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Soap Nuts – The Key to A Greener Healthier Life

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• How to Buy Soap Nuts

The “12 Tips” to Ensure Your Satisfaction When Buying and Using Soap Nuts:

Purchasing soap nuts (soapnuts, soap berries etc.) isn’t simple. Let’s face it – it’s a fruit, and there’s lots of sketchy and erroneous info floating about. If you know little about apples, how do you know which ones to buy? Are you going to eat them raw or bake a pie? Are they best for your intended use? Are they a good value? Exporters and retailers create confusion by selling different species, different grades, and making claims that are misleading and not factual. Different instructions compound the confusion. This article can’t cover everything, but it helps you make better decisions about what soap nuts are best for YOU: what to look for, how to obtain the best value, and what to avoid. These tips ward off the majority of common mistakes – and help ensure a good buying experience.

NOTICE – October 2013: Like it isn’t scary enough that Chinese schools, airports, and entire cities are being shut down due to toxic smog, plus 1000′s of US pets are sick, dead or dying from tainted doggie treats from China, now China-grown soapberries of questionable quality are being imported to the US. One tenacious Chinese business owner in SC boasts to reap “long term benefits” by “conquering” the US market through sales of the low cost berries. The owner continued, I know you do not want us in this market. We are here, and we will stay.”
– Learn more: China Soap Nuts – Just Say “NO!”

As mentioned on our Welcome Page, we avoid calling out specific brand names (good or bad). Sometimes it’s simply unavoidable to make vital points. The goal is to our teach readers how to think, and what to consider. Content is subjective and based upon the educated opinions of the author, plus input and reviews from readers. Visit our Welcome Page for more detailed “who, what and whys”.
– SoapNuts.Pro is here for YOU!

A quick outline:
1) Buy soap nuts by weightNEVER by loads claimed.
2) Buy only “DE-SEEDED” soap nuts.
3) Be mindful of what’s real and what’s only marketing “hype”.
4) Avoid soap nuts packaged for retail in Asia – and say NO to China grown.
5) Know exactly what you’re buying.
6) Expect nothing, assume nothing.
7) Be certain the soap nuts are returnable.
8) Pay for soap nuts with a credit card, Paypal or similar.
9) Stick with suppliers that are proven reliable.
10) Don’t let price alone be the determining factor in your buying decision.
11) Buy mukorossi or trifoliatus soap nuts.
12) Know what’s normal for soap nuts – and what’s not!

1) Buy soap nuts by weight – NEVER by number of “loads” claimed. This should be a no-brainer, but it’s the #1 Tip for good reason. To compare value you must compare NET weights. Any claim about loads is subjective, and usually used as a sales tactic to fool you. Sometimes it’s hard to find the weight! I’ve often had to zoom in on a product picture to locate it. Sounds crazy, but it’s true.

Selling soap nuts by “Loads” is a dubious, antiquated marketing tactic that is commonly practiced. Even if apples-to-apples (in product quality), the number of loads received varies a lot from user to user. It’s an unreliable and misleading means of measurement. Just consider for a moment how many variables there are when washing your laundry: Washer type (regular or HE, front or top loader), washer size, cycle(s) selected, duration of cycles chosen, load size, water hardness, water temp, degree of soiling – just to name a few. ALL affect the results – and yields. And that’s not factoring in YOU. The number of loads obtained depends greatly upon the user.

Many NEW users get taken by this one. Many don’t give this much thought when buying soap nuts for the first time? Most folks are more focused on whether if they will be pleased with the results, or if they’ll even work at all – far from how many loads they’ll get. A retailer can claim almost any number of loads they choose – and maybe even show that it’s possible. But using the outer limits of something’s potential as the primary measurement of quantity makes no sense. I’ve seen loads “guaranteed”. Given our busy lives rarely will anyone keep track of every single laundry load done in their household. Such a guarantee is a hollow promise that the seller will rarely – if ever – be held accountable for. Consumers are unknowingly misled. That’s disturbing – particularly when saving money is one of the reasons for buying the soapberries!

THINK - before you buy.

THINK - before you buy.

It’s impossible to accurately provide the number of wash loads YOU’LL get from X-amount of soap nuts. Again, there’s too many variables. Many folks are just beginning to learn how to use them correctly. At best we can only calculate rough estimates based upon weight.

Using “loads” as a yardstick for measurement began with the first (now defunct) big retailer of them in the US. It was – and remains – a very bad method – for YOU! Thankfully, we pay closer attention to details than we did years ago. We read labels more thoroughly. We check those “costs per ounce” or “per unit” prices at the grocery store. We’re much smarter shoppers today. Soap nuts were an esoteric product years ago, and buyers couldn’t really compare brands. Not anymore. However, soap nuts are still primarily sold in small stores and on the Internet where we don’t have the luxury of using those convenient “per unit cost” tags that the big grocery stores provide. For the time being, we have to look closer, think for ourselves, and crunch a few numbers. It’s not hard.

This problematic means of measurement creates confusion for shoppers. Exaggerated claims of “loads” is a way to make a seller’s product appear cheaper than the other guys. That’s the strategy. – WEIGHT is the ONLY reliable benchmark for wise, prudent shoppers. Never base your comparisons upon loads claimed. Keep it simple. What’s the cost per ounce? Period. Do that, and you’re almost finished. Next we look at the quality. First issue being “de-seeded” or not. Simple, huh?

NOTE: Akin to “loads” are SIZE claims. (i.e, Small, Medium, Large, Family Size, etc.). Size is also subjective. It’s only marginally useful when “packages” of the same brand – never between brands. Enough said. This should be common sense.

The following calculation is based upon personal experience and TONS of feedback from regular soap nut users:
It’s simple – and easy to remember:  10 LOADS PER OUNCE.
Disregarded all claims that deviate far from that. Depending upon your personal efforts and your variables at home you may get more or less to start. It’s a great benchmark and reasonable expectation to begin with.

Used traditionally (the wash bag method), a half-ounce (around five average sized, de-seeded, mukorossi soap nuts) is the normal amount you should use. That will typically wash 5-7 loads with good results. I’m using 5 loads to be conservative. Using 5 soap nuts per wash bag, and 5 washes per bag, it’s a safe bet that you’ll be pleased with the results from EVERY wash. If you get more – great! With experience most learn to extend the effectiveness of the soap berries (more on this later).

If you cut back on how many berries used, or if you use the berries for too many washes, their effectiveness will decline. In either case, the amount of saponin (the active ingredient) released decreases. Again, common sense: Less soap, less cleaning power.

When using reasonable benchmarks: A pound of good quality, de-seeded, mukorossi soap nuts should yield around 160 washes. You can significantly increase your yield as you get better at optimizing their performance. You’ll be amazed at all you’ll begin to learn. It’s fun experimenting with them.

Misrepresentation of load yield.

Here are two 100 gram (3.5oz) bags pictured. The soapberries look okay to me (probably ~35 actual berries per bag), but the seller claims one bag to yield 100 loads. 35 (or up to 50 loads tops) is realistic. That's two - three times actual yield.

• Common claims deserving extra scrutiny:
“360 LOADS” — from a 20.5 oz box.
(210-290 loads is closer.)
“360 LOADS”
from a 16 oz (1 lb) box. (160-200 loads is realistic.)
“100 LOADS”
from a 6.5 oz. box.
(65-80 loads is closer.)
“100 LOADS”
from a 5 oz. box.
(50-60 loads is realistic.)
“10 LOADS”
from a 1/2-oz box. (5-8 is more like it. Particularly when new to soap nuts – who are usually those buying such trial sizes.)

These are all inflated claims. They’re not even consistent in the math. All correlating “costs PER LOAD” will be equally distorted.

Try to keep in mind that some sellers are often almost as new to soapberries as you may be. I’ve talked with many that are nearly clueless, and simply regurgitate whatever their supplier tells them. Some others make up stuff on their own to try to gain a competitive edge. That’s even worse sometimes, particularly those that are not experienced business people.

At right is a new brand I’ve found that are a tad overly “creative” in their marketing. I had to dig deep to even find the details about what they were selling. I was so buried in other sales jargon that it took a long time to find out that they were only tiny 100 gram (about 3.5 oz) bags. These are a perfect example of the stuff “newbie” sellers commonly do. To the experienced eye, it’s obvious how small the bags actually are. Look closely. You’ll see that the bags are about the width of about four full soap nuts. That’s small.

I must admit that I didn’t even notice it myself right away. I can only imagine what a new buyer would see – or not see. These little bags currently sell for about $12-13 each – some expensive soap nuts! But yeah… We do get a “Bonus Tracking System” for FREE: Use safety pins on the wash bag to keep track of the loads done. Oh, joy! I can get stuck and bleed all over my laundry when I eventually get stuck by a sprung safety pin. (I’m seriously not kidding about any of this. And still haven’t been able to determine if any safety pins are even included or not. Let’s leave that at intentional vagueness.)

Simply follow the common sense tips you are being provided here – and always think for yourself. Do that and you’ll do fine.

Freshly harvested and de-seeded mukorossi soap berries.

Freshly harvested, de-seeded mukorossi soap berries (soap nuts). Photo courtesy Naidu, Archana Exports.

2) Buy only “DE-SEEDED” soap nuts. - Be 100% certain this is spelled out - plainly and clearly in the description. Be aware that many photos are simply “stock images”, so don’t rely on pictures. They may or may not be representative of the actual product.

A very common term I see used that is a major red flag is “WHOLE”. Almost invariably it means NOT de-seeded. My best advice is to simply avoid any referred to as “whole”. If ever considering “whole”, a fair price should be approximately half of the prevailing rate for de-seeded mukorossi.

One caveat: It is common to find trifoliatus or saponaria berries with seeds. These are the lowest valued of all. We’ll discuss these species in more detail elsewhere, but for now simply keep in mind that there’s many such soap nuts on the market. Their ultra-low cost can be very attractive to retailers. It’s common to see sellers of these just “gloss over” the specifics. (More on typical tactics below.)

It’s common to find seeds once in a while (a few seeds out of 100 soap berries is no big deal). Some just slip through unnoticed. However, throughout the “batch” purchased they should show breaks or cracks in the skin and pulp where the seeds were removed. It’s typical for there to be a mix of full and partial shells (the latter often being referred to as the “pieces”). When sorted and graded in the US, you can often select your quality level of choice. When packaged overseas, they are almost always a mix. Sometimes, these are referred to as “bulk”.

As with all “Tips” here, the focus is on ensuring you of a good value, and protection from possibly unsavory sales people and practices. As shown, the seeds should be removed – leaving only the valuable saponin-rich hollow outer skin and pulp that is dried. Most long-term users know this. Today however, the market is growing so rapidly that many consumers don’t understand this, or know how to tell the difference. We’re going to fix that problem.

A soap nut containing a seed will weigh DOUBLE (or more) than a seedless one. It’s a big seed! Being sold by weight when exported is precisely why we are finding so many soap nuts with seeds on the market. They create “lucrative” opportunities for both exporters and retailers alike. (Lucrative is such an interesting word…don’t you think?) Whenever such lucrative opportunities arise, there’s always someone who will capitalize on it. – There was a day when it was rare to ever find sellers of soap nuts with seeds.

