I was so excited to recently begin using a natural, simple and inexpensive multi-purpose cleaning solution this year. I have actually known about this for a while, but never ventured out to purchase any until December 2009.
So, what is it?
Soap berries. These are the most fantastic little things. They actually grow on trees and they can be used in so many different ways! And they are completely natural and safe for you and your home! You can read several related articles about what soap berries are and their uses at the KARE Store in the blog archive.
1. Laundry Soap: I use them to do our laundry for only 12¢ per load. The liquid version works well also. (I have heard they do an amazing job on dirty diapers!)
2. They can be used in the Dishwasher (1/8 cup of the liquid cleaner and rinse with vinegar)
3. They can be used as an All-Purpose Cleaner using the liquid version and adding tea tree or lemon essential oil. You can also add 1 Tablespoon of lemon juice for more grease cutting effectiveness
4. Cleaning Glass and Mirrors by adding 1 T vinegar to the liquid solution
5. They are said to work very well For Steam Cleaning Carpets: removing odors, urine stains and more. Read about it at Naturoli.
You can make your own liquid detergent from Soap Berries you purchase, or you can buy the already made Liquid Extreme 18X version . It will cost more, but they have extended the shelf life so you don’t have to refrigerate or freeze it and it will save you the time of making it. You will be able to use a lot less as well because it is a concentrated liquid.
Here are instructions for making the Liquid yourself:
1. Place 12 to 15 soap berries (about 1.5 ounces) in about 6 cups of water. (For best results, bring to a boil and simmer for approximately an hour.) You will know that you have fully extracted from the soap nuts when they turn very light tan or gray and are mushy.
2. Allow to cool and strain.
3. Store the soap nuts liquid in an airtight glass jar. As with other botanicals, the infused soap nut solution is best stored in a cool place away from direct sunlight.
This 100% pure soap nut solution has absolutely no preservative of any kind; hence it has a limited shelf life of several days. It should be refrigerated to extend its shelf life. (or some people freeze it in ice cube trays and then store it in the freezer) This is typical of virtually all water-based botanical solutions. Simply don’t make more than you’ll use in a few days
All in all, these little soap berries, or soap nuts as they are sometimes called, are a wonderful natural alternative to the chemicals, bleaches and detergents out there, and they will save you a considerable amount of money!
For the best offers on soap berries, visit NaturOli.