Make Natural Low-Cost Multipurpose Cleaner with Soap Nuts
What are Soap Nuts?
Soap nuts are not nuts, but the dried shells of the Sapindus tree's fruit. These shells contain Saponin, a natural substance that acts as a cleaning agent. When the shells absorb water, Saponin is released, creating a gentle yet effective soapy effect. Soap nuts are an eco-friendly cleaning choice, they are biodegradable and safe for the plants and animals.
Ingredients and Materials Needed
- About 10 dried soap nuts.
- A large pot for boiling.
- Water (around 1 liters) for boiling.
- A strainer.
- A large bowl or container.
- A glass jar with lid for storage or spray bottle.
- You can also add your favorite essential oil for a pleasant scent and extra cleansing power. Personally, I like to use Rosemary and Mint leaves. Plus, this mixture can double as a shampoo, and Rosemary works wonders for your hair!
Ensure that all materials are clean before starting the process. By the way, make sure you pick high-quality soap nuts to get the most out of this natural cleaner.
1. Preparing the Soap Nut Solution
Begin by placing the 10 dried soap nuts inside a large bowl or container. Fill it with sufficient water, ensuring all the soap nuts are completely submerged. Leave them to soak overnight, or for up to 48 hours if you prefer. The soap nuts should become soft enough to squeeze easily. This soaking process helps to soften the soap nuts and allows the Saponin to be released more efficiently in the next step.
2. Boiling the Soap Nuts
Next, transfer the soaked soap nuts from the bowl to the large pot and pour in the 1 liters of water. Bring this mixture to a boil, then toss in the Rosemary and Mint leaves then reduce the heat and let it simmer for about 30 minutes. The water should turn a rich amber color, indicating that the saponins are being released.
3. Utilizing the Soaking Water
The water in which the soap nuts were soaked is also full of valuable saponins. Don't discard it! Instead, pour it into a separate jar or bottle for storage. This can be used for washing dishes, clothing, or as an all-natural hand soap. Remember to label the jar or bottle appropriately so you can easily distinguish it from the soap nut boil.
4. Cooling and Extracting the Solution
After simmering, remove the pot from heat and let the solution cool down at room temperature. Just squeeze the mixture with your hand to extract the Saponins and the essence of the Rosemary and Mint leaves. Keep going until the soap nuts look deflated, which means the Saponin has been fully extracted. Carefully strain the liquid into your glass jar, ensuring all the soap nuts and leaves are removed.
If you're going to use essential oils, now's the time to add a few drops to the strained solution. This concentrated solution is an extremely effective, natural multipurpose cleaner that is ready for use.
5. Second Extraction
Don't discard the soap nuts and leaves just yet! A second extraction can be performed to extract any remaining Saponin. Add more water and give the mixture a good squeeze, then strain the liquid into a separate jar or bottle. This second extraction solution is less concentrated than the first, but it's still a useful, natural cleaner for lighter cleaning tasks. Remember to label the jar or bottle appropriately to distinguish it from the first extraction solution.
6. Storing and Using the Cleaner
Pour the final product into a spray bottle for regular cleaning tasks. Any excess can be kept in a glass jar with lid and keep it in a cool, dark place.
Given that soap nuts are a natural fruit, it's best to produce this cleaner in small quantities to ensure its freshness. The soap nut liquid typically lasts for about one to two weeks. If you wish to store it for an extended period, you may consider refrigerating it.
Using Soap Nuts Liquid for Your All-Natural Products
The soap nuts solution is a lifesaver for those who love their all-natural items. If you own products like a silk pineapple fiber shawl, batik pillow cover, vetiver root placemats, or a cotton bag, this solution can be the perfect gentle cleaner.
Below are the steps to clean these items effectively:
- Silk Pineapple Fiber Shawl: Pour a small amount of soap nuts solution into cool water. Soak the shawl for a few minutes, gently agitating it in the water. Rinse with cool water and lay it flat to dry to maintain its shape. Wash with water occasionally to preserve the quality of the pineapple fiber. For the rest, you can just give it a dry clean.
- Batik Pillow Cover: Apply the soap nuts solution directly on the dirty spots and give them a gentle rub. Let it soak for a few minutes, rinse it off with cool water, and let it air dry. Avoid drying it in direct sunlight!
- Vetiver Root Placemats: Spray the soap nuts solution on the placemat and wipe it with a damp cloth. Let it air dry.
- Cotton Bag: Soak the bag in a mixture of cool water and soap nuts solution. Rinse with cool water and hang it to dry.
It is better to keep these all-natural products safe from the harsh effects of chemical cleaners. By using this eco-friendly cleaner helps your all-natural products last longer, retain their earthy fragrance, prevent damage, and keep their colors vibrant, ensuring that they stay as beautiful as the day you first got them.
Additional uses include laundry detergent or even a liquid soap and shampoo for personal hygiene!
This awesome all-purpose cleaner, uses soap nuts to tackle dirt effortlessly while being kind to the Earth. Eco-Friendly Cleaning is more than an action, it's a statement, one that says, "I choose sustainability". When you make your own Soap Nuts Cleaner, you're not only being eco-conscious, but also embracing natural materials and creating a home that's free of toxic substances.
So, give this recipe a go, and for true eco-warriors, check out our fabulous range of fashion and home and living products made from natural materials from plants that perfectly complement your newfound, greener way of life.
Our recommendation for all-natural products!
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