• 7 Ways to Use Soapberries to Clean Around the Home

    April 13, 2018 • BEAUTY, CLEAN, HOME, VEGAN

    Soapberries are a natural, hypoallergenic, grey water safe, palm oil free, vegan household cleaning solution that actually works! But what many people don’t know is how multipurpose they are. Not only are they fantastic as a natural laundry detergent, you can use soapberries as an all purpose cleaner, shampoo, body soap, dish detergent, and more!

    Read on as we share our favourite ways to use soapberries to clean around the home.

    soapberries feature

    What are Soap Berries (Soap Nuts)

    Soap berries (also referred to as soap nuts, although not actually a nut) are the fruit of the Sapindus Mukorossi tree . This tree grows in several different regions of the world, but is most prevalent in the Himalayas, where our That Red House organic soapberries are from. The fruit is harvested by small local communities under ethical conditions.

    Soapberries work to reduce the surface tension in water to remove dirt and clean almost anything around the home.

    They are completely zero waste, coming packaged in a calico bag with no plastic, and will biodegrade at the end of their life.

    Soap berries are hypoallergenic, so they are a great choice for people with sensitive skin and allergies, babies and children. They are also antibacterial, antifungal and odourless. Our organic soapberries are cruelty free, palm oil free and are not tested on animals. You can find them here >

    For more information about Soapberries, see our blog post here >

    How to Use Soap Berries Around the Home

    1. Soap Berry or Soap Nut “Tea” Liquid

    Making mother broth from soapberries is simple, cost-effective, and the resulting liquid can be used as a multi-purpose cleaner around the home.

    To make the broth, add 25 grams of berries per 500ml of water (or 50g per litre), bring to the boil, then boil for 15-20 minutes.

    Ideally, stir in one teaspoon of Citric Acid per litre of water you started with. This helps as a preservative, as does adding some essential oils.

    Let the liquid cool, and strain it to remove any soap berry bits. Transfer it to a jar, dish washing liquid squirt bottle, or spray bottle.

    As this is a natural product, it will need to be used fairy quickly to avoid spoiling.  Keep a small amount in a bottle for daily use and store the rest in the fridge to extend its life.

    The soap berry liquid is great liquid for dish washing, cleaning the bathroom, kitchen, as a glass cleaner, stainless steel cleaner, pre-wash stain remover, or mould remover.

    2. Soap Berry Shampoo or Soap Alternative

    The mother broth can be used for a range of cleaning purposes, including cleaning your hair and body.

    To make a soapberry shampoo or body soap, add some guar gum to the mother broth. Mix and add more gum until you get your desired consistency. Mechanically blend the ingredients together to fully combine. Store in a jar in the bathroom and use as needed.

    3. Soap Berry Laundry Detergent

    To use as a natural laundry detergent, place the equivalent of five whole soapberry shells in the small cotton bag provided.

    Add the bag to the wash load and remove when finished. Use warmer water for heavily soiled loads (40-60 degrees).

    You can reuse the same shells for approximately 4 more loads, and they are suitable for use in top loaders and front loaders.

    Soapberries are scent free, but if you would prefer some scent in your laundry, add a few drops of your favourite essential oil on the wash bag. You could also use That Red House laundry tonic, available here >

    Once the shells turn thin and brittle, they can be added to your compost or buried in the garden to break down naturally.

    4. Soap Berry Laundry Soaker

    You can use soapberries for different aspects of your laundry, not just in the machine.

    For soaking, add the soapberries into a tub or bucket of warm water, agitate the water to promote saponin release, and submerge your clothes.

    Use the same method to prepare water for hand washing any delicates, or to do laundry when you’re out camping.

    5. Soap Berry Dish Washing Liquid

    You can add soapberries into the sink to use as a natural dish detergent.

    To use as a natural washing up liquid, place the equivalent of four whole soapberry shells in the small cotton bag provided. You could also use the end of an old stocking. Fill the sink with warm water and agitate to promote saponin release.  Wash your dishes as normal.

    There are varying reports of effectiveness as a dishwasher cleaner.  We recommend to trial various methods.  Start with putting five whole soapberry shells in the small cotton bag provided, and tie it securely to the rack (don’t leave it loose). Add white vinegar to the rinse container. Fill the dishwasher with dishes as normal and turn on.

    6. Soap Berry Shaving Cream

    To make a soapberry shaving cream, combine mother broth, a drizzle of olive oil (or your favourite moisturising oil), and some essential oils of choice. Mechanically blend together until thick, and pop in an airtight jar. Apply to skin and shave as normal.  Note that the foam will disappear quite quickly.  You need to blend directly before using.

    7. Soap Berry Stainless Steel & Glass Cleaner

    Mix 2/3 of liquid with 1/3 of vinegar, and add a few drops of antiseptic essential oil (like tea tree or eucalyptus). Add this mixture to a spray bottle and apply as needed. Use a microfiber cloth for best results.

    Note:

    Soapberries release saponin better in warmer water, but don’t boil them constantly as it will reduce their life.

    As a rule, once Soapberries look squishy on the inside and become brittle when they dry, you can compost them in the garden.

    Buy Soapberries Online

    Soapberries are such a versatile, natural alternative, you’ll be using them for all your cleaning in no time.

    Buy our organic soapberries here >

    Recipes above thanks to That Red House.

    Image: @that_red_house

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