Simultaneous saccharification and fermentation is an attractive process configuration for bioethanol. However, the process cost in SSF is still high. Further reductions in cost are expected with reduction of enzyme addition and the use of waste agricultural or industrial materials as feedstock. Surfactant addition is a simple method to reduce the amount of enzyme loading. In the present work we explore the effect of Gleditsia Saponin, an inexpensive and natural surfactant, on SSF of furfural residue, a main waste of furfural industry in China, for ethanol production. Gleditsia Saponin addition even at low concentration, 0.04 g/l, increased the ethanol yield by 9.9%. Meanwhile, when Gleditsia Saponin addition was 0.16 g/l, the yield was increased by 22.8% and the enzyme activity significantly increased in the liquid fraction at the end of SSF, which would contribute to recover and recycle enzyme. Gleditsia Saponin addition at 1.25 g/l had a better performance in improving SSF efficiency than that of 2.5 g/l Tween-20 addition. The positive effects of Gleditsia Saponin addition on SSF, such as less enzyme loading and shorter residence time could also been observed.