What are Soapnuts?
Soapnuts, also known as soapberries, Reetha, soap nut shells, etc are dried fruit berries from the Sapindus tree. The shells contain saponin which is a natural cleaning agent and produces a soaping or foaming effect. They have been used for centuries by people in India, China and other parts of the world.
Soapnuts are a 100% safe, organic, natural and sustainable alternative to harmful detergents that are available in the market. They are known to be antimicrobial. They are hypoallergenic and will not harm our skin or surfaces. They may also soften your fabrics naturally. In Ayurveda, Soapnuts are known for their astringent properties and are used for medicinal properties.
There are many ways of making your own liquid soapnut, but this is a recipe of how we make our own :
1. Here we are have soaked 6 soapnuts overnight in 500ml of water :
2. The next morning, we deseed them and compost the seeds. This is what the seed looks like :
3. After deseeding, we squish as much of the pulp of the berries (it may take upto 5mins). This is when you notice that it starts to foam.
4. Once we remove all the pulp from the berries by hand, we put it in sieve and make sure to squish as much of it out. You may get a lot of soap out of these little berries!
5. Strain all the liquid in a vessel making sure there are no bits and pieces of the berries left inside.
6. Boil the liquid for about 30 minutes or until the water is in half.
7. Once it is cooled, it is ready to use! Transfer it in a bottle/container of your choice. You can store it in your fridge for upto a week.
8. Make sure to label the bottle/container!
9. For hand washing of clothes, we recommend you use one small cap of liquid soap in quarter bucket of cold water and wash your clothes using this.
Alternatively, you can put 5-6 soapnuts in a cotton pouch and put it in the washing machine along with your clothes. It can be used for upto 6-7 loads, depending on how heavy your load is.
* We are still experimenting on how to add essential oils without staining the fabrics. If you have any suggestions, please let us know :)