Some interesting sales tactics have arisen from this scenario of “WHOLE” soap nuts. Here’s just a couple:
1 –
The seller markets them at very cheap prices – typically with very little specifics and/or a lot of generalized information. The effort being to simply let the story, benefits - and price - sell the product. This distracts the buyer from looking at the truly important details. The buyer of them is often one who still thinks that they’re all the same. No major harm is done here, aside from some disappointment. Ultimately it’s not the “good deal” the buyer may have thought they had. (Oh well…you get what you pay for.)
2 –
The seller sells them at or near the prevailing market rates for top-quality - and pockets “a bundle”. This is the very bad scenario, and harm is most definitely done. The consumer ends up getting stung – big time – paying double or more than a fair price. Here again, either a lack of specifics, or a whole bunch of vague and generalized information, descriptions, instructions, etc. are typically used by the seller. A lot of info (even if useless to an experienced user) can give an appearance of credibility to a newbie.

"Whole Soap Nuts" (i.e., obviously with seeds). Notice how pristine their condition is? Not a single crack in the shell. They look as though they were picked right off the tree - which is actually the case. They are too perfect. Most of the weight of such soap nuts are the big seeds inside. Those seeds have no functional use at all for washing or cleaning purposes. They are usually very cheap - no additional labor cost, heavy, and sold by weight. So, the bottom line: As the saying goes, "You get what you pay for."

Even when you’re buying by weight (not by loads) – as you should be – then seeds add unwanted weight that YOU are paying for! My advice again is to just steer clear of any that don’t specifically state, “seedless”, “de-seeded”, or “pieces”. – It’s really that simple.

NOTE: Seeds can also permanently spot or stain laundry – particularly when left in contact with wet laundry for even a short period of time. Their dense, jet black outer skin can leave a dark spot on your favorite blouse or linens. So, remove all seeds found. You’ll sometimes hear them rattling a bit in a mukorossi soap nut – not the case with the smaller species (such as trifoliatus and saponaria). When berries of the smaller species dry out and shrink down the shell and seed become very tightly bound. Hence very tough to remove. A larger mukorossi soap berry (with a seed) may leave a slight air gap between the shell and seed, hence looser and easier to detect. Break it open and the seed will often fall right out.

I have read only one seller ever attempting to justify a benefit to seeds that boiled down to what I will describe as “increased agitation.” (The importance of agitation is discussed at length in numerous posts here.) It’s a great idea, but one problem: They won’t work like that. I’ve tried. I’ve experimented with this notion in mind years ago. Once being soaked, that big seed does not bounce around in that soft, wet shell – no more than the seed will in a big ripe black cherry. There isn’t a large enough weight differential once saturated. I truly do appreciate the creative thinking, but just apply some common sense.

example of soap nuts with seeds

Another good example of soap nuts that have NOT been "de-seeded". If they look like this - avoid them. Look for the tell-tale signs that they've been cracked open. These are near perfectly round. After de-seeding they'll be more irregular. Such "whole" ones will be heavy and feel solid. It's VERY easy to tell the difference - even just from pictures.

(Dropping a few significantly heavier typical marbles or even a couple large stainless ball-bearings into the wash bag is a FAR, FAR BETTER WAY to achieve this effect much more effectively. They work – if you don’t mind the noise at times. Plus they last indefinitely – with zero risk of staining anything! Just be sure to tie the wash bag extra tight, or double tie the bag so they can’t possibly fall out. DON’T EVER use small ball bearings that can get stuck in your machine! Been there… BIG hassle… I quit playing with this idea after that episode. Not worth it…)

Only use seeds for cultivating new tress – or be creative with them. See the post at left called “Soap Nuts with Seeds” for more info! Also see post at right, “Soap Nut Trees”, to learn more about the trees. It includes info on how to grow your own, too!

3) Be mindful of the marketing oriented claims – the “hype”. There’s a lot of creative marketing that’s getting thrown about. It’s always in an effort for a company to try to differentiate their brand in some way. Just stop and think. Your common sense will go a long way. “Organic”, “gourmet”, “generic” are just trick terms. “Gourmet” being humorous of course. (I can’t wait to scarf down my next plate of soapberries!) For the most part, “organic” is now being tossed around so much that the term has become almost useless. All soap berries are “organic” by definition (same as they are “natural”). Don’t think any such generalized terms are meaningful. Look for OFFICIAL Organic Certifications. Ask for proof. Statement of “organic” alone means nothing – at least unless someone invents synthetic ones. I’ve seen it claimed that a company doesn’t sell cheap “generic” soap nuts. Hmmm… So, what is a “generic” soap nut? Some of the marketing is simply ridiculous.

Only OFFICIAL USDA Certified Organic and EcoCert Certified Organic (the international certification agent) provide assurances of chemical-free processing and sanitary processing conditions. There are very steep fines and stiff penalties for fraudulent use of them that inhibit their abuse. However, when buying soap nuts, the species, condition, and reputation of the seller remains paramount. Keep in mind that there is nothing to stop an exporter of inferior quality soap nuts from obtaining official certification that a seller may then use. The species, quality, effectiveness and value of the soap berries are NOT criteria used in the official organic certification processes. Write me at [email protected], or leave a comment if I confused you on this. I understand. It gets confusing.

But let’s address a more important issue regarding “creative marketing” & “product differentiation”:

One small retailer (brand) now claims better soap nuts because of using a “proprietary sterilization process”. Sterilized? This process is claimed to also magically increase the effectiveness of the berries. Oh, brother… Please spare me… But even forgetting about the claim of increased effectiveness, claiming a need to sterilize Certified Organic imports becomes a very serious matter.

This is clever marketing to be sure, but it’s terribly irresponsible. Personally, I believe the claimed reason for sterilizing is simply not true at all. If it was, we’d be hearing about it all over the news! (Think about all the consumer scares: tomatoes, lettuce, spinach, pork, etc., etc.) Those were real – and documented cases. To actually create a public “scare” or concern for the sheer purpose of marketing is about as downright low as I can imagine. This issue is currently being investigated by the State of California. It’s been reported to the proper authorities. This is not an issue to play around with. If the claimed reason were true, then by law the company was required to file a report with the Department of Health and Safety. (I also address this issue in the FAQs for I’ve received many questions about it. It compliments this, and has a little more of my personal spin put on it.) This issue has received more attention than usual because the company was pitching for venture capital (investors) on a popular TV show. Many consumers saw it. They received no offers on the show, and it was very embarrassing, but I’ll elaborate in the FAQs.

This whole issue greatly intrigues me for it utilizes the powerful marketing tactic of FEAR. – By design, it is to stir concern in the minds of the consumers – and worse, create an unwarranted fear of other brands. Use of “fear tactics” in consumer products marketing strategies is essentially never done – at least never initiated by any reputable firm. It’s playing with fire. The issue is huge, and it raises questions of monumental importance. (Sure, we see lame fear tactics every single day used in the political arenas. And, yes, we all hate it. But it’s taken for what it’s worth, and usually just shrugged off being seen for what it is.) – This matter is another ballgame. We’re discussing matters of public health and safety!

The BIG problem here: We’ve seen absolutely zero substance, evidence, documentation or proof of any kind whatsoever to support any need for sterilization - NONE. – Please keep in mind that this company has a long track record of exaggerating and making blatantly false claims - this time caught outright on national TV!

So, in a nutshell: This appears to be one more attempt of this company to try to differentiate their brand. But in this case, it’s without regard for the very serious consequences. The company will likely face big problems. If an agriculture product is brought into this country, and found to be contaminated (by a lab no less as was stated on TV and Facebook) then there must be an official report filed - again, by law. If there was any truth in this matter, without a filed report (California’s response was that is no such report exists) then laws were violated, and the company will face grave consequences.

Frankly, I don’t think this scheme was fully thought through, or reviewed by a competent trade/commerce attorney. Be it due to zealousness, greed, or simply ignorance – a major line was crossed. Albeit all earlier references are deleted now, what was stated (on TV and some of what was posted online) was documented, and there’s no back-peddling that will ever undo it. I sure wouldn’t want to be in their shoes right now.

Certified Organic exporters, importers, handlers, and sellers across the globe will be (or are) outraged. The implications of such reckless claims and statements aren’t taken lightly. They’re an outright and unjust indictment of the reputations of many companies. That company is now in the cross-hairs of many large, reputable companies. It’s taken years of hard work and tons of money for so many companies around the world to become Certified Organic compliant under stringent and often overbearing government regulations.

Consumers wanted assurances of receiving genuinely chemical-free cleaning alternatives – and companies responded. Official Organic Certified products are now available for them. Going beyond Organic Certification especially for products not for human consumption appears counter-intuitive to me, and based in marketing efforts alone - not consumer need. However, I am doing my due diligence as you have come to expect of me.

Here is some preliminary information that should prove helpful.

The Government in India requires strict quality assurance programs be in placed and followed by Indian Exporters. They are very serious about protecting their status as a major agriculture exporter.
IMPORTANT NOTES:
- Legitimate exporters are to be providing a Certificate of Analysis with each export.
- A reputable Indian company exporting agricultural products to the US will have a US FDA Reg. Number.

(Does this raise any questions for you regarding this issue? This brand? Their supplier? Their claims? – It sure does for me.)

Certified Organic products from India are certified by EcoCert (recognized by the National Organic Program, NOP, and the USDA). There are very specific requirements with regard to the handling and storage of product.
There are inspections at the US receiving port by US Department  of Agriculture, Customs and Homeland Security.

Also very interesting: Post harvest sterilization of a Certified Organic product can alter the product, plus involves the use of substances such as:
- either ethyl or isopropyl alcohols
- bleach
- carbon dioxide
- chlorine
- detergents
- ethylene
- ozone
- peroxide
(List courtesy of the Arizona College of Agricultural and Life Science.)

Final note: There are many illegal exporters in India and Nepal. The Indian Government advises companies/importers to verify that they are buying from a registered legitimate business so that they can be assured that Government regulations have been followed.

4) Avoid soap nuts packaged for retail in Asia. Plus just say “NO” to China grown!

A detailed post has now been published (04-2013) on this important issue of China-grown soap berries. Please see: China Soap Nuts – Just say NO!

There are numerous reasons for this. Once sealed and packaged for retail, nobody will inspect your soap berries before you own them. Let’s remember we are talking about a raw fruit here. The overseas sorting and inspection of soap berries prior to packaging is often low in quality control. Keep in mind that these retail packages will be at sea in large cargo containers (without climate control) for many weeks or even months. They will travel on open seas over a great distance through all kinds of climates and weather. Who knows what will happen to them during this long journey. They will get very hot and very cold. Condensation and moisture can build up and degrade the soap berries. I have received soap nuts packaged overseas that were overly wet and stuck together, blackish in color, plus contained many seeds, hairs, and all kinds of leaves and debris.

It’s much cheaper for retailers to purchase them “ready for retail” because of the low Asian labor costs. Interestingly though, soap nuts that are packaged overseas are usually comparably priced to ones that have been inspected and packaged in the US or Canada. Buy soap nuts that have been inspected and sorted AFTER their long voyage. This will assure you of better quality control over the final processing and packaging. You can also feel more comfortable that Fair Trade practices have been adhered to.

