Whatever Happened To Eco Nuts Organic Laundry Soap After Shark Tank Season 4?

Throughout the years, people have been consistently looking for and developing new ways to do laundry that are safe, eco-friendly, and effective. Traditional detergents, though they're more accessible and will typically get the job done, are often made with heavy fragrances that can irritate sensitive skin, include ingredients that are far from natural, and are packaged in large amounts of plastic. For the eco-conscious consumer, these options on store shelves simply won't cut it. In an effort to present an ultra-natural alternative, Mona Weiss and Scott Shields developed their brand Eco Nuts, which they pitched on "Shark Tank" in Season 4.

Instead of relying on an artificially produced formula, Eco Nuts products go straight to the source and utilize the natural abilities of berries grown on Sapindus mukorossi trees, also referred to as soap nuts or soap berries. After throwing a couple of these soap nuts into your washer, they'll release saponin, which creates an effect similar to that of traditional soap. The founders of Eco Nuts might have harnessed this natural phenomenon but creating a marketable business takes much more than an idea.

Eco Nuts on Shark Tank

Mona Weiss and Scott Shields began their Season 4, Episode 6 pitch to the stars of "Shark Tank" by asking for a $125,000 investment in exchange for a 15% stake in the company. After explaining their idea and how the soap nuts worked, the potential investors were fairly interested, but they quickly began asking the pair questions to ensure their valuation of the business had the backing necessary to feel like a good deal. Unfortunately, this is where the pitch fell flat, as Shields mistakenly claimed that Eco Nuts had secured 90% of the soap nuts market without having the sales numbers to support this.

After this slip-up, the Sharks began to drop out one by one, but, after the couple revealed they had been engaged for five years without getting married, the conversation quickly shifted gears. Robert Herjavec offered to give the pair $175,000 in exchange for 50% of the business, and Kevin O'Leary offered to marry the couple on the spot. Ultimately, they said no to both offers, meaning the couple left without additional funding or a new marital status.

Eco Nuts after Shark Tank

Despite the fact the team behind Eco Nuts didn't accept any additional funding on "Shark Tank," they continued to push forward in the following months and years. Mona Weiss continued to run the business's social media pages, frequently posting about deals, sharing jokes, and answering questions about the brand's products. Eco Nuts also expanded its focus beyond just laundry detergent and started to carry other eco-friendly cleaning products and laundry supplies, like an Ammonia Bouncer to help rid cloth diapers of their smell and laundry balls to use in lieu of traditional dryer sheets.

In October 2017, however, Weiss left the Eco Nuts team, meaning Scott Shields was now in charge as founder. Despite stating that they still intended to get married after such a long engagement, it looks like the pair eventually split and decided to go their separate ways, both in business and personal matters. After Weiss left the team, the company still appeared to be doing well, but things took a downward turn in 2021.

Why did Eco Nuts go out of business?

After over a decade in business, it looks like Eco Nuts permanently shut down in 2021. Since then, the brand's social media pages have been inactive, its products are no longer for sale, and its website is unreachable. From an outside perspective, however, the brand going out of business was a bit of a shock — the last post on Eco Nuts' Facebook and Instagram pages is one advertising the fact that the company sells Swedish dishcloths, too.

It might seem like it came a bit out of the blue, but, during Eco Nuts' pitch on "Shark Tank," the potential investors did mention one major problem with the brand. Soap nuts are found naturally and sold by plenty of suppliers, and the only thing that set Eco Nuts apart was the fact that the founders developed a new method of sterilization. It's likely that Eco Nuts went out of business because the competition was offering a very similar product at a cheaper price.

What's next for the founders of Eco Nuts?

As of right now, it doesn't appear that either Mona Weiss or Scott Shields are planning to bring back Eco Nuts in the near future. According to her LinkedIn profile, after leaving the Eco Nuts team, Weiss utilized her experience running a brand's social media pages to find work in marketing. She currently holds a position as Creative Director at BrainLabs and also does some voiceover and influencer work on the side.

Shields, however, has a much more limited digital footprint, so it is difficult to tell exactly what he's up to after shutting down Eco Nuts. Regardless of what path he's taking now, it looks like it's the end of the road for the brand, but that doesn't mean that you can't still get your hands on soap nuts to use as a natural alternative to laundry detergent. Check out your local stores that stock natural products, buy direct from a wholesaler, or pick up a bag on Amazon if you're looking to make some eco-friendly changes to your laundry routine.