Soap Nut Homemade Liquid Laundry Detergent Recipe

Making laundry detergent out of berries? Who’d have thought!

Ever heard of soap nuts? Well, soap nuts (or soap berries) are berry shells from the lychee family. As its name indicates, it works as soap since it contains natural cleaning properties. 

We love anything chemical-free, non-toxic, and all-natural here at Simply Earth. Our amazing aromatherapists created this Soap Nut Liquid Laundry Soap, of course, powered by essential oils for a more efficient cleaning result. Check out how it’s made below!

Also, check out this Laundry Essential Oil Workshop we specially made for Earthies like you so you can master how to use essential oils in your laundry.

What I Love About This Soap Nut Liquid Laundry Soap

What can I say? This recipe works like a charm. It cleans our laundry so well without all those harmful toxins lurking in store-bought detergents.

What’s in This Homemade Liquid Laundry Detergent?

Soap Nuts

Soap Nuts have been used for years as a natural soap. They release saponin when placed in water. Saponin is a plant-derived chemical that is foam-forming and has great cleaning properties making it a wonderful ingredient for DIY cleaning recipes.

Hot Water

We used hot water to agitate these saponin-rich soap nuts so that we can extract their saponin for our DIY laundry detergent.

Soap nuts can actually be used by themselves in a cloth bag right in your washing machine. But they need to be run with a hot washing cycle in order for them to work. With this recipe, we use hot water to extract the saponin so we can run and wash our laundry at any temperature.


Vinegar serves as a natural fabric softener. It also helps deodorize, remove stains, and clean your clothes naturally.

Clean & Fresh Blend

Instead of using artificial fragrances, we love to use essential oils. For this recipe, we used Clean & Fresh Essential Oil Blend. This is a special blend we formulated for cleaning. It leaves a fresh, clean scent you will love.


A Natural Solubilizer helps mix essential oils with water. This is a great ingredient to use when dealing with water-based recipes like this laundry soap.

It’s optional to use this ingredient. If you choose not to use it, shake your laundry detergent before using.

Geogard ECT Preservative

This is another optional ingredient. Geogard ECT Preservative is an eco-friendly preservative that can help prolong the shelf life of your homemade liquid laundry detergent.

Things to Remember When Using This Recipe

Always dilute an essential oil when using it on the skin. This essential oil recipe is unlikely to cause skin irritation when diluted properly. If the oil has been oxidized (left with the cap off for long periods of time) it is more likely to cause skin irritation. Check out this dilution chart for diluting this essential oil properly. 

If you are pregnant, consult your doctor prior to use.

This recipe is safe to use with kids aged 2+.

For more information on using essential oils with cats, check out this blog post

For more information on using essential oils with dogs, check out this blog post

We don’t recommend ingesting essential oils unless under the direction of a doctor certified in aromatherapy. For more information on why we don’t ingest essential oils check out this blog post

*Please note: This post is a compilation of suggestions made by those that have extensively used essential oils and has not been verified scientifically with clinical tests nor reviewed by medical experts. It is anecdotal information and should be treated as such. For serious medical concerns, please consult your doctor. The statements given in this blog post have not been verified by the FDA

Soap Nut Liquid Laundry Soap Recipe

Soap Nut Liquid Laundry Soap Recipe

Time: 1.25 Hours
Est. Shelf Life: 2 weeks (9 months with preservative)
Yield: 2.5 cups


  • 1 oz (~8 ct.) soap nuts

  • 2 cups water

  • 1/2 cup vinegar

  • 20 drops Clean and Fresh Essential Oil Blend

  • 1/2 tsp Natural Solubilizer

  • ` 15 drops Geogard ECT Preservative


  • Combine soap nuts and water in a pan. Bring them to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, and cover. Allow the soap nuts to simmer for 1 hour or until the berries turn a light color.
  • In a small bowl, mix together essential oil and solubilizer. Stir until essential oil and solubilizer are combined.
  • While stirring, slowly add vinegar to the mixture. 
  • After the soap nuts have finished soaking, turn off the heat and allow them to cool. Strain out the soap nuts. 
  • Add the soap nut concentrate to the vinegar mixture. 
  • If using Geogard ECT preservative, stir that into the mixture.
  • Add 2-4 Tbsp of liquid laundry soap per a load of laundry. 


  • This laundry soap is low sudsing and considered suitable for HE and traditional washing machines. If your washing machine is under warranty, check your user guide before using this recipe as using homemade liquid laundry detergent can void some warranties.

Your New Favorite Detergent!

It’s time to switch up your laundry routine to something natural. Will you try this recipe out? We’d love to hear about it on social media with @fromsimplyearth and in the comments below!

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