• 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 Soapberries (Soap Nuts)

    Soapberries (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.

    Soapberries 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.

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

    How to Use Soapberries Around the Home

    1. Soapberry Mother Broth

    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 5 berries per 500ml of water (so you can make as much as you want) and boil the shells for 15-20 minutes.

    Let the liquid cool, and strain it to remove any soapberry bits. Transfer it to a jar or spray bottle.

    As this is a natural product, it will need to be used fairy quickly to avoid spoiling.

    This is a great liquid for all your antibacterial and antifungal cleaning needs, whether it be in the bathroom, kitchen, as a glass cleaner, pre-wash stain remover, or mould remover.

    Add a few drops of essential oils for some lovely scent while you’re cleaning.

    2. Shampoo or Soap Alternative

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

    Add guar gum to the mother broth. Mix and add more gum until you get your desired consistency, and mechanically blend the ingredients together to fully combine. Store in a jar in the bathroom.

    You can also add essential oils to smell lovely after sudsing up.

    3. 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.

    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. Clothes Soak & Hand Wash

    Use soapberries for different aspects of your laundry, not just in the machine.

    For soaking, add the soapberries straight into 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. Dish Detergent

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

    Simply place 2-3 shells in the sink, or if you prefer to not let them loose in the water, pop a few in the end of an old stocking. Then run water over them, let the sink fill with water, and wash your dishes normally.

    For a dishwasher, pop some Soapberries in an old stocking and put it into the bottom of the cutlery holder, or somewhere secure on the rack, and fill with dishes as normal.

    6. Shaving Cream

    Most of us lather soap on our skin to shave, but making a shaving cream means less time lathering in the shower, and a more nourishing shave.

    Combine mother broth, a drizzle of olive oil (or your favourite moisturising oil), and some essential oils of choice. Mechanically blend together to make a cream, and pop in an airtight jar so no water gets in during showering.

    Then shave away while cleaning and moisturising your skin.

    7. Stainless Steel & Glass Cleaner

    As sudsy spots are easier to see on steel and glass after drying, you may need a separate recipe to make sure these items are sparkling.

    Mix 2/3 of mother broth with 1/3 of vinegar, and add a few drops of antiseptic essential oil (like tea tree or eucalyptus) to make sure they get a good clean.

    Put this mixture into a spray bottle and spray items to shine and clean them.


    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 are derived from That Red House’s Soapberry Recipes, which can be found on their website.

    Image thanks @that_red_house

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