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That Red House Soapberry Recipes

Soapberries are amazing and versatile little things! Below we have included several recipes to help put your soapberries to good use around the home, and get maximum benefit for you and your family.

Laundry use
Soapberries are most commonly used as laundry detergent, and the process could not be easier!

  • Simply add the equivalent of 5 whole shells to the small wash bag provided, and throw in the wash!
  • Handy hint - The saponins are released from the berries more effectively in hot water. For a faster release, use a warm wash setting, or soak your small bag of soapberries in hot water for 5 minutes, before throwing them in the washing machine to do their job!

Soapberry Liquid
Soapberry liquid provides the base for all the recipes on this page. 

  • Add approx 10 whole shells (or equivalent) per litre of water and boil for 15-20 minutes.
  • Use the back of a large spoon to gently press the soft berries to squeeze out extra saponins. Be sure not to break them...
  • Strain the cooled liquid through a cloth (the small cotton bag provided is perfect, or an old sock/stocking is fine too) so the sediment does not clog up your spray bottle.
  • To extend the life of your liquid in all its different applications, we recommend adding citric acid to the hot liquid after boiling and straining the soapberries. Add 1 tsp citric acid per 500ml liquid and stir until dissolved. Because the soapberries are a natural product, the liquid will need to be preserved, or it will spoil over time. Citric acid is a natural preservative which is edible and available at all supermarkets in the baking section. We recommend making enough to liquid to last you no more than 4 weeks. But hey... making all of your own organic cleaning products once a month is dead easy, and better for you and the environment. Just think of all the chemicals you will be eliminating from your life! Brilliant!
  • (Hint: storing your Soapberry liquid in the fridge will significantly increase its lifespan!)

  

kitchen/bathroom/household cleaner
Soapberries are naturally anti-bacterial and anti fungal, so are perfect for treating mould in bathroom areas, and for general cleaning around the kitchen and home.

  • Make sure the liquid is strained of sediment, and add to a spray bottle.
  • Add your choice of essential oil to the liquid to give a fresh smell and boost the anti-bacterial properties of the cleaner. We recommend eucalyptus oil or tea tree oil. Both are readily available in supermarkets.

Soapberry shampoo
Soapberries are perfect for babies, and those with sensitive skin or allergies. This shampoo is gentle and extremely effective!

  • After straining your boiled liquid, add guar gum to thicken. 
  • Add 1-2 tsp of guar gum per 500ml. The viscosity of the liquid is a personal choice, so experiment with what works best. (personally, we add 2 tsp per 500ml to reach a viscosity similar to that of conventional shampoo)
  • If you have a hand-held blender, mix the guar gum through the liquid to remove all the lumps and incorporate properly. 
  • Lavender and tea tree oil make a great fresh smelling scent, and work well for dandruff and oily scalps. Add your desired amount to the thickened mixture.
  • If you do not have guar gum, you can use cornflour or agar agar. Both are available from health food stores.
  • The mixture will be frothy and full of tiny bubbles to begin with, but when left to stand, the bubbles will disappear.
  • Be sure not to get the mixture in eyes when using.

  

Soapberry shaving cream & moisturising baby wash
Soapberry shaving cream is fresh and moisturising, and can also be used as a moisture rich wash for babies.

  • Use your thickened soapberry liquid, and drizzle olive oil (or any other safe moisturising oil) into it.  1 tbs of oil per 100ml of the thickened shampoo liquid.
  • Add drops of essential oil prior to blending. Lavender oil is perfect for moisturising baby wash. Tea tree is good for shaving cream as it is soothing and antibacterial.
  • Using a blender to mix the oil and liquid together to form an emulsified cream.
  • The cream will be soft and suitable for shaving, and will be a perfect moisturising baby wash for delicate newborn skin.

Soapberry Handwash
Create a handwash that kills harmful bacteria, and leaves your skin feeling soft and clean.

  • After straining your boiled liquid, add guar gum to thicken. 
  • Try 1-2 tsp of guar gum per 500ml. The viscosity of the liquid is a personal choice, so experiment with what works best.
  • If you have a hand-held blender, mix the guar gum through the liquid to remove all the lumps and incorporate properly. 
  • Add your choice of essential oils to the mix to leave your hands smelling fresh and clean. Peppermint oil is great! Or eucalyptus and tea tree oil are anti-bacterial and 'fresh' smelling.

Soapberry Pre-wash stain remover
Often stains need an extra bit of attention to remove. in fact, I use the pre wash stain remover on all of our stains. These stain remover recipes are perfect for taking care of the dirt and grime that is especially evident with young children's clothes! Soapberries are fantastic, but as with any other conventional detergent, stains need to be treated.

  • Soapberries will work as a pre-wash stain remover in two different forms depending on the type of stain:
  • 1 - use your liquid in the spray bottle, and spray directly onto the stains. Give them a rub, and throw them in the wash.
  • 2 - For more stubborn stains, use a thickened soapberry mixture with eucalyptus oil added. Apply directly to the stain and gently rub until stain is released from the fabric, then add to your wash as per usual.

Stainless steel & glass cleaner
Soapberries will give you the most amazing glass and stainless steel cleaner. I have personally struggled to find a cleaner that will leave my stainless steel appliances clean and shiny without streaks. I was amazed at the results!

  • Simply mix 2/3 soapberry liquid with 1/3 vinegar and a few drops of eucalyptus oil in a spray bottle.