How to use Soap Berries
As a family we are dedicated to reducing our toxin load in every way possible. This means we eat food without nasty, added chemicals such as water soluble fertilisers, herbicides such as Round Up, pesticides and more. Coming from my horticulture back ground, and completing Agriculture chemical courses, I know a fair bit about pesticides used on vegetables.
A common one you will find at every garden centre or Bunnings is Malathion. Malathion kills insects by preventing their nervous system from working properly. When healthy nerves send signals to each other, a special chemical messenger travels from one nerve to another to continue the message. The nerve signal stops when an enzyme is released into the space between the nerves. Malathion binds to the enzyme and prevents the nerve signal from stopping. This causes the nerves to signal each other without stopping. The constant nerve signals make it so the insects can’t move or breathe normally and they die.
People who were exposed to enough malathion to become sick felt nauseated or vomited, had muscle tremors, cramps, weakness, shortness of breath, a slowed heart rate, headache, abdominal pain and diarrhea.
This is just one of many agriculture chemicals that is used regularly. As a mum I don’t want to expose my family to toxic chemicals, no matter how tiny the quantity, on a regular basis. This is why we use either Certified Biodynamic (who use no agriculture toxic chemicals or water soluble fertilisers) or Certified Organic (who do use Certified Organic nature based chemicals).
But I am here to tell you that it’s not only what you eat that matters it is also what you use in your house. Cleaning products often are full of toxins and you use them every day.
This is where Soap Berries come in. These very versalie little fuits are amazing!
What are soap nuts?
This Himalayan fruit from the Sapindus Mukorossi tree is filled with saponin, which is a natural detergent and foaming substance that lifts grease, dirt, and grime from clothing.
There are so many uses for Soap Berries. Of course you can use them for washing your clothes. Simply put 5 whole berries into the small cloth bag provided and throw it in your washing machine. It’s best to up the temperature you wash your clothes at as they work better at a higher temperature.
Creating a Soap Berry master stock is a simple way to use Soap Berries. You can use the master stock in the laundry as a liquid detergent, hand wash, shampoo, body wash, spray and wipe, dishwashing liquid and more!
How to make a Soap Berry Master Stock
1.25lt – Water
5-6 – Whole Soap Berries (or broken shells to equal whole berries)
Simply add ingredients into a saucepan and simmer for 15 minutes. This releases the saponins. Allow to cool.
Once cooled strain your master stock into a bowl with a muslin cloth. Squeese the soft soap berries to make sure all the saponins make it into the mater stock. Store in a glass bottle (clearly labeled!) in the fridge.
You can use the left over soap berries to wash your dishes a few times. Just secure the muslin cloth with an elastic band, add to the sink and soak in hot water before adding dishes to wash.