soapnut bundle natural

Chemical names used on the labels of cleaning products can be long, unpronounceable, and even sound like long lost sea creatures. Being aware empowers you to make the right decision for you and your family. Here I like to share the ingredients that typically make up natural cleaning products, including those of Soapnut Republic. Hopefully by demystifying these ingredients, you will be equipped to make a better choice the next time you buy home cleaning products.

You will note that most of the ingredients in cleaning agents are to help create foam/bubbly, or to thicken up the liquid to give it texture.

Caprylyl Capryl Glucoside (or Lauryl Glucoside)
EWG rating: 1
To create the nice bubbly effect of soap, what you would call foam.
This is a surfactant or foaming agent, to generate foam in cleaning products, and is derived from vegetables and coconut.

Sodium Coco Amphoacetate
EWG rating: 1
Another surfactant / foaming agent and thickening agent, that is is biodegradable and made from fatty acids from coconut oil.

Xanthan Gum
EWG rating: 1
Gooey, slimy substance that is formed during the fermentation of sugar from soy, wheat, diary, or corn.
This slimy substance helps to thicken and emulsify cleaning formulas, to provide the texture and consistency of the liquid, i.e. think of the texture of cream cleanser.

Glycerol Oleate
EWG rating: 1
Clear amber or pale yellow liquid, naturally occurring in oils and fats.
Used to form emulsions and also can be used as a skin conditioning agent (emollient). Also called Glyceryl Monooleate.

Sodium Polyaspartate
EWG rating: 1
This is a biodegradable condensation polymer based on the amino acid aspartic acid (what a mouthful!), a sodium salt of polyaspartic acid. This ingredient is a corrosion inhibitor, i.e. protects metal surfaces from rusting, corroding, etc.

Hydroxyethyl Cellulose
EWG rating: 1
This helps to thicken liquids and make it gel.
From cellulose, which are organic compound from plants.

Sodium Carbonate
EWG rating: 1
Similar to baking soda, but the non-edible form, which is typically used for cleaning. Commonly known as washing soda, and used in laundry detergent.

Sodium Carboxymethyl Cellulose
EWG rating: 1
Use mostly as a stablizer, to give liquids viscosity (i.e. thicken). It is derived from natural cellulose, treated with chloracetic acid. It is often used in food, i.e. ice creams, and gluten free, reduced fat foods.

Sodium Oleate
EWG rating: 2
Use as an emulsifying agent in soap. It is derived from fatty acids that occur naturally in many natural oils, i.e. Olive oil, canola oil, etc.

Sodium Aluminosilicate
EWG rating: 1
It is a compound which contain sodium, aluminium, silicon and oxygen, and which may also contain water. It is used as a viscosity agent, to add texture to the cleaning products. Also used in food as an anti caking agent.

Information above have been sourced from EWG and Wikipedia, do refer back to EWG for regular updates.

More about EWG rating
EWG provides information on personal care product ingredients from the published scientific literature, to supplement incomplete data available from companies and the government. The ratings indicate the relative level of concern posed by exposure to the ingredients in this product - not the product itself - compared to other product formulations. The ratings reflect potential health hazards but do not account for the level of exposure or individual susceptibility, factors which determine actual health risks, if any.
More information can be found here:


August 17, 2017 — Fionna Lee