Using Greener Living Soap Berries As a Natural Laundry Detergent.
Place 4 to 6 berries in the small muslin bag, tie it closed, and throw it into the drum of your washing machine along with your dirty laundry. Use warm or hot water for the best result. Cold water washes work best with soap berries laundry liquid. You can reuse the berries for 4 to 6 loads of laundry. The soap berries will be gray and dull when they need to be composted for your garden and replaced with new ones. Alternatively, you can use 1/3 cup of your own brewed liquid detergent per load of laundry (soap berries recipes further down on this page) .
Soap berries are perfect for HE and front load washers as they do not create many suds! Just remember to put the cloth bag in the drum of the machine. The liquid can go in the detergent drawer.
To Make Soap Berries Laundry Liquid:
What you need:
- 12 -15 whole berries or pieces that are equivalent
- 8 cups (2 quarts) water
- 1 Tbsp salt (to preserve liquid)
- 1/4 cup Borax or washing soda (optional)
- 10-12 drops of an essential oil of your choice (optional)
In a large pot, add the soap berries and the water. Over medium high heat, let it boil for 30 minutes. When it has cooled a bit, add the salt and Borax or washing soda if using. Stir to dissolve. When it has cooled, add the essential oils. Store in a recycled laundry detergent bottle or glass mason jar. Shake before use. Use 1/2 cup liquid per regular size load of laundry.
To Make Liquid Concentrate:
The concentrate is used for all other soap berries recipes except for laundry.
What You Need:
- 12 – 15 whole berries
- 4 cups (1 quart) water
- 1 tsp salt
In a medium pot, add the soap berries and the water. Over medium high heat, let it boil for 30 minutes. When it has cooled a bit, add the salt and stir to dissolve. Use in the cleaning recipes described below.
Add the soap berries concentrate to an 8oz (250ml) spray bottle. Add in 30-50 drops of any of the following essential oils: citronella, eucalyptus, cedar, peppermint, clove, tea tree or rosemary.
Spray it onto your hands and then rub onto bare arms, legs or face.
Liquid Hand Soap
For this soap berries recipe, fill a foaming pump bottle one third full with the soap berries concentrate and fill the rest with water. Add 2 or 3 drops of your favorite essential oil (peppermint is our favourite!) and use to wash your hands. You can add a teaspoon glycerin to help it foam better.
Mix equal parts baking soda and soap berries concentrate to create a paste, and use this as shampoo. A drop of tea tree oil will help to clean your hair and make it less hospitable for lice! Rinse your hair and then spray with diluted apple cider vinegar for conditioner.
Hand Washing Silks and Delicates
Add 1 or 2 teaspoons of soap liquid laundry liquid to warm water. Gently wash your delicate clothes, lingerie or undergarments. Rinse with warm water and hang or lay flat to dry.
All Purpose Cleaner
To a spray bottle, add a 1:1 ration of soap berries concentrate and water. Add 2-3 drops lemon or orange essential oil, and then use to clean the bathroom, kitchen, floors etc.
Steam Cleaning Spot Treatment
Add 3Tbsp. of concentrate to one gallon (4 liters) hot water and use in a portable steam cleaner. Great for getting out urine smells and stains.
Window and Glass Cleaner
In a spray bottle, add 1Tbsp vinegar, 1Tbsp soap berries liquid, one drop of lemon essential oil and fill with water. Spray and wipe windows or mirrors clean. Polish with a dry cloth or newspaper.
In the Dishwasher
Fill the soap dispenser with 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon Borax and 1 teaspoon citric acid, and one drop of lemon or orange essential oil. Fill with soap berries concentrate. On the top shelf, add a small dish of vinegar to help get rid of cloudiness. Your dishes will come out sparkling clean without the use of chemicals!
Around the House
Soak your jewelry in the liquid for a few minutes. Use an old soft toothbrush to gently remove debris. Rinse with clean water and polish with a dry cloth.
For Your Pets
Add the soap berries concentrate to a spray bottle or foaming pump bottle to wash your pet’s fur. It will leave the fur soft and manageable. Adding citronella and/or eucalyptus essential oil, and then spraying directly on the fur will also help to repel mosquitoes.
Plant Wash and Pest Deterrent
To a spray bottle, add 1Tbsp. soap berries liquid, 1Tbsp. Neem oil (optional) and fill with water. Shake well, and spray on household and garden plant leaves to repel pests.
These soap berries recipes are only the beginning. Use the basic knowledge in this article and your own creativity to discover many more uses.