Soap Berries x Nature First®
What are soap berries and where do they come from?
Soap berries are the fruit of Sapindus sp. trees and shrubs – members of the lychee family of plants – and are native to all continents. In total, there are around 12 different Sapindus species (botanical varieties) growing naturally in India, Nepal, China, Taiwan and Japan. There are even “Western” soap berry species growing in the subtropical climates of Florida and Hawaii! Though the Western and tropical varieties are smaller in size and have relatively short lifespans of around 30 years, those native to alpine regions are hardy, reach soaring heights, and often live for 100 or more years, bearing fruit for at least 90 years!
The fruit of the Sapindus sp. fall off the tree onto the ground, are collected by hand, split open, deseeded, and dried in the sun, producing a maroon-red husk or “shell.” No chemicals or synthetic agents are added at any time. The marble-like seeds which are separated out are often used to make buttons for clothing, jewelry and prayer beads, malas). The Buddhist tradition considers soap berry seeds sacred, protecting one’s spirit when worn.
Nature First® sources soap berries of the Sapindus mukorossi species from the Himalayan foothills where they grow wild (uncultivated). Mankind has not intervened with their growing process by modifying their soil ecosystem with agricultural tilling and chemical fertilizers or their introduced pesticides to their bark, stems, leaves, or produce. There is no need to, because these Sapindus mukorossi trees are naturalized perfectly to the harsh environmental conditions of the mountains: their wind-resistant trunks and leafy limbs soar and drought-tolerant root systems thrive in poor soil conditions, preventing soil erosion. Mother Nature also designed them to be incredibly resistant to insects, pests, and diseases.
Are soap berries a sustainable resource?
Yes! Soap berries are produced by a plentiful and prolific renewable resource that naturally grows in the wild, and can also be easily grown organically. The trees offset carbon emissions, and the berries require less energy and processing to create our extract. The Himalayan trees from where we source our soap berries can produce upwards of 35kg of fruit per year in an annual autumn harvest for upwards of 90 to 100 years. Harvesting, splitting, and drying soap nuts creates a sustainable income for people in their local villages.
What ingredients are found in Nature First®?
Wild-Harvested Berry Concentrate™ Nature First®’s proprietary extraction from Sapindus mukorossi fruit
Sodium Carbonate intensifies cleaning
Sodium Percarbonate cleans, brightens + removes stains + odors
Sodium Silicate removes water hardness + prevents mineral deposits on fabric
Silica keeps powder formula soft
Non-GMO Enzymes removes oil, starch + protein-based stains
Aloe vera softens fabric
Polyvinyl Alcohol biodegradable pod material
Note that natural ingredients may vary in color and texture.
What ingredients did we leave out?
Chemical laundry detergents, fabric softeners, and dryer sheets contain chemicals classified under federal law as carcinogenic, toxic, and hazardous to personal and environmental health.
Simply Google “laundry detergent health hazards” to learn more.
Nature First® laundry pods contain:
No sulfates (SLS, SLES, ALS)
No phosphates, chlorine, ammonia or formaldehyde
No fragrance or perfumes
No dyes or colorants
No optical brighteners
No artificial foaming agents
No harsh preservatives
No animal by-products: *our products have never been tested on animals
Why a laundry pod?
Accessibility and convenience! A pod takes the guesswork and mess out of doing the laundry. One pod contains exactly the correct measurement of laundry solution necessary to clean your linens without causing damage to your laundry machine. It’s portable for travel, easy to use at laundromats, and self-contained for no mess.
Is Nature First® organic?
Although many rural villages plant Sapindus trees to harvest the berries, these trees are not farmed at this time. The Sapindus mukorossi fruit we use for our Nature First™ products is sourced from trees growing wild, making it organic as well. Likewise, Mother-Nature-grown Sapindus mukorossi trees are never treated with fertilizers or chemical pesticides. They are naturally resilient to insect pests and diseases. “Wild-harvested” is “organic,” and is using Mother Nature’s products without altering the landscape with agricultural practices.
What do Nature First® Laundry Pods smell like?
Our laundry pods are fragrance-free. After cleaning, fabrics have the fresh, natural fragrance of having been dried on a clothesline.
Is Nature First® vegan & cruelty-free?
YesI Our products contain no animal byproducts and we have never tested our products on animals.
Do Nature First® laundry pods work with gray water and black water systems?
Yes! Consider installing a dry well to capture laundry gray water. If you use plant-based environmentally friendly laundry products, laundry gray water can be used for irrigation of lawns and landscape plantings. Many municipal systems in drought-prone areas offer classes and discounts on hardware to install gray water irrigation systems. Learn more about gray water systems here.
