Soapberries: A Multi-Purpose Cleaner

After the last post about 3-ingredient laundry detergent, I was worried I had jumped straight into soapberries without a proper introduction. To be honest, I had only found out about them in the last year, and have only just started testing them out for various applications

So wait. First thing’s first. You mean there’s a “berry” that lathers up like real soap? AND cleans… stuff? I couldn’t believe it. But it’s true. They’re called soapberries, or soap nuts, and they’re extremely versatile. But let’s be clear, they’re not edible. Don’t even try it.

What are soapberries?

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Soapberries are part of the lychee family, and grow in warm climates like India and South East Asia. They contain saponin, which is a compound that when wet, lathers up like soap. Just like lye and other detergent or soap ingredients, soapberries are absolutely not safe to ingest.

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Soap berries make great alternatives for liquid laundry detergent, dishwashing soap, dishwasher liquid, shampoo, and body soap. Yep, you can use soap berries in place of all of these normal cleaning products. You can even use them in high efficiency (HE) washing machines.

Some tips on how to use soap berries:

Body Soap, Hand Soap, Shampoo:

Soap berries in their natural, dry form will make a sudsy, lathery soap when rubbed between your hands under hot water. This is a simple and effective body soap, hand soap, or shampoo. Think of how easy these would be to carry when traveling or camping!

Instructions: Lather up a berry between your hands in hot water:

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Lather individual soapberries under hot water like a bar of soap

Uses as a regular hand washing soap, body wash, or shampoo. You can jazz it up with some essential oils of your choosing, or infuse with fragrant herbs or citrus peels. Mixed with vinegar, these berries make an effective all-purpose cleaner.

But for a versatile multi-purpose solution, make some Soap Berry Tea.

Soap Berry Tea Uses:

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This solution, called soapberry tea, is a multi-purpose cleaner that can be used as a laundry detergent, spray surface cleaner, a floor cleaning solution, dog shampoo, hair shampoo, carpet cleaner, fabric cleaner, and even dishwasher soap.

For full recipe and instructions, visit:

Soap Berry Tea Recipe

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Soapberries and laundry detergent, made from soapberry tea
Sources:

https://www.greenlivingaustralia.com.au/soap-cosmetic-making/soapnuts/about-soapnuts/soapnut-recipes-uses/
Image Credit:

The gif posted above is not mine. Please e-mail me for image credit mmmacleo@ucsc.edu

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