We use cleaning products to keep our homes fresh and clean. However, public health experts have long warned that household cleaners are doing more harm than good. Some cause acute hazards such as skin or respiratory irritation, watery eyes, while others are associated with chronic effects such as hormone disruption (*) .

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) banned the sale of many antibacterial soaps last September because manufacturers had failed to prove the cleansers were safe or more effective than conventional soap and water in preventing illnesses. While the FDA’s new ban is good news, it’s way too late since a debate over triclosan started back in 1978.

In Vietnam, chemical engineering experts have warned that using fabric softeners and commercial detergents may cause allergies and even cancer (**).

Instead of remembering a long list of chemicals to avoid, just switching to natural detergents to protect your own health. There are many natural and eco-friendly cleaning products available on the market today such as Seventh Generation,  Resparkle,…

My favorite natural detergent is soap nut – “the soap that grows on trees”.



Soap nuts are a berry shell that grow in the Northern parts of Vietnam. The shell contains saponins which are natural soap compounds. You can use soap nut to clean anything – clothes, dishes, floors, sinks… The great thing about soap nut is that it has a lovely sweet smell. Once you get used to this natural soap, you may never go back to commercial detergents again.

You can buy soap nut from Amazon.

How to use soap nuts:


  • 10 soap nuts
  • 4 cups of water


  1. Combine soap nuts and water in a medium-sized pot with a lid.
  2. Bring to a gentle boil. Reduce heat, and allow to simmer for 30 minutes.
  3. Allow liquid to cool, then strain.
  4. Pour liquid into a glass bottle and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

(*) Click here for more details.

(**) Click here for more details (Vietnamese only).

*Please do aware that all information on my site is not meant to take the place of advice by doctor, licensed dietician-nutritionist, psychologist or other licensed or registered professional.



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