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Soap nut: 100% nature, 100% clean!

Soap nut competence since 2006

The soap nut is a small miracle of nature and in our eyes there is currently no other natural detergent raw material that combines so many advantages.

The saponin contained in the soap nut shells:

  • is a natural washing-active substance with convincing washing and cleaning power
  • is gentle on colors and fibers
  • has a natural softening effect and makes laundry cuddly soft
  • smoothes textile fibers and thus facilitates ironing
  • is 100% biodegradable
  • reduces the amount of soap and surfactants in the product
  • is particularly gentle on the skin
  • enables liquid detergents to achieve excellent washing performance at temperatures as low as 20 °C and is therefore particularly energy-saving

From fruit to detergent

The valuable saponin for our products comes from soap nut shells from northern India. In the mountain regions, the soap nut tree grows wild and in large numbers on the mountain slopes and is freely accessible to everyone. Rudolf Bund, our owner, wanted to know exactly and travelled to the region in 2013 for the soap nut harvest to see for himself:

The ripe fruits fall to the ground and only need to be collected and dried. Collecting the fruits means an additional source of income for the local farming families and supports their economic autonomy. At the same time, the natural vegetation is preserved. The trees are not cleared, but valued. This is good for climate protection and prevents soil erosion. In addition, plantations do not have to be established to meet demand. All these are important sustainable aspects for us, which is why we have been working with our supplier in a trusting partnership for years.

We at AlmaWin also experimented with pure soap nut shells at the beginning. However, it quickly became clear that the pure shells neither met our requirements nor those of our consumers in terms of ease of use and reliable cleaning performance. The actually good cleaning power of the soap nut needs support, because soap nut shells do not have a water-softening function, which leads to poor washing results with high water hardness. They also cannot bleach, which is especially important for stains and white laundry.

So we rather put some more time into research and finally came up with the solution: soap nut extract!


Since we work sustainably, it was also important to us to have the saponin from the soap nut extracted directly in India.  Instead of having to transport huge quantities of soap nut shells to Germany, we only have to transport the concentrated extract. This saves CO2 during transport and creates additional local jobs. With the help of an ecologist who was familiar with the country, we found a partner who specialised in the use of natural substances. Together with this partner we managed to get the extraction of the saponin certified and implemented in India.

Since then, the soap nut extract has been successfully combined with our well-proven, ecological formulas and provides only advantages: 100 % reliable, natural cleaning performance, less use of soaps and surfactants produced on the basis of palm kernel oil. The very good skin compatibility is even confirmed by the German Allergy and Asthma Association (daab), which is particularly important for skin-sensitive and allergy sufferers.

All soap nut products easily passed the dermatological test for skin-friendliness. The eco-certification was also no problem, as both the origin of the raw materials and the biodegradability meet all the criteria. 

Even 16 years after the first soap nut product (2006: Klar Waschnuss flüssig), products with soap nut extract are an integral part of our product range.

A sustainable success story all round.