China grown soap nuts

China grown soap nuts: The worst of the worst. These are pictures known to be used by sellers of China grown soapberries. Jan, 23, 2014: US Dept. of Agriculture enforcement agents concluded a 6-month investigation finding them in violation of US National Organic Program regulations. The seller's web site was shut down. They are currently still found on third-party web sites usually undercutting prices of reputable sellers. The list of grandiose and wholly unsupported claims made by the seller(s) is long and forever changing. Evidence shows operations out of a residential apartment in S. Carolina and without proper business licensing. These represent the "black market" for soap nuts. They are brought into the US from China. It is unclear if smuggled or through the proper channels of US Customs. - They potentially carry hazardous chemical and biological contaminants.

Update 5-2012: For the most part, I have been referring to soap berries coming out of Southeast Asia from numerous new unestablished exporters that have jumped on the soap nut bandwagon since their rise in popularity. However, in recent months a new country of origin has arisen. You guessed it: China. As usual, if something is selling, it’s only a matter of time before China catches on. And numerous species grow in China.

Here’s my issues: I’ve already been approached by Chinese exporters claiming that they have “plantation grown” soap berries – at cheap prices. “Cheap” certainly doesn’t surprise me for it is almost synonymous with consumer goods from China – both in quality and price. It’s important to realize that a China “plantation” means “field-grown and harvested” – NOT wild-crafted as those from India.

The seller(s) of China-grown soap nuts appear to have no bounds in the claims they make. It’s common to read “Certified Organic”, “Organically grown”, “from remote mountains…” and all kinds of bogus claims. Many claims are in direct violation of the Regulations established by the National Organic Program (NOP) of which all USDA Organic suppliers and handlers must adhere to.

Now please follow me on this: One Chinese seller actually listed their soap nuts as a seller of brands that truly are Certified USDA Organic on Amazon. The Chinese seller was selling their berries under the name of a legitimate seller. The #1 Amazon seller stopped this via threat of legal action (both for consumer fraud and violations for misuse of the USDA Organic Seal). The Chinese seller then started listing again under the name of a different seller! It’s outrageous, but true!

So, a few points:
1 – There are soap nuts grown and harvested in China under “who knows what?” conditions.
2 – Typical Western consumers want nothing to do with Chinese products – particularly anything grown there.
3 – Nothing claimed can be believed. They change product titles, names and descriptions routinely. Sometimes their China origin is never mentioned – at all. Numerous claims are in direct violation of NOP Regulations. No proof of ANY claim has ever been provided. In other words: They’ll simply claim ANYTHING to sell their berries.
4 – “Plantation grown”? What does that tell you? Commercial fertilizers, pesticides, chemicals, etc.
5 – The Chinese seller will provide no proof or evidence of a legal US Customs entry number. i.e., Basically, we have no clue how they even got here.
6 – The primary seller stated that they’re in South Carolina and are shipping from South Carolina. To date we can find no listing in the SC Corp. Commission for the company. i.e., If operating under the radar – there’s no business license fees, taxes, etc.
7 – They have fraudulently posed as reputable established brands.
8 – They make utterly grandiose claims, yet present zero to substantiate anything.
9 –  No official Certifications are presented whatsoever. No Organic Certification. No mention of Fair Trade. Nothing…
10 – We get cheap generically packaged soap nuts of highly questionable quality – nothing more.
Lastly - And frankly, I really don’t like their arrogance. Read their own words posted in the “must read” post: China Soap Nuts – Just say NO! Personally, I’d trash them if they were FREE! And no Chinese profiteers are going to dictate anything to me (nor anyone else that I’ve spoken with). They actually speak of “conquering” our markets.

Well, they can’t “buy us” by peddling their cheap goods. Nor will they undo any of the good we’ve accomplished these many years in providing aid to all the hardworking villagers in India and Nepal. No way…

You’re going to have to be watchful for these. I’ve given you enough dots to easily connect yourself. i.e. If you see a name brand product on Amazon or eBay or similar being offered from some seller at half the regular price, ask yourself, “What’s wrong with this picture?” If you think you’ll just return them, don’t kid yourself. You’ll have a hard time ever getting a full refund. In the end – you’ll have been had. – Count on it.

5) Know exactly what you’re buying. Be certain of what you want. Soap berries are still so new to the general public that there are many big gaps in the information available. Retailers tend to focus on the general, when the specifics are vitally important to a good transaction. As I’ve written hundreds of times, “A soap nut is NOT just a soap nut.”

High-quality, de-seeded mukorossi soap nuts.

Understanding that takes a bit of study. And we still must also separate the hype from the facts. It is crucial to understand that many soap nut retailers are simply trying to sell the concept that soap nuts are a better, natural way to clean. Very few are educating consumers about all the very important particulars. Sellers tend to tell you what you want to hear. Period. This oversimplification is the root of the problem. Only when consumers become well schooled regarding the differences, will sellers recognize the need to become more knowledgeable in order to satisfy the marketplace. Understand that, and we are almost home. The burden is truly upon us – the consumers. Only in recent years have most of us started reading product labels much more carefully – and with much more skepticism. Be skeptical. That’s great! Soap nuts may be exactly what you want. They may not. We must learn to ask the right questions.

6) Expect nothing, assume nothing. If it isn’t spelled out clearly, something is likely wrong. Good soap nut retailers are very knowledgeable and will specify all the important aspects. They’ll describe their soap nuts’ species, weight, condition, de-seeded or not, age, packaging, accessories such as wash bags and instructions, etc. Quite simply, assume nothing and you won’t be disappointed. If everything about the soap nuts has been clearly verified by the seller, you will most likely be pleased. There are many start-up soap nut businesses today. Some really care and are sincerely promoting this wonderful green alternative. Others only want to sell something, and don’t care much about what it is. The ones that do care will show it.

7) Be certain the soap nuts are returnable. All good sellers will stand behind their products. Unless you’ve made a certain “deal” and are willing to agree to a no return policy, returns should be acceptable. Expect to lose the shipping costs and to have to pay to ship them back. At least you won’t get stuck with poor quality soap nuts.

8) Pay for soap nuts with a credit card, Paypal or similar. In a worst case scenario, this will provide you buyer protection and an out from a bad transaction. You can always dispute a charge for “merchandise not as described”. Be extremely leery of any seller who wants cash, debit card, wire transfer, Western Union, etc. Getting your money back will be unlikely. A good seller will have credit card processing and/or Paypal available. If not, beware. As always, when buying soap nuts online be certain that you are purchasing through a verified secure store.

9) Stick with suppliers that are proven reliable. Good sellers will have a well-known and documented reputation for quality products and customer service. The exception to this is the new seller. I highly support the efforts of so many people that are developing new, honest, green soap nut businesses. Everybody has to start somewhere. With a new seller that has little history, get to know them. Follow the above tips, and if all is in order, support them. They are foot soldiers of the green movement and deserve our support.

10) Don’t let price alone be the determining factor in your buying decision. That’s a huge mistake, be it whether you are paying a lot or a little. If buying cheaply priced soap nuts, that’s asking for inferior quality and disappointing transaction. Paying more however does not ensure better quality. I’ve seen prices go from A to Z without any correlation to quality. Only by knowing exactly what you are buying can you expect a good transaction.

11) Buy mukorossi or trifoliatus soap nuts. I personally prefer mukorossi soap nuts because they are the species of choice for quality exporters and are consistently of high saponin content (the all-important active ingredient in soap nuts).

Trifoliatus is often being sold with seeds, and sometimes misrepresented as mukorossi. It’s a cheap alternative with lucrative profiteering potential. Trifoliatus (seed excluded) is high in saponin content, same as mukorossi, but it has a lower market value. If you are buying trifoliatus you should be paying much less. If you really know your soap nuts and/or are making liquids and powders in volume, it can be a cost effective way for you to go without compromising effectiveness. Trifoliatus is however much more similar in appearance to other species with lower saponin content, hence more difficult to be assured of what you actually have. Only one soap nut being harvested in high volume is distinctly different in appearance than other species. That is mukorossi. Particularly for the new soap nuts user, sticking with mukorossi makes for a far safer bet that you’ll be buying a quality soap berry. Both whole soap nuts and pieces are equally effective. Pieces also make for good buying opportunities. Note: As mentioned above, be aware that “whole” may be used by some sellers to describe soap nuts that have not been properly de-seeded. Be sure that this is clear.

Images added to illustrate age:

Exhibit E: Aged soap nuts. Species not determined.

Exhibit E: Aged soap nuts. Species not determined. Photo: Ebay.

D and E: Miscellaneous images showing soap nuts of significant age. Once soap nuts have reached a black coloration as shown it becomes very difficult to determine the year of harvest. It is not uncommon for older soap nuts to become very gummy due to high humidity at time of packaging, moisture release from the berries, and condensation if they have been sealed in plastic bags for long periods.

Exhibit D: Aged mukorossi soap nuts.

Exhibit D: Aged mukorossi soap nuts. Black in color. Photo: Maggies Pure Land.

12) Know what’s normal for soap nuts – and what’s not. Akin to Tip #5 above, this is the only way you can evaluate your transaction. Soap nuts are mainly harvested from January through March (particularly mukorossi). The new harvest will typically sell at a premium price, while the previous year’s harvest will be discounted to clear floor space. Very freshly harvested mukorossi soap nuts will be large (about the diameter of a U.S. nickel and up to the size of a quarter), sticky, and yellow/golden in color. A good processor will allow them to air dry before packaging or sealing if overly moist. As they age in the first year they will darken to a reddish and then brownish color. Ultimately the soap nuts will turn black. If overly moist they will darken more quickly.

It is quite common to find black soap nuts as seen in pictures D and E, and they may be up to two or even three years old. If soap nuts are processed and stored properly they will be somewhat dry, yet remain a bit tacky to the touch, and get no more than dark brown in color. They can remain this way for very long periods, but require a stable storage environment. Storage at a humidity level of 25 to 30% and temperature of 60 to 65°F is ideal for extended storage periods. Unfortunately maintaining such stability is difficult for many suppliers, hence overly dry and overly moist soap nuts are commonly found. It is recommended to buy as fresh of soap nuts as possible. If needed, allow them to dry to the point where they are slightly moist and pliable. Then seal in an airtight container and store in a cool, dark place. This will ensure long term freshness. Trifoliatus is similar except they are much smaller, usually darker in color, and drier even when very fresh. The important thing is to get what you are paying for.

Know the species you are buying and when the soap berries were harvested. If you do, you’ll then know exactly what to expect. If it’s Springtime and you are buying – and paying for – high quality, de-seeded mukorossi, then you’ll know that the soap nuts should be large, golden-ish and tacky. If they are small (like a U.S. dime), or very dark, or very gummy, or very dry, or full of seeds, then something is definitely wrong. Don’t pay as much for previous year’s soap nuts as the current harvest. If the soap nuts have been properly stored, the previous year’s harvest can create great buying opportunities. They will still be highly effective and available at bargain prices.

I want to sincerely thank all the fair and honest sellers that have done their homework, and are properly and accurately representing their products. Hopefully, these writings and pictures will help you to quickly identify such good sellers. They are the ones who are not just after a quick buck, and will help lead consumers to the wonderful experiences soap nuts offer us all.

You are now ready to buy soap nuts with a minimal risk of being disappointed.

