Simple and Natural Cleaning ~ Soap Berries

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

And they can also be ground into a powder and used as an abrasive cleanser, like Ajax.  The instructions for that are at as well.

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.

Please note: As an affiliate of NaturOli, At Home With KARE will receive a percentage of each purchase made through our links. Thanks for your support!

5 thoughts on “Simple and Natural Cleaning ~ Soap Berries

  1. Emily says:

    Karilee, I have been using soap nuts for some time now and have found them to be the best natural laundry detergent out there (believe me I have tried many since I launder cloth diapers). I was getting Maggie’s brand, but this next time ordering I planned to try the NaturOli brand through Amazon. I sure would like to purchase through you instead however, I cannot find the same quantity through your link. The largest I can find is the 4lb. bag. I was going to purchase the 5lb “pieces” bag. Which happened to be the same price as the 4lb bag guessing because of them being pieces instead of the whole berry. Do you know if this is possible through their official site?

    BTW We are also planning to purchase seeds to begin our own trees. I am not sure how long until they fruit though…so until then I still will be purchasing them.

    • KARE says:

      Hi Emily and anyone else who would like larger orders,

      I spoke to Naturoli and they are willing to send larger orders at discounted prices. =) They are so wonderful to work with!

      If you are interested, send me a message through the “Reach Out” tab above and let me know how many pounds you would like to order and I will set it up for you.

      Naturoli will ship to you, and you will pay me through paypal.



  2. KARE says:

    Hi Emily, That’s a great question! I will ask them and get back to you. I’m sure we can work something out. =) I should have an answer by tomorrow as they are very quick to respond.


  3. Emily says:

    I received my 5lbs. of soap nuts today…that was so easy and speedy! Thanks Karilee!!! I did not expect them to come along with more wash bags, another plus.
    In the past we have used them for laundering and the liquid for household cleaning. Until I get to soap making (after the baby is born) we are going to try them out for bathing and shampoo too.
    Thanks again!

    • KARE says:

      I have really appreciated working with Naturoli. They are very prompt and very fair in their pricing. They have excellent quality products and their customer service is really wonderful!

      I’m curious to hear how the soap berries work for bathing and shampoo. Let us all know, ok?

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