Soapberries, they are such a mind blowing thing to us westerners. A berry that grows on a tree in Nepal (and other places) that produces it's own natural Saponin? Sounds crazy right. And here we have been trying to recreate it in all our chemical laden recipes when all along we could just be using soapberries. Us humans do some strange things don't we!
Over the coming week I am going to be sharing the recipes I use to make a few household cleaning products. I have been using these for a while now and are what our recent workshop attendees also made.
Here's the first recipe you need to make which will be the base you will use for all the recipes to follow
Soapberries Liquid Base
Approximately 15 Soapberries (If the shells are broken approximate is fine)
1.5 L of water (+500ml whilst cooking)
3 tsp Citric Acid
Add the soapberries to the 1.5L of water and boil for 20 minutes. Once the water starts boiling give the soap nuts a squeeze against the side of the saucepan with the back of a spoon ( do this a few times throughout the 20 minutes). Add 500ml of water to the pot and boil for a further 10 minutes. Remove from heat.
Strain the liquid through a sieve or nut milk bag. Stir through the citric acid and allow to cool. Discard the used soapberries ( just pop them in the garden to decompose)
Store your unused liquid in the fridge, I have found mine lasts around 6 weeks but as always go by smell, if it smells funky ditch it.
This recipe is the base for many other recipes which include shower/body wash, hand soap, shaving cream, spray and wipe or you can simply use the liquid as is as a laundry detergent (add whatever essential oils you like to this mixture). There are a lot of recipes out there to use soapberries so don’t be afraid to experiment.
Photo credit: That Redhouse Soapberries (these are the berries we stock).If you would like to purchase the soapberries click on the hyperlink above. We chose to stock the only certified organic Soapberries on the market (also the That Redhouse Soapberries have great ethics and take pride in the fact all their packaging and products are waste free, just the way we like it).