Soapnut is a berry that naturally produces soap for cleaning.

soapnut berry on trees

Soapnuts, known as reetha in India, have been used for centuries by Indians to wash their hair, to strengthen their hair and prevent dandruff. In Indonesia, soapnuts are known as Lerak Klerek, and is used for washing their clothes, especially batik clothing as it helps preserve the colours of clothing. In Chinese traditional medicine, it is use to treat dry skin and other skin allergies, including eczema.

At Soapnut Republic, we have taken this wonderful berry that creates soap naturally and is absolutely safe for the skin to produce a range of personal care and home cleaning products that is extremely effective and safe for you.

It is also known as Soap Nuts, Soap Berries, Sapindus and is a super effective, natural cleaning ingredient that has been largely forgotten, ... until now.

​The modern day soap

modern day chemical cleaning products
Soap, also term a surfactant, works by attracting water and dirt (i.e. oil, grime, dust, etc) to itself, pulling the dirt away from other surfaces, hence, cleaning up the surface. In modern times, where you and I live in. Soap has taken on many new names and incarnations ... Mr Muscle, CIF, Magic Clean, Pine, Bleach, Vinegar, Bicarbonate soda, etc, have become the common household names for what we term soap, or anything that "cleans" for that matters.

Most of these soap are industrially produced, which involves a continual process of combining animal or vegetable fats with a strong alkali salt. Due to the large amounts of strong alkali used in soap production, the result is soap that is very effective in cleaning, but equally harmful to our health. Chemical soap causes irritation to our skin, has fumes that affect our respiratory and endocrine system and is toxic to humans. If you look at any chemical cleaning products on the market, you will see labels "poison" and "do not place near naked flames". Is it safe for you? You tell me.

Safer cleaning alternatives

Fortunately, there is a rising movement and trend towards safer cleaning alternatives, i.e. biosurfactants, soap that is made from organic/living cells which are environmentally friendly, and mostly safe for you. A popular way of creating bio-soap is through a chemical reaction between yeast and bacteria. Other methods include chemical reactions with sugar compounds from plants-based ingredients, including coconuts. All these are great, but allow me to let you in on a truly natural way of obtaining soap.

​Soap from soapnut berry is 100% plant based, 100% sustainable, 100% biodegradable and 100% safe on your skin.

soapnut berries are organic biodegradable
​Soapnut berry
are berry shells from the Sapindus tree, which is actually from the Lychee family. The trees are grown in abundance in China, India and Indonesia, very sustainable. It's fruit and soap extract are 100% biodegradable, so it is friendly to the environment. It is also 100% plant-based, hence, is suitable for all vegans. It is an absolutely natural way of obtaining soap. No chemical reactions, no synthesizing ... just take the fruit pulp, mix it with water and you too can start to generate your own surfactant.

Uses of Soapnut in cleaning

Soap from soapnuts are gentle yet effective in all areas of cleaning.

soapnut used in laundry detergent

  1. As a laundry detergent, it is gentle on fabric, helps retain colours, while cleaning off stains and dirt
  2. As a dish soap, it removes oils and grime very effectively all surfaces, i.e. pots, pans, plates, utensils
  3. As a general purpose cleaner, it cleans away dirt, grime and oil from all surfaces, i.e. tables, cupboards, tubs, tiles etc
  4. As a glass cleaner, it is streak free and gets rids of all the smudges
  5. As a fruit and vegetable wash, it dissolves pesticides (which are oil-based), leaving only green goodness
  6. As a personal cleaner, i.e. shampoo, hand wash, body wash, etc, it is cleans effectively and has all sorts of health benefits too.

soapnut used for gentle hand wash


8 Health ​Benefits of Soapnuts

Soapnuts have additional health benefits that has been used in ancient times by traditional Chinese and American societies in natural skin remedies. 
  1. ​Soapnuts are natural conditioning and can moisturize your skin, hence, not causing dryness, redness and irritation
  2. Soapnuts are natural cleansers and can be used to cleanse your skin (think facial cleanser)
  3. Soapnuts are able to get rid of blackheads and pimples quickly
  4. Soapnuts conditions and strengthens your hair
  5. Soapnuts prevents hair loss
  6. Soapnuts prevents dandruff
  7. Soapnuts are effective in alleviating skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis
  8. Soapnuts are anti-fungal and prevents fungus infection on your skin or hair
  9. Soapnuts are hypoallergenic (they aren't nuts, so no worries for people with nut allergies!)
  10. Soapnuts are insect and mosquito repelling

100% natural soap and with awesome health benefits, soapnut (or reetha, or soap berries) are indeed wonderful berries!!


So, what on earth is soap?

​Soap grows on trees. This centuries centuries old traditional method of cleaning, is now revived and conveniently available in Soapnut Republic products. 


August 25, 2017 — Fionna Lee