How to use soapberries or soapnuts

How to use soap berries or soap nuts

Soap berries or soap nuts are an all-natural, biodegradable, toxin-free alternative to washing detergent that can actually be used to replace many items around the home. Let me show you how to use soapberries or soapnuts.

how to use soapberries or soapnuts in place of laundry detergent

How to use soapberries or soapnuts

I’m a massive nerd at heart.

Nothing gets my little heart beating more than experimenting with something that I don’t really think will work, only to have it work brilliantly.

Over the years I’ve been on a bit of a quest to ditch the chemicals in our lives.

Skincare was relatively easy. There are so many options out there now and you don’t have to spend a fortune.

Cleaning – well there’s not much that good old bicarb and vinegar can’t fix is there?

It’s washing clothes that I’d given up on. Well not the actual washing (wish I could give up on that), but the whole finding a natural solution that didn’t cost a fortune and actually did the job.

I tried making my own washing detergent and yeah it was good, but way too much effort for this self-professed lazy girl.

Enter… soapberries or soapnuts.

I’d never even heard of them until a couple of months ago (so don’t beat yourself up if you’re thinking why would anyone want to eat a berry that tastes like soap!)

But… I’m nuts for soapnuts. Yep I totally just went there.

What are soapberries or soapnuts?

I did a little Facebook live in the group last week showing how to use soapberries or soap nuts but if you missed it – in my words, they’re these little, totally natural berries that resemble hollowed out, dried, hard, round dates that wash your clothes!

In more technical terms – they grow on a tree, drop to the ground, dry naturally and are ready to use to wash your clothes. They’re rich in saponins – a fancy word for a natural soap – which helps the water to release dirt, grime and oils from fabrics.

 

How to use soapberries or soapnuts

Why are soapberries or soapnuts so awesome?

Where do I even start. I’ll give you a list:

  • they’re all natural
  • they’re 100% biodegradable (reducing landfill)
  • they can be added to compost so break down into a natural fertilizer
  • they look a lot prettier than a bottle of washing detergent on display
  • they’re really effective at cleaning clothes
  • clothes actually smell clean
  • they’re ridiculously easy to use
  • they’re really inexpensive – I bought a 1/2 kg bag of soap nuts which does 180 loads of washing for $25 = 14c/wash
  • they don’t foam up so you can use them in front and top loaders
  • you can use them for a lot more than just washing clothes

You might also like – how to make scented soy candles

 

How to use soapberries or soapnuts

How to use soapberries or soapnuts

So, now you know how awesome they are, let me show you how to use soapberries or soapnuts in 5 different ways.

Washing clothes

  • For washing clothes, you just pop 5 soapberries or soapnuts in a little calico bag and throw it in the wash. You can add essential oils for scent. One little bag will do you for 5 loads

Stain remover spray

  • Make a master mixture – naturally antibacterial and antifungal:
    • Add about 10 whole shells (or equivalent) per litre of water and boil for 15-20 minutes.
    • Use the back of a large spoon to gently press the soft berries to squeeze out extra saponins. Be careful not to break them
    • Strain the cooled liquid through a cloth (I just used a chux)
    • Optional but to preserve the liquid (it’s all-natural remember), add 1 tsp citric acid (you can get it at the supermarket) per 500ml of water while it is still hot.
  • To use as a stain remover, pour it into a spray bottle and spray on any stains, rub it in and then throw the item in the wash.

How to use soapberries or soapnuts

Handwash/body wash

  • Add a tablespoon of oil (jojoba, olive or fractionated coconut oil) per 100ml of the master mixture to make a liquid soap or body wash.
  • To thicken, add 1 tsp of guar gum per 500ml of liquid and then blend the mixture.
  • I add essential oils to make it smell nice.

In place of dishwashing liquid or tablets

  • Pop about five soap berries in a tea strainer or in the cutlery basket of your dishwasher and run it as usual with no dishwashing liquid or tables.
  • Add white vinegar to the rinse aid section if things are a bit streaky.

As an all-purpose cleaning spray

  • Pour the master liquid into a spray bottle and add a few drops of your favourite essential oil to clean bench tops, showers, stainless steel and sinks.

 

How to use soapberries or soapnuts

Where to buy soapberries or soapnuts

I buy mine online through Flora and Fauna (they call them soap nuts) but there are a few online retailers who sell them.

I guarantee you’ll love them. Seriously, I am obsessed!

I keep mine a recycled glass jar. Here’s how I take the labels off quickly and easily!

how to use soapberries or soapnuts in place of laundry detergenthow to use soapberries or soapnuts in place of laundry detergenthow to use soapberries or soapnuts in place of laundry detergent

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