We’re not going into details about soap nuts. Let us just tell you they are actually berries, native in Asian regions, which produce natural soap called saponin. They are extremely gentle to skin and naturally anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-microbial.
We’ve had some soap nuts laying around (we seem not to get into the right washing rhythm with raw ones) and decided to try the following recipes:
All-purpose Cleaner with Soap Nuts
16 soap nuts
480 ml water
10 drops of essential oil, optional
Combine soap nuts and water in a medium pot. Bring to a gentle boil. Reduce heat, cover and allow to simmer for 30 min. Remove lid and continue to simmer for 30 minutes.
Allow liquid to cool, then strain and add optional essential oils for scent. Transfer liquid to a air tight container. Compost or discard used soap nuts.
* For larger batches always keep the nut:water ratio at 8:1 for maximum effectiveness.
Your new concentrated cleaner can last up to a week at room temperature (good for small quantities!) and a few months when refrigerated. A great way to store a larger batch is to freeze your cleaner. You can use ice cube trays and use a cube or two for your next cleaning project!
Instructions for use
You can use your soap nut cleaner for just about anything – laundry, dishes, toilet, floors, stove, sink, glass, bathroom, personal care and even fruits and vegetables. You can dilute it with water or use in concentrated form – try it out yourself!
Just in case, here are some examples:
Concentrate is great for any temperature of wash cycle. Use 2-3 tbsp for large loads of laundry, or add 2-3 frozen cubes of concentrated cleaner directly in with the clothes.
Use about 1 tbsp per sink of dishes or drop in one frozen cube of the cleaner.
Add one frozen cube or 1 tbsp of liquid to your bucket.