Good luck and enjoy!

IMPORTANT: Please see the article “Soap Nuts with Seeds” for a more in-depth discussion regarding this serious issue with many being sold these days. – There are good pictures from active sellers and exporters used as examples of this growing problem.

ALSO: Please see the article “Why from the USA?” for a more in-depth discussion regarding the issue of processing and packaging soap nuts in the USA vs. overseas.

CAUTION: Don’t miss the updated post about China-grown soapberry seller(s) found in violation of U.S. Federal law, USDA regulations – and carrying a high risk of contamination. Many grandiose claims, and statements of being tested safe are made – however none (not a single one) has ever been substantiated. Online and third-party availability only. No address or phone is provided for the seller. The berries are characteristically soft, slimy and oily while having a dark reddish purple to black color (like old, dirty motor oil). Commonly noted is the scent of petroleum. Best to return (if possible) or discard in an environmentally friendly fashion.
(See full post in left-side column for the latest info.) - Just say “NO” to China-grown.

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143 Responses to “• How to Buy Soap Nuts”

  1. 1
    Susan:

    I found your blog on google and read a few of your other posts about soap nuts. I just added you to my Google News Reader. Keep up the good work. Look forward to reading more from you in the future.

    Thank you, Susan. You, too! Much more to come.

  2. 2
    Matthew C. Kriner:

    I had no idea there was so much to learn about soap nuts. What a wonderful blog! Please continue this great work I will be sure to check back regularly…

  3. 3
    Andrew Pelt:

    I simply wanted to add a comment here to say thanks for sharing so much information about soap nuts. Blogs are troublesome to run and time consuming therefore I appreciate when I see well written material. Your time isn’t going to waste with your posts. Thanks so much and carry on.

    I greatly appreciate your comment, Andrew. I hope to do my part in making a difference.
    Chris

  4. 4
    Fran Drudge:

    I have been looking for quality information about soap nuts and saponin for a while and finally found your site in a directory. Very interesting post, thanks for taking the time to write this.

    Thank you. I’m here to help, Fran. I’ll do my best to help all those trying to better this world. It’s the only one we have. Welcome to SoapNuts.pro!

  5. 5
    Carolyn:

    I really like what you have done with your blog! Great insight and excellent tips! There is so much to learn about soap berries.

  6. 6
    char:

    Hey there, I have been lurking around your blog for a couple weeks. I have learned more about soap nuts here than on all the other sites I have found combined. Keep it up!

  7. 7
    Monica:

    I have looked at soap nut liquids from a few companies. All claim to be concentrated. The sizes, number of loads, and prices do not seem to make any sense. Can you help?

    Hi Monica!

    Well, that goes for a lot of detergents these days (not just soap nut liquids). Same as with the typical commercial detergents, you really have to look at each very closely and compare loads to volume, and then price per load. Be sure to compare apples to apples. Know for sure whether it is referring to HE loads or standard loads for that makes a huge difference. Unlike buying most mainstream brands that are quite similar in chemistry, you should consider other factors when buying soap nuts in any form, but I will keep focused on your specifics.

    The three most well known soap nut liquid brands (likely the ones you have seen) are Maggies, NaturOli Extreme 18X and Cleanut out of Germany. All state concentrated.

    Cleanut is really more of a botanical-based surfactant formulation with a soap nut headliner. It has quite a long list of other active ingredients relative to the others. So frankly, I can’t consider this product as a true soap nut liquid as would be normally referenced on this site. If you study the ingredients closely you’ll see that it’s more akin to other “botanical-based” natural detergents with the exception of AlmaWin adding the soap nut extract. Which I think is great, but that doesn’t make it a “soap nut liquid”. Hence, I don’t know if it meets your criteria in the first place. It isn’t concentrated at all in my book even though the label states otherwise. It’s a one ounce per load formula. Being an older formula, they don’t spell out usage amounts clearly. They simply state that it’s compatible for both standard and HE machines. ???

    Maggies is a real soap nut liquid. It is a saponin-based surfactant. It claims a 4X formula. It is referred to as “super concentrated”. I have no clue why or how they can claim this. It is a one ounce per load formula, too – same as Cleanut. They state that a 32 ounce bottle will do 64 loads (in the big type). But if you read the directions, that is for HE loads. 32 ounces will do 32 standard loads, same as Cleanut, and same as most of the 2X detergents of any type. Virtually all detergents are at least that concentrated nowadays. I must wonder when “concentrated” will just become the “standard”. I certainly don’t see us going back to the standards of old.

    NaturOli Extreme 18X is a real soap nut liquid, too. It is a true concentrate. It states “ultra-high potency saponin extract” on the bottle, and I think that is a very appropriate description. It is about a one teaspoon per load formula. 8 ounces will do 48 loads – and 96 HE loads. That’s “off the chart” comparing to anything I know of. And it actually does do at least that. Many report it doing more loads than stated.

    So with all this stated, just do the math depending upon the price you are looking at. Cleanut and Maggies sells different sized jugs at differing costs per ounce. NaturOli bundles the 8 ounce bottle in 2 and 3-packs at discounted prices. Again, just be absolutely sure to compare apples to apples. How much per load (either standard or HE) is what you want to determine when considering the price alone. Be careful not to fall into what I refer to as the “first look” trap. Labels are very deceptive. I take my hat off to NaturOli for not playing that game. The label is not bold and colorful, or fancy like most. It just states what it is and what it does. Period. I like that.

    Good luck!

  8. 8
    Soap Nuts:

    I love using soap nuts. I don’t think I have ever found a better detergent.

    Roger that! Soap nuts are issuing in a new age for cleaning. Glad you found SoapNuts.pro!
    Chris

  9. 9
    Corine Hatzenbuhler:

    Thank you for sharing this information. It really would be truly great to get some extra details!

    Hi Corine, I do avoid overloading our readers. There is much more info about buying soap nuts and other aspects worth sharing about soap nuts, too. Feel free to ask specifics.
    Chris

  10. 10
    Human Anatomy:

    Saw your soap nut blog bookmarked on Delicious. I love your site.

  11. 11
    Buy Reviews:

    It amazes me to know that you have such a vast knowledge about soap berries. Very few seem to. Personally I think that this blog will be an eye opener for most of your readers.

    The promise was and remains: 1. To shed light where it is needed. 2. To increase consumer awareness of soap nuts, and to expand the knowledge base surrounding them. Welcome to SoapNuts.pro!

  12. 12
    Morton Minson:

    I really thought your soap nut blog was extremely helpful, and needed to say thank you very much.

    Thank YOU!
    Chris

  13. 13
    Kalo:

    Thank you! You write very interesting articles on soap nuts.

  14. 14
    Allie Capen:

    Great points! I’ve been doing my research on soap nuts.

  15. 15
    Theresa:

    Hello. Thank you for the advice about buying soap nuts. I’ve been using them for about a year and have gotten ones that looked very different but they worked. I bought some not long ago and every soap nut had a seed in it. I’ve never gotten ones like these before. I’m not able to return them. No returns are allowed. What should I do? I bought a kilo bag. Where do you suggest buying good quality soap nuts from? I want to find a reliable company to stick with from now on. I love your site and it has been very helpful. I had a lot of questions about using soap nuts and had to experiment a lot. I wish I would have found you a year ago. You would have saved me a lot of time and I understand many things now that were confusing. God bless.

    I am very sorry to hear about your purchase experience, Theresa. How somebody can sell something and not accept returns is beyond me. You will need to de-seed the soap berries yourself. Sorry, but there is no other good option. The soap nut seed has no value for cleaning. Just be patient and break them up to get the seeds out. If trifoliatus, that will be more difficult, but at least you will salvage some value from your purchase. The soap nut shell (the dried pulp and skin) are all you want to use for laundry and cleaning. They don’t have to be pretty to work, so don’t worry if they are in pieces once de-seeded.

    As for looking different, please read the article here called “Soap Nuts – Variations”. It should cover most reasons why you see differences.

    I make no secret of preferring soap nuts from NaturOli. They are sorted, inspected and graded in the USA – not overseas. (I assume you are in the US.) Quality is excellent and consistent. You will never get cheap soap nuts with seeds. Few companies go to the extra expense to process the soap nuts in the states, but it is the ONLY way to ensure optimal quality – and the prices are very reasonable. An excellent value. NaturOli is also the technological leader when it comes to soap nuts and saponin product development. The “Green Dot Award” jury awarded NaturOli a second award in 2010 for Extreme 18X Soap Nut Liquid Detergent Concentrate. It is totally cutting-edge stuff. I will be writing an article about it soon. It marks a quantum leap in validating soap nuts and saponin into the mainstream detergent industry – forever! It is about time!

    Well, hopefully this has helped. Thank you for visiting and reading SoapNuts.pro. I am here to help. Write again soon. Good luck!

    Chris

  16. 16
    bromen:

    I added your blog to my bookmarks, and I’ll read your articles about soap nuts more often! Great research and deductions!

  17. 17
    Jenny:

    I really like your site and respect all your hard work. It’s the most PRO-fessional I’ve read regarding soap nuts and saponin. I’ll be a frequent visitor!

  18. 18
    Jones - consultant:

    VERY interesting info! Thanks. There’s a lot about soap nuts to learn. I had no idea. Keep up the great work!

  19. 19
    Marcie:

    Valuable thoughts and advice! I love soap nuts!

  20. 20
    Rachael:

    I had no idea there was so much to consider when buying soap nuts. So much useful information! THANK YOU!

  21. 21
    Rahul:

    I read a few topics about soap nuts. I much respect your work and added blog to favorites.

  22. 22
    Darla Broniaczyk:

    I’m so glad I found this site. Soap nuts used as laundry detergent was confusing to me. I followed your buying tips and got great quality. They’re wonderful! Your other articles made using them very easy. Keep it up!

  23. 23
    Mary:

    Great post! Thanks so much! I read it right before buying soap nuts my first time. I’m SOOOOO glad I did.

  24. 24
    Beth Anne:

    Very interesting and informative. Best soap nuts information I’ve found yet by far.

  25. 25
    Soap Nuts:

    i added your blog about soap nuts to bookmarks. so glad i found you. i’ll read your articles more often!

  26. 26
    Sushmita:

    Have you ever considered adding videos to your posts about soap nuts? I just read through a couple articles of yours and they were quite good but since I’m more of a visual learner, it would be helpful. This is really good though…thanks for sharing.

    Hi Sushmita,
    Good soap nut usage videos (among other videos) is a fantastic idea and hopefully will come in time. I’m not great with a video camera, but I will see what I can do sometime. I only recently began to add supportive pictures to illustrate many of the most important points about soap nuts that are very difficult to explain in words alone. Hopefully they are helpful in the meantime. So far, they seem to be helping my readers understand the many nuances that I discuss much better. There’s a whole bunch more photos I have on my list to take. (Just wish I had more hours in the day!!!) Thanks for visiting SoapNuts.pro!
    Chris

  27. 27
    Go green!:

    Great advice! Great info! Thanks!

  28. 28
    Sonia P.:

    Very valuable input on soapberries and soap nuts. Well done.

  29. 29
    Angelina (A Big Soap Nuts Fan):

    I thought I read it all. WOW was I wrong. I’m very impressed with your thoroughness. After using soap nuts for at least two years now, you have made sense out of many things that were still weird to me. I’m so glad I found you!

