Homemade Soap Nut Washing Up Liquid Recipe

So many of you love using soapberries to wash your clothes (and why wouldn't you – they're organic, natural, hypoallergenic, plastic free, palm oil free, compostable and they work!), but did you know you can turn them into a washing up liquid too?

Read on as we show you how to make a natural soap nut washing up liquid so you can avoid harmful chemicals and detergents. What's even better is that you can also use this liquid in your dishwasher, as a shampoo, hand wash, and more!

Make Your Own DIY Soapberry Washing Up Liquid

How to Make Your Own Soap Nut Washing Up Liquid


You will also need a large saucepan, fine sieve or nut milk bag, and a glass bottle with a lid to store.



  1. Add the soap nuts and water to the saucepan and bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer for approximately 1 hour. This is the saponification process.
  2. After an hour, turn the heat off and let it cool overnight in the saucepan. This helps the liquid to settle and bind.
  3. Using your fine sieve or nut milk bag, strain the liquid into your bottle, add your essential oils if using, place the lid on the bottle and shake gently to combine. Compost the used soapberries.

How To Use Soap Nut Liquid

Gently shake before using. Add about 2 tbsp to your sink under hot running water. You will notice some small bubbles, but it won't produce a rich lather like you're used to with conventional washing-up liquids. This rich lather is the result of synthetic thickeners, foaming agents and surfactants. Don't let this deter you however, as it has decent cleaning power and will clean your dishes effectively, especially with a little soaking and a good natural dish brush.

Tip: This same liquid can be used in your dishwasher, all-purpose cleaner, as a hand wash, shampoo, or pet shampoo! If using this in the dishwasher it's important to also put some white cleaning vinegar in the rinse aid department to help clean out and control any grease and oil build up.

Some people also add a small amount of citric acid as a preservative. To do this, mix 1 tsp of citric acid with 1 tbsp of boiling water and stir to dissolve. Add to the strained soapberry liquid. This natural soap liquid contains a lot of water and plant material, so it's best kept in the fridge to avoid spoilage. If kept in the fridge it will last about a month. You can also leave it at room temperature, where it will last about 2 weeks (less in hot climates).

Note: This soapberry liquid soap may not be as effective in areas with hard water, or water with a high mineral content. Don't give up! Persevere and experiment until you find a concentration that works for you. You could try using less water initially to make a stronger concentration. Soapberries can be used in so many ways to clean around the home. Find more soap berry cleaning ideas here >


As with all our DIY recipes, you can experiment to suit your preferences. Many factors can change the end result, including temperature, humidity, light, ingredient quality.

Discover Biome's Naked Beauty Bar

Looking to simplify, reduce waste and know exactly what you are putting on your skin? At Biome's Naked Beauty Bar, you will find all of the beautiful raw ingredients you need to make your own natural skin care and cleaning products. These ingredients are available in convenient reusable glass jars, and in bulk from all of our stores.

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