How is Wild-Harvested Berry Concentrate™ different from regular soap berry husks?
First of all, not all soap berries are created equal! Nature First® products use the soap berry from the Sapindus mukorossi tree. These berries contain the highest and most effective concentration of natural plant saponins, or natural detergents.
We take great care in both our sourcing and testing of Sapindus mukorossi fruit for consumer safety, making sure our soap berries are free of mold, coliforms, and plate counts (microorganisms that cannot be seen by the naked eye), so they meet the basic microbial standards set by personal care and household cleaning industries.
We use these hand-selected berries to make our Wild-Harvested Berry Concentrate™. We utilize our proprietary natural water extraction method to pull a measurable amount of super-concentrated cleansing agents (saponin surfactants) from soap berries. That ensures consistency in the concentrate when compared to whole soap berry husks.
Our Wild-Harvested Berry Concentrate™ has excellent functionality in a wide range of pHs (2-11) and is 99.9% water soluble, so the laundry pods can be used in cold, warm, or hot water.
Are the laundry pods safe for use on delicates, colors, tech fabrics, and baby diapers?
Traditionally, soap berries have been used to wash the finest wools, cashmere and silks, woven with intricate and colorful patterns. Nature First® laundry pods are safe for fine fabrics and will not cause colors to fade. Our laundry pods contain no dyes, colorants or fragrances making them perfect for baby linens and diapers. Because there are no waxes or oils in our laundry pods, additionally, they are ideal for tech and performance fabrics.
Why compostable packaging?
Nature First® recognizes Mother Earth’s resources as life-making materials. The condition and method we return elements we borrow shapes ecosystem diversity and longevity for all organisms, as well as the air, water, and soil that we depend upon for our health and well-being.
Nature First® is committed to plastic-free packaging.
Compostable package storage & shelf life
Nature First®'s 100% compostable packaging has a shelf life! It isn't meant to last like plastic.
Please store your package in a cool, dry place away from high humidity and excessive moisture to extend its shelf life. Exposure to the elements makes it a little wonky.
Optimal temperature range 40-76F (4-24C).
How do I compost Nature First®'s 100% compostable packaging?
Please do not throw your package in the trash !
Nature First®’s packaging is made from certified compostable papers, films, and adhesives manufactured using wind energy. The labels and stickers are printed with vegetable ink. In a compost bin or facility, this package will decompose in less than 89 days and introduce no toxic residue to the environment.
Please make the effort to compost this packaging! Bring it to your local farmer’s market, health food store, or find a resource local to you through www.findacomposter.com.
Orders: Shipping & Refunds
Where does Nature First® ship?
Orders ship at a flat rate of $4.99 within continental USA, and $10 for Alaska and Hawaii. Orders above $36 ship free.
All orders received before Noon EST, will go out the same day. Your order will be shipped via USPS Ground and should arrive within 5-7 days.
Unfortunately we can't cancel or change your order once it's been placed. Please contact us, and we’ll make sure to figure it out.
We are really confident in our product, however, your satisfaction is our highest priority! If you have any issues related to the product you received, please let us know. Requests for a 100% refund must be made within 30 days of the order being delivered.
To make a return
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your order number in the subject line. We will generate a return label, and send it to your original order email address unless otherwise specified.
Please do not refuse a shipment upon delivery. Refused shipments will not be eligible for refunds.
All returns must be received at our facility within 2 weeks of the return label being emailed - otherwise, we will not be able to authorize the return.
Returning a used product to us creates a carbon footprint. There’s an environmental cost for shipping, and we cannot resell the product. Consider making a charitable donation to a facility or organization in need such as homeless shelters, animal shelters or veteran assistance centers.
How does my Nature First® subscription work?
We kept it simple! Choose the Laundry Pod package size that works for you - 30 or 60 pod bags. Then choose the frequency of your delivery - either every 30 or 60 days.
Then, enter your shipping and billing information. We know life happens, so you may always cancel, pause, or skip your subscription deliveries in your account at any time. Your subscription will continue indefinitely unless you stop it. Just log into your account at www.putnaturefirst.com to make any adjustments.
How do I access my subscription settings?
You will need to log-in to your account by clicking ‘Log-In’ either with the mobile menu or the top right of your screen if using a computer. If you do not have an account, you will need to create one using the same e-mail address you used when you purchased your subscription. Once you’ve logged in, select ‘Manage Subscriptions’. All changes and edits to your subscription may be made here including billing, frequency, ship date, size and quantity.
If you need any assistance, we’re here to help. Please email us and we’ll be in touch ASAP.
Will I get a reminder email before my next shipment?
Yes, you will receive a reminder email 3 days before your refill subscription order is processed and shipped.