Soapberries: Nature's wonder cleaner

Sapindus tree growing soapberry fruit

A brief introduction

Soapberries, or soapnuts as they may also be referred to, are nature’s cleaner. These little wonder fruits have been used by ancient cultures for generations to clean clothing and wash bodies.

Soapberries are the fruit grown by the Sapindus tree, of which there are many varieties found across Asia and North America. They are harvested by hand, their seeds removed and then left to dry. It is this dried outer shell that we use for cleaning.

The soapberries we commonly use here in Australia are most likely to come from India or the Himalayas. They are considered to be the soapiest of soapberries and come from the Sapindus Mukorossi tree. We are not permitted to grow the trees, therefore they must be imported.


How do they clean?

Soapberries will activate when agitated in water, releasing saponins. Saponins then go to work reducing the surface tension of water to release dirt and grime from fabrics and surfaces. 

They are naturally antibacterial, anti-fungal and hypoallergenic, so are perfect for delicate and sensitive skin of all ages.

Soapberries in cloth wash bag

Soapberries: Replacing laundry detergent

The simplest way to make the most of these natural cleaners is to add them to your laundry load.

  1. Place 5 soapberries in a small cloth bag. Close the bag tightly.
  2. Pop into the washing machine along with your clothes. Top and front loaders are both suitable.
  3. Reuse for 4-6 washes, until they have become crumbly.
  4. Throw them in your home compost!
Laundry Tonic from That Red House at Cow & Coconut

Choose your style of fragrance

Soapberries are fragrance free, and will leave clothing smelling fresh and clean on their own. 

However, if you are looking to add some fragrance try a Laundry Tonic. Scents of clean linen, citrus fresh, sweet orange or earth spice are available from That Red House.

Just place a few drops onto the cloth bag containing your soapberries and pop it into your washing load.

Making soapberry liquid

Making your own soapberry liquid is pretty simple and can be used as a base to create a variety of home cleaning products, keeping your whole home fresh naturally!

Meet: That Red House

That Red House soapberries, laundry cleaning and kitchen cleaning products

Since 2013, Australian company That Red House, has been sharing the wonder of soapberries! They now have a delightful range of eco-friendly cleaning products for the laundry and kitchen. 

Their organic soapberries are imported from the Himalayas, being sustainably sourced from local communities in Nepal. The income raised from the sale of the shells supports their way of living and promotes sustainable practices.

The majority of their products use Soapberries as the main ingredient, and are specifically designed for the job at hand.

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