  30. 30
    Frenz:

    Killer blog about soap nuts. I come on here all the time and am floored with the fresh information.

  31. 31
    Carmen and Jill:

    We found out about your soap nut site today and both really like it. We selected posts that seemed to address the things that were most confusing to us. We had no idea about many of the issues you explain extremely well. It all makes perfect sense now. We have a lot more to read. You must be helping many like us understand what soap nuts are and how to use them better. My roommate and I are making many green lifestyle changes and have been using them for quite awhile but with mixed results. It was frustrating sometimes. Keep up this incredible work! We’ll be back soon. xoxoxo

  32. 32
    Randy:

    Thanks for providing such valuable information about soap nuts. You saved me from making a big mistake. Keep posting!

  33. 33
    Amanda R.:

    Thanks for all the information about soap nuts you’ve provided. I love your posts. You must spend a lot of time writing. I’ve tried many brands since I first heard about soap nuts and agree with everything you’ve stated. The differences can be like day and night. I’ve become a big fan of NaturOli. That’s not because you are its founder. It’s because you are so upfront, honest and objective about everything. As for NaturOli’s products and staff, it’s rare to find such quality, professionalism and personalized customer support today. Every time I’ve written or called about something, the responses were prompt and helpful. I never once felt like someone was trying to sell me anything or get around a problem I had. I couldn’t be more impressed. You picked your people well. All my best to you and your staff!

    Wow, Amanda!!! Such gracious words! I am the one who is totally impressed. Thank you for your comments – and this will certainly be passed along to the ENTIRE team. They are an amazing group, and I feel very fortunate to have them. They sincerely care, and desire only to help consumers. THAT is the real rarity. Again, thank you so much!
    Sincerely,
    Chris

  34. 34
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  35. 35
    Katrina:

    Great tip about only using credit cards. I got (deleted) by (deleted), a soap nut company in Canada, who gave me a great discount for paying in advance. The berries are terrible! They look ten years old and stink like a glob of rotten figs or something! They told me “no returns on discounted soap nuts”. My emails bounce back now and I never get an answer by phone anymore. I am so (deleted) mad! What can I do?

    Katrina,
    You have already done the absolute best and most important thing – learn a lesson. Sorry it had to be the hard way. I hope it was not much money. You are far from alone if that is any consolation. Sorry to delete your expletives and the name of the company. I thought it added to your post, but I just can’t. Someday…I hope. I don’t have an attorney on retainer. I struggle with these kinds of things more than you realize. Believe me…it’s frustrating for me, too. Report them to a RipOffReport or similar “watchdog” site(s). Please watch the language if you want it published. Cool?
    Chris

  36. 36
    Heidi P. (Homewood, IL):

    I just wanted to say thank you. My mom is dying of cancer and I am taking care of her. I bought NaturOli soap nuts as I heard they could remove terrible odors. I was having to wash my mother’s clothing and bedding 2 to 3 times to remove urine and vomit odors. The soap nuts are a God send. They truly cleaned the odors and stains from her articles in one wash. You will never know what that means to me. It lightens my work load a great deal.  Thank you so much for making soap nuts of this quality available. They and you have made a very difficult time a little easier. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I can not say those two words enough. God Bless you, and I will make sure I tell everyone I know about these amazing little soap nuts.

    Dear Heidi,

    It warms my heart to read of the profound change soap nuts have made in your life. Being a “very difficult time” sounds like a major understatement. I have shared your email with many friends, and you have touched all very deeply. In particular, you brought back many memories for one dear friend of 20 years who lost her mother a few years back. She only wishes she had known of soap nuts during those years she cared for her.

    You have also inspired me to reach out to another friend who does business with hospices all across the country. I will share your email and speak with her. I see not only the benefits for the care-providers, but surely your mother is experiencing extra comfort from the far softer, chemical-free linens and clothes due to washing with soap nuts.

    From myself, friends and associates, we all extend you and your mother our most heartfelt best wishes. Your “thank you’s” really belong to Mother Nature, herself. Soap nuts are her gift to you, your mother and the entire world. We, like you, simply want to share her gift and help all those we can. You have my word that I will share YOUR words. You will surely touch many more.

    Sincerely,
    Chris

    Please note: This morning (May 7) Heidi’s mother passed away. She emailed the following to myself and the NaturOli team with a thoughtful quote. Please keep her in your prayers.

    When caring for a very sick or dying loved one, the care taker needs all the help they can get. The soap nuts were definitely a big help. Live and love today like its your last. Be that way everyday. Everyday, let those you love know you love them, even if they tire of hearing it. God Bless and thank you again.
    Heidi

    “It is easy enough to be pleasant when life flows by like a song. But the man worthwhile is one who will smile when everything goes dead wrong.”
    - Ella Wheeler Wilcox

  37. 37
    mirelle:

    I recently been using Naturoli soap nuts shampoo and am amazed. I never used anything as wonderful. I have thick curly problem hair that drives me crazy! Its hard to describe the differnce. Its like I got a whole new head of full and silky hair that does whatever I want it to. I can’t find anything here about using soap nuts in shampoo. PLEASE share some info or thoughts. I’m telling you that I never used anything like this before Thank you.

    Hi Mirelle,
    You are right. Soap nuts and hair warrants an entire article (more likely a few). Their use in Ayurvedic hair, scalp and skin treatments actually predate their use as a detergent. Sorry that I get hung up on the fundamentals of soap nuts. Many are still just beginning to understand soap nuts as a concept and what they offer us. As they say, “You can’t build Rome in a day.” I’ve written quite a bit, and still feel as if I’m only scratching the surface of this iceberg. I will start working on some articles that address more uses. FYI: Soap nuts shampoo is what I use. I’ve been using the same shampoo, and agree it is wonderful. Soap nut shampoos have been limited mainly to powders and soap bars. (As powder it is usually referred to as Ritha, Reetha or Aritha.) A good soap nut liquid shampoo is something quite new. Previously, I used my own stove-top soap nuts liquid or Extreme 18X blended with a shampoo or body wash – that would provide the lathering I like. Occasionally when my scalp felt dry or after being sun burnt, I would use liquid or slightly diluted 18X straight (or combined with virgin olive oil as a scalp treatment), and always got great results. I have the opposite hair as you. My hair tends to be thin (hence the occasional sun burnt scalp) and saponin makes it much fuller. Sorry to neglect such other topics. There are so many. I guess I should start devoting more time to soap nuts 201 level discussions. For the time being though, just enjoy! The uses seem endless…
    Chris

  38. 38
    Alvarez:

    This is your best article on soapnuts yet, good work.

  39. 39
    Naidu:

    Best Regards, Naidu

  40. 40
    Jillian:

    Phenomenal blog! Best soap nuts info on the net! I love your insight into what soap nuts offer the world, and the business of soap nuts. It’s all fascinating!

  41. 41
    robert - soap nuts lover:

    Wow! I’m impressed! Best intel on soap nuts I’ve ever read anywhere.

  42. 42
    Cathleen:

    Exceptional research! That is sad about Heidi and her mother. It is amazing how something as simple as soap nuts can make such a profound impact on one’s life. Thank you for caring, Chris. It shows. My best wishes to you, Heidi!

  43. 43
    Go Green!:

    Great post! I’m off to buy soap nuts for my first time!

  44. 44
    Margo:

    I used the soap nuts for the first time this past week-end and I was astonished at the performance. By far, out of all of the organic cleaning products I have used, the soap nuts took first place. The colors were extremely vivid, the fresh scent was surprising and I was completely satisfied with this product. Natures has given us everything in it’s rightful place, and I need not look any further to understand what has been provided for us to use for our personal cleaning regiment.

  45. 45
    Bo:

    Awesome post. Buying soap nuts made easy, huh? COOL!

  46. 46
    green alternatives:

    I love your website – great effort!

  47. 47
    Vanessa B.:

    I hear exactly what you’re saying. I bought soap nuts recently and they are good size. Mukorossi I guess. They look exactly like picture G. Every one has a seed. When I shake the bag I can hear them all. You know what you’re talking about. I don’t feel bad because I only bought a small bag and they were cheap. I know better now. I got what I paid for. I’ll be sure they are de-seeded soap nuts next time. Off I go to start cracking open my soap nuts! I would never had known. I do want to say that I think its unfair that people take advantage of us. It sounded like a bargain at first. Why don’t they tell us all the facts? Thanks for your help.

    Hi Vanessa!
    You have a great attitude and are a little wiser now. Knowledge is key and seeing is believing. Caveat emptor – assume nothing. There are many sellers now selling mukorossi soap nuts that have not been de-seeded. It is an easy way to make their soap berries seem, as you wrote, “like a bargain”. I hope you contact the seller to express your disappointment. It is the only way they will learn that we will not be fooled – at least more than once.
    Chris

  48. 48
    marti:

    I never imagined how much information I could find about this! Thank you for making it easy to understand soap nuts. Thanks for helping me make a good choice too. I received my order of 1 pound of the organic soap nuts from NaturOli last week. Great price, no seeds and super fast delivery. I was still skeptical about how well the soap nuts would work but not anymore. I still use Spray and Wash on some underarm areas and greasy stains plus Oxiclean and that helps with whites. I’ll try their stain stick the next time I order. I washed jeans the other night and forgot to unload the dryer. When I pulled them out in the morning they didn’t smell stale and I could smooth out the wrinkles by hand and they are softer and comfyer than I’ve ever felt before. I’m more than impressed.

  49. 49
    Harriet:

    I read about soap nuts and soap berries on other blogs, but never found anything like this! Impressive! I’ll be a frequent reader.

  50. 50
    Courtney:

    This is such a great resource about soap nuts that you are providing. You give it away for free!!!!! I enjoy seeing websites that understand the value of providing high quality information. I have NEVER seen a web site about soap nuts that isn’t selling them. I truly love reading your posts. Thanks!

  51. 51
    Jenny, long time soap nut user:

    Great, precise, detailed info on a number of topics that I’ve been searching for about soapnuts for a while now. I would enjoy an article about more of the PROS and CONS about them. Don’t take that wrong because you are very straightforward and really address the facts. It’s never a sales pitch, and I love that. I’m sold on soap nuts and use them in many ways. Have a neighbor that I encouraged to try them. She loved some things, but said Tide was better for others. Well… Duh… She doesn’t get it yet. I think it would be cool if you wrote about this. From reading most of your site, I think this would be right up your alley and you could do it VERY well. People need a reality check, and they would begin learning how to use soap nuts much more effectively. I didn’t get that all that either at first. Just my 2-cents to help. Awesome work!!!!!!!!! Jen

  52. 52
    Sheldon:

    Excellent advise! Thanks! Most information on soap nuts I’ve found yet.

  53. 53
    Livin' Green Kelsey's Way:

    Me and my son enjoy reading your posts. His wife introduced us both to soap nuts and now the entire clan is using them!

