Save the frogs and use soapnuts!

Save The Frogs Use Soapnuts!

Save The Frogs Use Soapnuts!

One of our new soapnut users asked a question about whether the surfactants in soapnuts affect amphibian skin, I was sure it didn’t but needed some science to back it up…and I found some 🙂

How do synthetic surfactants kill frogs?

Synthetic surfactants and all the other harmful chemicals in normal laundry detergent are really destructive to natural aquasystems and can cause eutrophication. Now there is also some awareness of certain chemical / synthetic surfactants actually doing more than just causing an overgrowth of algae. Some chemical surfactants have been shown to actually break down the abdominal skin of frogs. The list of these surfactants are (worst ones at the top):

cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB)
sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS)
sodium—linear alkyl benzene sulfonate (LAS, C12)
sodium alkylethoxy sulfate (Neodol 25-3EOS, AES)
nonionic Neodol 25-7EO

Source: *

What’s the alternative?

Now, the surfactants in soapnut extract (liquid made from the shells) are:

“…glycosides of hydrophobic alcohols that provide surface activity and form soap-like, foaming solutions in water. Saponins occur in many plants and in some animal products.”

They are actually linked to naturally occuring sugars like natural glucose and fructose. So there you go, soapnut saponins are a little bit like soapy sugar…but please don’t eat it! Now go and buy some and help save the frogs!

For some other ideas on how to save the frogs visit

* Source Report:
Bioelectrochemistry: Ions, Surfaces, Membranes
Chapter 26, pp 445–459
Chapter DOI: 10.1021/ba-1980-0188.ch026
Advances in Chemistry, Vol. 188
ISBN13: 9780841204737eISBN: 9780841223707
Publication Date (Print): June 01, 1980