The fun begins even while you are making your soapnut liquid. With your soapnut liquid you can clean so many things. Warning – cleaning and washing up may become spontaneous, joyful and even therapeutic.

Equipment for Making Soapnut Liquid

  • About 1/3 to 1/2 a packet of soapnuts. It will seem like a huge sacrifice, but it gives me enough washing up and cleaning liquid for a month or so. There will still be plenty in the packet for clothes washing! You can buy more organic soapnuts here!
  • 2L water. Don’t over fill the saucepan otherwise the foam will boil over.
  • A medium saucepan
  • A dinner sized plate for drying the soggy soapnuts
  • Some jars or bottles
  • A strainer or funnel

Make Soapnut Liquid

strain the soapnuts

Strain the soapnuts, so that you can dry and reuse the soapnuts for further brews.

1.    Place your soapnuts in the saucepan with the water.
2.    Bring to a gentle simmer and simmer for 10 minutes.
3.    Strain the amber soapnut liquid in your jars.
4.    Dry your soggy soapnuts on a dinner plate.
5.    Reuse the dried soapnuts to make further brews.

I live in a hard water area and I can make 3 brews of strong soapnut liquid and one noticeably weaker decoction. If you have softened water you will obtain a far better performance than me!

Some people prefer to make one brew straight after another, but do bear in mind that home made soapnut liquid does have a shelf life. It keeps well on a cold slab in my kitchen for 1-2 weeks with out any preservative or refrigeration.
Some people soak the soapnuts overnight for a very slow extraction of soapy liquid, but eventually heat will be required to extract all of the soap present.

You can keep extra bottles in the fridge, or add a few drops of grapefruit seed extract to act as a preservative.

FAQs on Soapnut Liquid

Can you do anything to alter the smell of the soapnut liquid?

Soapnuts have a unique ‘sweet and sour’ smell. You could try adding lemon or orange rinds to the saucepan, rosemary sprigs or other aromatic garden herbs, a few cloves, a cinnamon stick…let me know where your aromatic adventures take you!

How do I know if my soapnuts are still producing soap?

If when you squeeze a soggy soapnut which has been used several times and bubbles still come, it has more life in it. Eventually you will need to bid farewell to your soapnuts as you tip them in the compost bin or the cooked ‘food’ recycling bin.

More ideas on how to use soapnuts.