  54. 54
    Alethia (your friendly neighborhood green goddess):

    Amazing thoughtfulness and thoroughness. You’ve got to stay focused sometimes to follow you, but it’s worth the extra effort. I’ve learned more about soap nuts (aka soapnuts, soap berries, etc. LOL!) HERE than on every site I’ve ever read COMBINED! That’s impressive. I’ve got two requests: Please write about soap nuts and their uses for hair care. I think somebody else also requested this. PLUS, what we should pay for good quality soap nuts. You haven’t addressed hair care much at all, and seem to avoid being specific about the companies and their pricing completely. Since I’ve read almost your ENTIRE site, I think I understand why for the latter and I TOTALLY respect that. But please remember that lot of people value your input. You could easily save a lot of us both time AND money! I hope you get my point.

  55. 55
    Odilia T.:

    Excellent information!

  56. 56
    Thea:

    Thank you for keeping us updated. I really appreciate it and find all the information very useful. Made another great purchase of soap nuts and am so pleased!! Big soap nuts, no seeds, great color, very fresh. Yes, packaged in the USA is the only way I’ll ever go. It’s good for me and good for our country!!

  57. 57
    Javier Orban:

    Sweet, this is exactly what I was scanning for! Just started using soap nuts. You just spared me alot of work.

  58. 58
    jeanette:

    I’m impressed!!! I buy soap nuts online frequently and have wondered about many things. Now many weird things I’ve experienced make complete sense! Where have you been?

  59. 59
    Coretta Varnadoe:

    Great stuff here!

  60. 60
    Beverly Yonamine:

    Excellent info about using soap nuts! Thanks for the interesting content!!!

  61. 61
    opony:

    I am a newbie to soap nuts and your post is valuable for me. You got a really useful blog I have been here reading for about half an hour.

  62. 62
    Clint:

    Is there a page here that shows the soap nuts preferred sellers? I can’t find one.

    Hi Clint!
    It’s coming soon. Very soon. There will be a state-by-state listings page for the brick-and-mortar stores, plus side bar banner links for online national sellers, and much, much more. We’re gathering, checking and organizing all the data and banners now. You will also have a means to share feedback about your experiences with any SoapNuts.pro “preferred” sellers, too. Cool, huh? I hope to start getting all these new features online by next month. In the meantime, just email me as noted in the post. We are all very excited about this next generation of SoapNuts.pro – and most importantly what it will do for the soap nuts business, and the value it will offer soap nuts users! Thanks for visiting!
    Chris

  63. 63
    tina:

    Great advice! :) Thanks!

  64. 64
    Josephine:

    My English is not good, but to see the article you write a good feel of your heart.

  65. 65
    Shalonda Millerr:

    You are very talented. Excellent information about soap nuts.

  66. 66
    Lauren:

    Wonderful info about soap nuts. I love that you advocate packaging soap nuts in the US. WE NEED THE JOBS! I realize that isn’t your main reason from reading your article, but everybody wins! We get better quality soap nuts AND it keeps more money at home. I think you should write much more about creating jobs with soap nuts. I’m sure it would be appreciated by many readers! Keep up the great work!

  67. 67
    Suzy:

    I buy soap nuts a couple times a year, typically organic soap nuts. I’ve learned that soap nut seeds really do waste your money. Plus I have to spend time breaking them open to remove them. Most of what I’ve learned has been from SoapNuts.pro, so thank you! I’m using organic soap nuts for laundry detergent, kitchen and bathrooms cleaners, …well, for virtually everything it seems. I just recently tried NaturOli soap nut shampoo – and LOVE it, too! I’m still amazed by the versatility of these little green gifts from nature. My husband still can’t get over how green cleaning can be so easy – and it doesn’t get greener than soap nuts. Thanks again for sharing all this helpful information here. I hope many find you. I’m telling everyone I know. To use soap nuts is to love them. :-)

  68. 68
    Kaylyn:

    I buy soap nuts to sell at a market where I sell my homemade natural soaps. Soap nuts are a nice addition and my customers are fascinated by them. I bought around 50 pounds from [deleted] where I get a lot of my herbs and soap making ingredients. They look fine but have seeds in them. I’m not sure what to do after reading “how to buy soap nuts”. Help!

    Hi Kaylyn!
    This is deja-vu. I appreciate your concern for your customers. There are a few options that make sense to do:

    1- You could return them. The buyers at the supply house you bought them from are very price conscious in their buying. (I finally have spoken to a manager there that gave me a good explanation.) And that’s why they buy soap nuts that are not de-seeded. It all about the price. Given the thousands of herbs, oils, etc. that they sell, buying the highest quality soap nuts is just not crucial to them. That makes sense to me. (I don’t have to like it, but it’s logical – and she was honest about it.) Let’s keep in mind that much of their business is to the trade, so they expect their customers to be more informed than the average Joe. I did ask her to spell out more clearly that they are: not de-seeded. It would be really nice if they did. You would have thought twice – even at the price, right?

    2) I have a very good idea what they cost you. If you keep and resell them, just be certain to sell them at a fair price for what they are (around $8-10/lb would be fair for them while making a few bucks/lb yourself), AND explain to your customers about the seeds. That’s very important! As long as the price is right, and people know exactly what they are getting – no foul. My only caveat is that I wish buyers wouldn’t buy these at all. Invariably these soap nuts get around, and some people will end up with them without knowing all the facts. I think that’s bad for the soap nut business as a whole.

    3) Use them yourself for making soap nut liquid and/or powder, and buy de-seeded ones for resale. If you value your time, I wouldn’t de-seed them yourself to resell them. It’s a lot tougher once they have been dried. The soap nut liquid and powder are fantastic ingredients for soap making. I love soap nut soap bars! You could make up some new soap nut soap recipes and I bet they’d sell like hotcakes. :-)

    I have yet to meet a soapmaker that wasn’t honest and fair. I have no doubt you’ll do the right thing. It really pleases me that my article on how to buy soap nuts is reaching people like you. Thanks for listening!

  69. 69
    John W.:

    This article about buying soap nuts is exactly what I was looking for! I’ll be sharing it. Thanks!!

  70. 70
    Tawana:

    This soap nuts blog site has certainly adjusted my perspective about soap nuts. I don’t think I would’ve understood all the ramifications in this way if I hadn’t found you. Soap nuts are quite possibly the solution for safer and more ecologically friendly cleaning. Excellent work! Excellent vision!

  71. 71
    Blake S.:

    I’m not sure where you are getting all your info, but great stuff. Soap nuts are here to stay!

  72. 72
    mirelle:

    I love your site! I learn something new about soap nuts every time I visit! :-)

  73. 73
    les and cathleen:

    Great blog. Very helpful. I contacted NaturOli looking for a store or soap nut vendor near us – and they gave me three sellers of soap nuts nearby. Didn’t expect that. We bought our first bag of soap nuts, a bottle of extreme 18X, and a few soap nut bar soaps from a super nice couple that have a booth at weekend market only a couple miles from home! Cool! We couldn’t be more pleased. Super quality! Love what soap nuts have done for our laundry. We didn’t have any idea what organic, chemical free laundry would be like. We are still experimenting with all the things we can do with the liquid and bar soaps. I don’t think I ever go back to regular soap! We’re sold 1000%. You are offering a great service here. We’ll be mentioning this site to others. We know people really curious about soap nuts but don’t understand them. You help make it all so simple!

  74. 74
    Anita:

    Best info on how to buy soap nuts I’ve found. AWESOME work!!!!!!!!!

  75. 75
    2Bgreen:

    Thank you for an enlightening article. I didn’t know much about soap nuts or how to use my soap nuts properly. The articles are very informative. I understand a lot more now. And it shows in my laundry!

  76. 76
    Brenda (your fan in Pomona, CA):

    Want you to know how much your soap nuts site is appreciated. You’ve become the “go-to” source around here for everything you ever wanted to know about soap nuts. It’s excellent data in a logical, fluid presentation. From myself, and many other soap nut lovers here, “Well done!”

  77. 77
    Yukiko:

    I am pleased with your website. The last part helps me understand the soap nuts I bought are not ones of good quality. I received them a week ago and was not certain of this problem. They are very wet and not like other soap nuts I have used. I will return these. Thank you for your help and explanation.

  78. 78
    Allegra:

    This is some interesting information about soap nuts here; never really looked at soap nuts from this point of view. Many comments are intersting too. I’m glad you answer questions well. That’s important! You do a very thorough job of it.

  79. 79
    Hiphop lives!:

    You make lots of good points in your posts. I didn’t consider many things about soap nuts that you bring up. You make perfect sense. Very interesting…

  80. 80
    brandy:

    Thanks for your review and information about buying soap nuts. It is proving to be extremely useful. I think I know more than the people selling them. LOL! :-)

  81. 81
    Meena:

    Fantastic site. Best reviews about soap nuts (soap berries) on the Internet. I’m impressed!

  82. 82
    Connecticut Green:

    I bought soap nuts last week and they are exactly like the bottom pictures! I was skeptical about using them. They didn’t seem right and didn’t think they should be so darn messy. So I started looking around for more information about soap nuts and I’m glad to find your site! Thanks for pointing out what the deal is. I was going to see if they would dry out, but will return them. This time I’ll make sure I buy soap nuts packed in the USA! Thanks again!

  83. 83
    Kay:

    Unbelievable, this is just what I was looking for! You just spared me alot of searching around. Shopping for and buying soap nuts can get confusing. There is alot to know to be sure of getting a good deal.

  84. 84
    Marotz:

    Really enjoy this blog.Really thank you! Fantastic.

  85. 85
    Edward:

    What a post!! Very informative and easy to understand about soap nuts. We refer to them as soap berries.
    Highly recommending your site. Love all the reviews comments and FAQ. Thank you for this information.

  86. 86
    Darcy G.:

    That was a heavy-duty post, thanks for taking the time to write it. Soap nuts are intriguing. Friends have mentioned them and they are all seem quite impressed. I will be buying soap nuts soon. I’ve GOT to try these for myself!

  87. 87
    Domino:

    Your post caught my eye. I am looking to buy soap nuts for my first time. Was not sure what to be looking for. Thanks for posting this information. It is excellent!

  88. 88
    Dianna:

    What a blog post!! Very informative and easy to understand. Best info about soap nuts – and buying them that I’ve found yet. Thanks!

  89. 89
    Cody:

    Deep research. Brilliant analysis. Insightful conclusions. Best work I’ve ever seen about soap berries and their environmental impact. You are making a difference! Bravo!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  90. 90
    J. Basille:

    Very useful information about soapnuts. You seem to be number one on the subject – by far. An amazing site!

  91. 91
    Lorita:

    What a post about soap nuts!! Very informative and easy to understand. Looking for more!

  92. 92
    Charlotte Z.:

    Been seeking soap nut infotmation exactly like this. Fantastic! Glad to find your site!

  93. 93
    Daniella - about soap berries:

    I hear that soap berries are used for skin and hair care. How?

    Soap berries were used for personal hygiene and in treating various ailments long before ever used as a natural or organic detergent or cleaner. Use of the soap berry (soap nut) has it roots in ancient Ayurvedic treatments for a plethora of problems from eczema to hair loss. As far as how to use the soap berries, there are formulated products (NaturOli has many) that are soap nuts (saponin) based. And you can make many soap berry based products at home. Start by grinding powders and/or boiling up a soap berry liquid. The first thing you’ll notice is how soft and conditioned your skin will feel from washing with a soap berry liquid. It’s amazing. From there, your imagination is your only limitation. I touch on many different soap nut uses throughout this site and in the FAQs. I will be adding more info about soap berries and natural personal care. All in due time. Thanks for visiting SoapNuts.pro!

