top of page
  • Valinda

DIY Soap Nut Shampoo

Updated: Nov 25, 2022

In an older blog post, you could read all about what soap nuts are and you have seen me use them for laundry as well but in this blog post, we will be using soapnut to make an eco-friendly gentle shampoo. Soap nuts are a very gentle cleanser making them great for people with sensitive scalps or eczema-prone skin. You can use them to wash your hair but they are also great to use as a body wash.

What do you need

To make soap nut shampoo, you need a few things. Luckily, most of these things you will likely have already in your kitchen. The only thing you may need to purchase is a preservative. Some don’t use a preservative in their soap nut shampoo but I strongly recommend that you do. Bacteria love water and will grow in an environment with lots of water. As this shampoo has lots of water is very prone to develop bacteria growth and spoilage. To make sure your shampoo lasts until you run out, you use a preservative.

Lots of preservatives are available nowadays. I use an eco-certified one that is both gentle for my skin/scalp as well as for the environment.

DIY Soap Nut Shampoo


  • Soap nuts

  • Pan

  • Water

  • Squishing tool

  • Scale

  • Preservative

  • Bottle

  • Sieve

  • Mixing bowl that fits the sieve

  • Funnel (optional)

DIY Soap Nut Shampoo

How to make shampoo

As I think it is important to make the shampoo with a concentration of saponins (the cleansing ingredient in soap nuts) as high as possible, I can’t say, this amount of soap nuts with this amount of water. Instead, I applied a layer of soap nuts to the bottom of the pan. The amount you use will depend on the size of your pan. The larger the pan, the more soap nuts you will use. This is ok as long as you have a bottle that is big enough to store your soap nut shampoo in later.

1. Add a single layer of soap nuts to a pan

DIY Soap Nut Shampoo - adding soap nut to a pan

2. Add water to the pan until all the soap nuts are covered with water.

DIY Soap Nut Shampoo - adding water

3. Let the soap nut boil for 10 minutes

4. The liquid starts to smell like soap nuts have a very distinct odor and the water should turn brownish.

DIY Soap Nut Shampoo

5. After 10 minutes of boiling, the soap nuts should be soft. Squash the soap nuts with a tool to get more saponins out of the soap nuts. Be careful as the liquid is very hot.

DIY Soap Nut Shampoo - squishing

6. Let the soap nuts boil for another 5 minutes.

7. Squash the soap nuts one more time after 5 minutes

DIY Soap Nut Shampoo - squishing

8. Let the mixture cool

9. Weigh the mixing bowl (write down the weight!)

10. Place the sieve in the mixing bowl

11. Pour the soap nut mixture through the sieve

12. Give the soap nut mixture a squish to release as much of the liquid as possible.

DIY Soap Nut Shampoo

13. Weigh the soap nut liquid with the mixing bowl

14. Deduct the weight of the mixing bowl. You now know how much liquid you have.

15. Add your preservative according to the instructions of your preservative of choice.

16. Put the liquid in a bottle of choice.

DIY Soap Nut Shampoo - add liquid to bottle

17. Enjoy.

More Zero Waste Bathroom

More about Shampoos

Do you use

Unpaper Towels?

Unpaper towels - zero waste etsy shop

Visit our shop with over 50 different prints of reusable kitchen towels. These not only look super cut but they are also very eco-friendly and save you money.

Valinda - Natural Parenting Blog - Eco-friendly mom - Cloth diaper - sustainable pregnancy

Meet Valinda

Hi there, I am the founder of the green and happy mom blog and green and happy shop. After battling severe depression, I am determined to make the world a little better and I want to take you along that journey with me. 

Unpaper towels - zero waste etsy shop

Latests Blogposts

Do you need 150+ Tips to start your

Zero Waste Journey?

150 tips side balk comp.png

Join 5000 Green Bees who never miss weekly videos & eco-tips.

Free shampoo bar recipe - eco friendly bathroom

Join 5000 Green Bees who never miss weekly videos & eco-tips.

Follow me on Youtube!