They grow on the Sapindus mukorossi (Soap Berry) tree in the Himalayas.

The natural soap found in these berries is called saponin. Saponin is a natural cleaner that works exactly as a surfactant but with none of the killing all freshwater life sideeffects. They are also gentle on both clothes and skin, making them ideal for those with sensitive skin, eczema, allergies and psoriasis.

So, yes we are doing this now.

Say after me; I promise that I will stop contributing to the suffocation of our lakes and killing of our aquatic life by replacing my laundry detergent with soap nuts.

You can get them among other places here and here.