  94. 94
    Jamison:

    The pics help a LOT. Great article on buying soap nuts!

  95. 95
    Shannon:

    It is awesome to come across something worth reading. Your information about soap nuts and soap berries is amazingly in-depth. Soap nuts and Extreme 18X have eliminated the rashes, itching and irritation that was coming from my laundry washed with HE detergents. It seems like I used them all. Tide HE was the worst! I found your site while doing research on allergies and sensitivities to detergents, particularly HE detergents since they are not rinsed as thoroughly as with regular washers. I suffered a long time never realizing the problem was my detergent!

    Soap nuts have been a blessing. You cover about everything I can think of. Seems like everyone is starting a blog and flinging up whatever jumps into their head. I am glad to see that is not the case with this one. Keep up the great work. It was your articles that led me to trying soap nuts in the first place. They have made a huge difference in my life. Thank you! I’m spreading the word to everyone I know. It seems like there are millions of people experiencing sensitivities to detergents and cleaners.

    SoapNutsPro is a “must read” web site for every household!

  96. 96
    Cristy from Virginia:

    Good points. Please write more about detergent allergies! Soap nuts have all but cured me and my family. I see others have commented on this too. Pretty please!!!

  97. 97
    Grady:

    Most useful information about soap nuts I found.

  98. 98
    Jason:

    Your web site is very useful. Thank you so much for providing plenty of useful content about soap nuts and soap berries. I hard to find such good data. Once again, I appreciate all your work and also providing a new insights for your readers.

  99. 99
    Judi M.:

    Been learning a lot about soap nuts (soap berries) here. I had no idea about all the nuances that you point out. It’s all very important, and I don’t think many people understand the importance. Like you said “A soap nut is not just a soap nut.” I realize that now. I’m working on my own small business selling soap nuts, and it’s going well. Thanks for all the excellent tips. Much appreciated. I will write you about the SoapNutsPro preferred seller program. That’s awesome! I hope to be able to get your endorsement! It will mean a lot. Customers ask me questions all the time that must come from the advice you provide. I’m doing business the right way. I’m doing it the way you suggest, and it really helps. My customers keep coming back, and are sending referrals! Thanks. You’re the best! Judi

  100. 100
    David:

    Hey! Thanks to the tips. Been looking into organic detergents and soap nuts fits the bill.

  101. 101
    Shana:

    Excellent information about soap berries. I never even considered some things you discuss. Your insight is right on!

  102. 102
    The Soapnuts Queen of Tucson:

    Love your site! Best data, comments, reviews, studies, testimonials… I’ve ever read on soapnuts online! I used to work for a company that sold soapnuts. I learned more in an hour here than in a year working there! I’m impressed!

  103. 103
    Zoila:

    I have been experiencing major hair loss for some while now. Have been trying almost everything! Vitamins, massages, relaxing etc. But nothin helps. What else can I try? I preferably do not use meds. Can you help me out? Getting desperate!

    Hi Zoila,
    What I will tell you is that soap nuts have been used in Ayurveda treatments for hair loss for ages. I make no claims, and have seen no scientific or lab studies regarding saponin’s effects. I personally love soap nut shampoos, and have used soap nut liquid as a treatment for my scalp. Have been very pleased with results. Others I speak with also concur. I have a full, thick head of hair, and three gray hairs at last count. Guess, I’m not the best to speak much from personal experience. But, I can state that there is logical rationale and countless testimonials that soap nuts are very healthy for hair and scalp. If you’re getting “desperate”, I certainly would try soap nuts. I would use a strong homemade liquid or Extreme 18X as a hair treatment, and then NaturOli’s soap nut shampoos for regular use. Other than just mixing soap nut liquid with a good quality natural soap, I wouldn’t bother messing with making shampoo. There’s too many things to consider, and NaturOli has excellent formulas. They may seems pricey at first, but not at all if you compare oz. to oz. with any high quality natural shampoos or good medicated shampoo. They come in 16oz bottles and combo packs where you can save a lot. Given what you’ve said, don’t even bother with trials. Just get some of each formula and experiment. With soap berries’ VERY LONG history in use as hair and scalp treatments, surely there’s good reason. Best of luck to you! Write back. I would love to hear from you regarding your experiences.
    Chris

  104. 104
    susan c.:

    I’m working on starting my own blog about natural alternatives. The information you provide about soap nuts has helped me tremendously. Thank you for all of your time and work that obviously went into SoapNuts.pro. I will certainly include links and will cite SoapNuts.pro as the source for much that I want to include. Please let me know if that is ok? Susan

    Hi Susan, Wow, you’re a sweetheart! Not only is it okay, but I’m flattered. I greatly appreciate your respect for protocol. I read my writings (verbatim) all the time on various soap nuts “sales” sites, and haven’t a clue whatsoever who they are. It’s been so bad a few times that I had my attorney send a little reminder letter about what “copyright infringement” is and the penalties for it. lol! Geesh… Whatever happened to plain ole’ good manners if nothing else? I see that you haven’t posted a url, hence I assume you’re not online yet. When you are, please write again. I guarantee you that SoapNutsPro will thank you – plus send some traffic your way. Promise. :-)

  105. 105
    agelica:

    Hey there good article for Soap Nuts Pro – How To Buy Soap Nuts! Wish I knew this when I first started using them!

  106. 106
    J. Russell:

    Hi, I’m looking forward to a follow up post! How about one comparing costs per load using soap nuts vs other detergents? I know you touch on it, but I mean a really good one devoted only to laundry costs. My cost per load using the raw soap nuts is down to 7 or 8 cents now. A lot having to do with following your tips. Thank you very much. :-) My cost using NaturOli Extreme is only 13-14 cents a load. That’s WAY cheaper than even the junk detergents!!!! I buy it in 3 packs and that really saves money. I don’t think everyone realizes just how inexpensive laundry costs can be when using soap nuts. It would make a GREAT post! I’m sure nobody could do it better than YOU! ;-)

  107. 107
    Teresa:

    I’m not 100% in agreement with every point on soap nuts you make, but sure do respect your work, insight and effort! Soap nuts are the green laundry detergent of tomorrow. With site’s like this, tomorrow will be here soon!

  108. 108
    Evanston:

    Just wanted to let you know that I enjoy reading your posts about soap nut berries. Don’t have much to add. You cover it all. Cheers!

  109. 109
    Delila:

    Who would have guessed that soap nut berries would change almost everything we know about detergent, soap and cleaning in general. It’s fascinating. Keep up the great work. I was referred to your site, and hooked ever since. How did you ever find soap nuts in the first place?

    Hi Delila,

    It was just a fluke thing. My fiance, Donna, stumbled upon soap berries (soap nuts) at an organic market 4 or 5 years ago. We are natural skin care formulators by profession, hence always looking for effective alternative ingredients to chemical products. We really did not know what we had at first. They sat for weeks before we started experimenting with them.

    Yes, “fascinating” is a good adjective for soap nuts. The more we worked with them, the more intrigued we became. It became a rabbit hole so long, and so deep, that I don’t know if we will ever find an end to it. There are more uses for soap nuts (actually the saponin that develops within the pulp of the soap berry) than we could have ever possibly imagined. Our head chemist, to this very day, is like a kid in a candy factory! Two international awards later, here we are – and here I write about soap nuts.

    I hope that SoapNutsPro reaches many, and we will appreciate you spreading the word. Our adventure has been totally grassroots driven – just people sharing their experiences and knowledge about this obscure little fruit. Interestingly, I believe my grandchildren will always have soap nuts in their laundry rooms and pantries. They have the potential to change it ALL. P&G will just have to deal will people picking their detergent and soap from the soap berry tree in the back yard. lol! I think they’ve made enough money on us already. Don’t you?

    So really, we need to thank Donna. She got beyond her skepticism and brought a bag home. I said “Soap what…?” She said, “Yes, soap nuts… They are really soap BERRIES.” I will admit it. I thought she was a little “nuts”. Well, USDA organic certification, one world-class liquid detergent/cleaner concentrate, numerous soap nut natural soap bars, and two sulfate free soap nut shampoos later…what’s next is the BIG question.

    Thanks for visiting SoapNutsPro! :-)

    Chris

  110. 110
    Jimmie:

    Hello everybody, This review is excellent how you expanded so much about soap nuts and all the things to consider. Wow. You cover a bunch. I never considered half of the things you wrote about and have been using soap nuts for months. I love some of the comments too. You must have a big readership. I don’t have any questions right now but I’m glad you give good replies. I’ll be back FOR SURE!

  111. 111
    Teena:

    Awesome soap nut (soap berry) pictures! They really help! I appreciate your post so much! xoxo

  112. 112
    Corinne:

    I love your reviews about soap nuts. They are so cool! I’ve added you to my favorite bookmarks. Looking forward to reading more good posts by you. Thanks.

  113. 113
    julie:

    Can you use soap nuts in your dishwasher? I love the information on your site. I am very impressed with soap nuts too. Thanks.

    Hi Julie!

    I hear both pro and cons about soap nuts in automatic dishwashers. There are a lot of variables to consider. If you are using the raw soap berries, use the whole soap nut shells in a close-able compartment. I’m referring to a compartment that you would use for washing small items, not a compartment to add detergent. You won’t get proper saturation or agitation of them in a detergent compartment for enough saponins to be released. I wouldn’t even bother with a wash bag if the compartment has a reasonable mesh and closes well. Try it. Experiment. The saponin in soap nuts will break down many foods remains. i.e., Efficacy tests with soap nuts on spaghetti sauce are outstanding for example.

    Don’t expect them to dissolve hard, dried on, yukky stuff. Nothing does that well. Again, it’s about 50/50 on feedback I hear. I’ve used them and they worked fine. I am one of those who wash my dishes first by hand, and then lock and load the dishwasher right afterward. Know what I mean? (Gunky dishes, flatware, etc. just tossed in the dishwasher is gross to me.)

    Tip: Folks tell me that vinegar in the rinse cycle also helps and adds some extra sparkle. I concur.

    fyi: NaturOli has developed a soap nut / soap berry based automatic dishwasher detergent that is to be unveiled in 2011. That will be interesting!

    Good luck! Let me know how it goes. Happy Holidays!

  114. 114
    Darlene M. (Univerity of Virginia):

    Wow! This is a first rate post about soap berries and how to buy them! I’m very impressed! Have just heard about soap berry based products. Way cool! I’m seeing the light now. Thanks!

  115. 115
    wilkenson:

    fantastic quality reviews about soap nuts. have learned a lot.

  116. 116
    Paula and Regina (Cincinnati, OH):

    We recently started selling organic soap nuts in our store. They are the most asked about items we offer. These are great!!! Customers are totally fascinated by the soap nuts! We’ve learned a lot from you. It really has helped. Thanks! Happy holidays!

  117. 117
    Catherine:

    Thank you for the great posts. Best soap berry site I’ve seen!

  118. 118
    Vicki E.:

    Kudos for posting such useful info about soap nuts. Many friends and family are thanking me for sending them your way.

