Yeast-derived biosurfactants may substitute or complement chemical surfactants as green reagents to extract petroleum hydrocarbons from contaminated soil. The effectiveness of contaminant clean-up by sophorolipids was tested on kerosene-contaminated soil with reference to traditional synthetic surfactants. The sophorolipids produced by the yeast Candida bombicola CB 2107, cultivated with the carbon sources 10 g/L glucose and 10 g/L rapeseed oil, were most effective in contaminant removal. This biosurfactant revealed a critical micelle concentration of 108 mg/L which was close to that of Triton X-100 (103 mg/L), the synthetic surfactant considered as reference. It outperformed Triton X-100 in reducing kerosene concentrations (C10&ndash / C40) in contaminated soils. In a soil initially containing 1080 mg/kg of C10&ndash / C40, the concentration was reduced to 350 mg/kg using the biosurfactant, and to 670 mg/kg using Triton-X. In the soil with initial concentration of 472 mg/kg, concentrations were reduced to 285 and 300 mg/kg for biosurfactant and Triton X-100, respectively. Sophorolipids have the potential to replace synthetic surfactants. Properties and performance of the biosurfactants, however, strongly differ depending on the yeast and the growing conditions during production.