  119. 119
    Susie M.:

    Fantastic site about soap nuts! I was confused about many things. You answered every question about the soap berries that I had. It’s an Ayurvedic ingredient. That’s very cool! I’m impressed and very glad I found this site. A local store – within walking distance – carries NaturOli Soap Nuts and many other products of theirs. I LOVE every one. The soap nut shampoo is absolutely to die for!! Awesome!! It’s the best organic shampoo I’ve EVER used!

  120. 120
    Ching Yu:

    I learned about soap nuts and soap berries through your site I decided upon giving soap nuts samples for gifts to my friends, family and clients. I was convinced after reading your article about soap nuts as green gifts that it would be novel and eco-conscious. The responses were overwhelming, and I received much praise for being so original. Thank you very much for the idea. I bought the soap berries in a package of 50 from NaturOli, plus some bigger bags for most close family and friends. Only a few had known of them, and everyone will be visiting you and NaturOli most certainly. Everyone was fascinated and wanted to hurry to try them. I do not recall ever having as much fun with a gift idea as this. Again, thank you!

    That is sooo cool! I love such comments. Thanks for spreading the word about soap nuts! Happy holidays! – Chris

  121. 121
    Berry+:

    Another great, user-friendly way to use soap nuts is with Berry+. Berry+ is a 95% berry-based, 100% plant-based laundry soap. It comes in a convenient microdose (about half a teaspoon), so you’ll never have to lug that jug or overdose on detergent again. One tiny microdose cleans any small, medium, large or oversize load of laundry up to 30lbs. It was designed to be the gentlest soap around, without anything to irritate even the most sensitive types. Berry+ was also designed to work any way you wash: HE, front-loader, top-loader or even in the sink.

    Hi, Berry+,
    Yes, I’ve studied your product, love the concept, and understand the direction. Well done! Between your company and NaturOli, I believe you are both sitting on the cutting edge of the way future consumers will view all detergent products. You are both setting entirely new standards for the industry. I believe the day when the average consumer realizes this is coming soon. I must question that a constant (regarding volume of product used) produces consistent results regardless of the volume of laundry washed. That simply doesn’t compute for me. Regardless however, the consumer will figure that out on their own. Be it a single dose or a double dose, the product is light-years beyond anything else on the market. Thank you for contributing, and doing as I’ve requested all sellers – to offer something of value to my readers! I so welcome such input. Kudos!
    Chris

  122. 122
    Lauran:

    Exceptional. This really is one of the most informative blogs I’ve ever come across about soap nuts.

  123. 123
    jane:

    My friend forwarded your Post Soap Nuts Pro and How To Buy Soap Nuts on Monday. Your post is well written. Please keep posting on such ayurvedic herbs and ingredients.

  124. 124
    Irene:

    Hi! Appreciate the fantastic info. Stay the best! :-)

  125. 125
    Gregory:

    Hey, I searched for soap nuts on Bing and just wanted to say thanks for the excellent read. I would have to agree with it, thank you again!

  126. 126
    Just me:

    This is really interesting. You are a very knowledgeable. I look forward to seeking more excellent posts. Also, I’ve shared your site and what I know about soap nuts in my social networks!

  127. 127
    Louise:

    Very good blog. Learned a lot!

  128. 128
    Eloisa M.:

    Excellent website! Lots of useful info about soap nuts here. I’m sending it to a few friends and sharing elsewhere. Thanks for your effort!

  129. 129
    paula:

    Can I buy soapnuts here? I don’t see any for sale.

    Hi Paula,
    No you can’t buy soap nuts on SoapNutsPro. This is for data only. The site is more like that of EWG and Skin Deep, but for soap berries and saponin only. Obviously it is not database driven. It’s a compilation of my research, articles, and third party tests and reviews. Our goal is to educate, not sell. Any seller who has a banner is a “Verified SoapNutsPro PREFERRED Seller”. Soon we will also post a list of sellers who meet our sales practices criteria. That will be a geographical list in support of our “Buy Local” program. ALL in due time. Thanks for your patience!
    Chris

  130. 130
    Justin B.:

    incredible post, many thanks, quite informative

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    Lavona:

    Amazing post. I’m impressed! Extremely helpful. I was looking for this particular information about soap nuts for a long time. Thank you and best of luck.

  132. 132
    Marg:

    Thanks for the post I actually learned something from it. Very good content on this site. Always looking forward to new posts about soap nuts.

  133. 133
    Leslie:

    I really like and appreciate your information. Thank you! Keep writing. The more I learn about soap berries the more intrigued I become.

  134. 134
    Vickie:

    Thanks for the great info. I learned a lot and am VERY, VERY happy now using soap nuts. I use them for cleaning around the house as much or more than I do for washing laundry!

  135. 135
    Jason E.:

    Your facts about soap nuts have been very helpful. We found a wonderful supplier, NaturOli, and we are obtaining great results. Your FAQ page is the best we’ve seen. Soap nuts are much more than an organic detergent for us. We use them for nearly all the cleaning around the house. btw: NaturOli’s soap nut shampoo is the best shampoo we’ve ever used – by a mile! Nothing even compares, and it’s all natural and sulfate free! That’s amazing. We even love the soap bars made from soap nuts. They’re so rich and you FEEL a real difference. Thank you for sharing so much! We’re a soap nut family now!

  136. 136
    Rebecca:

    I really like this website. Great info on soap berries. Unfortunately I have yet to promote it due to the fact that I find one of your advertisements offensive- “Natural just got a little sexier…ask SHEKNOWS”. Can you do something about it? Tell them to provide a different decent picture? Find a different advertiser?

    Hi Rebecca! Please don’t hold it against us… Wish you could see some of what other BIG sites and magazines have sent…even “Cosmopolitan”. This was subtle by comparison. They are really not “advertisers” per say. No $$$ is exchanged, and I have no at all control over their editorial staff. I’ll take full responsibility though. I alone approved it. – Chris

  137. 137
    Valentin L.:

    Hi,
    Sorry I write you via comments. But I could not find contact e-mail or feedback form on your site. We are looking for new advertisement platforms and we are interested in your site http://www.soapnuts.pro. Is it possible to place banner on your site on a fee basis?
    Best regards,
    Valentin

    Hi Valentin,
    I’m sorry, but there is no fee-based general advertising on SoapNuts.Pro. Space is purely reserved for “Preferred Sellers” who have become part of the “Preferred Seller Program”. The criteria is outlined on the page about it. Thanks for asking! Btw: I can be emailed at [email protected].

  138. 138
    Reid:

    I love your posts. Really helpful! I’ve learned a ton.

  139. 139
    Marilyn:

    After using Maggie’s soap nuts for years and not finding them anymore, I ordered a Naturoli’s on Amazon. I couldn’t be more pleased! I’m particularly fond of them being organic, having SO many options to choose from, better information provided, plus the much more eco-friendly packaging. I highly recommend!

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    Kim:

    I have just heard about soapnuts! However, I have Sapindus oahuensis growing outside my office. I thought is was a lychee tree. Do you know about this species cleaning ability? Thank you for any comments.

    Hi Kim,

    This is interesting. I wish I had experience with this species, but I don’t. There are at least eleven known species of soap berry trees. This one is common to Hawaii. Every species that I have tested, has worked. They all contain saponin, the active ingredient. The concentration does vary however from one species to another. If it’s producing fruit, allow them to fully ripen on the tree. Then de-seed them and allow to sun dry. Use as usual. You’ll know soon enough. I’d love to hear about the results.

    Do you have any berries that are fully ripened that I could obtain? Any pictures? Some species are very prolific fruit producers, albeit they can take many years to fully mature. I’m very curious…

    Chris

  141. 141
    SuperK:

    “4) Avoid soap nuts packaged for retail in Asia.”???
    Soapnuts originally grow best in India. and you play conspiracy against us? Are you an agent of FDA or CIA?

    Well, we certainly have no affiliation with anyone conspiring against our Asian Indian friends. My friends at NaturOli are the largest importers in the Western hemisphere, and their business is greatly appreciated in India. There is no anti-Asian sentiment to be sure! Only the overseas retail packaging remains questionable. I support sorting and packaging in the USA (especially by USDA Certified Handlers) for it ensures the highest of quality, plus a recent first hand inspection prior to the consumer receiving them. Product packaged abroad for retail will go a minimum of many months before anyone even sees them again. That’s not a good scenario.

    I’ve seen soap nuts packaged overseas in absolutely horrible condition with my own eyes. Some I suspected to have been many years old. The articles I presented are factual. They certainly do not apply to ALL product packaging abroad. But the facts are presented to help make a point. Such would never have happened if packaged by a USDA Organic Handler in the US or Canada. If US retailers would take more steps to ensure end quality, I would revisit this issue. As of yet, I have not seen any such efforts.

    I do appreciate your input! Thank you!

  142. 142
    Rachel:

    Thank you so much for this website!

    I first heard about soap nuts a couple years ago, and was convinced that, while I would love to try them, they were out of the question – I was using a laundromat where the owners tended to look at you funny if you did anything even remotely out of the ordinary (yay, small town living.)

    Well, about a year ago, I had a bad reaction to the fragrance in the shampoo I was using, and switched to an all-natural, certified organic soap to wash my hair, but I was still washing my clothes with the chemical-heavy detergents, and using heavily fragranced dryer sheets…
    This month, though, I again had a bad reaction to a fragrance – this time in my dryer sheets – and realized that I really need to switch out my products there, too – my clothes are on my body even longer than my soap is!

    So, I finally ordered a trial package from NaturOli (off of Amazon) today, and afterward, with a bit of worry about what I was getting myself into, I went looking for more information… Thanks to your website, I’m feeling great about my decision, and looking forward to trying them out and experimenting with the possibilities.

    Thanks again!

    Glad to be of help, Rachel! Good story. Enjoy your purchase. You’ll find there are few limitations once you begin to experiment. It’s amazing. I hope you are reading the “BEYOND Laundry…” articles. They do SO MUCH more! I’ll be writing more soon, too. Keep spreading the word! – Chris

  143. 143
    MarieG:

    Looks like the Greenville SC person who grows and sells “organic” soap berries, likely from China, is still on Etsy. Shop name is (intentionally deleted) and there is suspiciously very little info on the page. Buyer beware!

    Hi, Marie!

    Yep. He keeps sleazing around to wherever he can peddle the slimy things. I deleted the name for I don’t want to even mention them anymore. If it’s from China, it’s him (at least for now). The word is getting around despite all the bogus planted reviews and such stuff. Those “in the know” run the other way when they see “China”. I haven’t seen him trying to hide the fact lately.

    Please do let us know if you ever see anything fraudulent. It really helps other folks. He’ll never try using “Certified Organic” again. The USDA crushed him for that one. His web site is history as far as I know. Eventually all such opportunists will be gone. This guy has dropped his prices so low that even the total “price buyer” has to wonder, while his berries are just rotting away. I believe the consumer always wins in the end!

    Thanks!
    Chris
    P.S. I deleted your email, so that you don’t get harassed. You wouldn’t believe the fallout I’ve received from Tony’s cohorts. It’s easy to tell when they are associated. They will try to make it out like I’m anti-Chinese. Nothing could be further from the truth. I am anti-liars and anti-crooks. My Chinese friends (and that’s many) are all with me 100%. They think I should be harsher on him. He disrespects them via his actions!

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