If you’ve browsed our Wear & Repeat range of sustainable laundry products, you’ve likely come across some products called “soapberries” and wondered, “What the heck are they?”. Well, soapberries are a natural cleaning solution and, being 100% waste free, they are one of the best eco friendly cleaning products Australia has on offer. They are a trusted household cleaning solution and yes, they are perfect for everyone, even people with sensitive skin and allergies as well as babies and children. So, let’s find out a little more about these powerful eco laundry helpers!
What exactly are organic soapberries?
Soapberries, sometimes called soapnuts, are not actually nuts at all! They are fruits from the Sapindus Mukorossi tree, a species found all over the world, but are most prevalent throughout the Himalayas. They come in a variety of different forms with names that vary from the Florida Soapberry to the Wingleaf Soapberry and many more besides.
That Red House Soapberries are ethically sourced from Nepal, high up in the Himalayas, and are the only ones in the world that are 100% certified organic by USDA. The best part is that the harvesting of That Red House Soapberries helps boost the economy within Himalayan communities. The growers and harvesters are well looked after, set their own wages and are provided a clean and comfortable workplace run entirely on solar energy. On top of that, a portion of That Red House sales are donated to Open Heart International, an Aussie charity that provides healthcare to women in Nepal.
How do soapberries work and what are they used for?
The secret is in the shell! The shells of these fruits are collected from the soapberry tree, dried and packaged to sell as natural laundry products. Soapberry shells contain extremely high levels of saponin which is, essentially, nature’s soap. The saponin mixes with water, lathers up nicely and works to remove dirt and leave fabrics clean, soft and fresh after each and every wash.
They’re great for pairing with an essential oil based Laundry Tonic to provide a fresh, clean linen-like scent to your washing, or simply use them by themselves for a completely fragrance free wash experience.
Aside from being a super helpful eco laundry product, soapberries can actually be used as shampoo, hand wash, body wash or even household cleaner. They lather up well when scrubbed with water and their natural cleaning properties get to work. I’d honestly say they provide a better clean than many mainstream cleaning products.
Are soapberries effective cleaners and what are their benefits?
Yes! Soapberries are super effective cleaners, and they have a whole range of benefits including:
- Chemical free
- Grey water and septic safe
- Fully compostable
- Antibacterial and anti-fungal
- Natural and sustainable
- Easy to use
These benefits all add up to create one of the best eco laundry products you can bring into your home and introduce to your laundry routine. Because of their hypoallergenic properties, soapberries are perfect for people with sensitive skin or for cleaning clothes and fabrics that are used for babies.
They are naturally able to combat the bacteria and fungus that grows on dirty clothes and bedsheets and they have natural softening properties, so you don’t need to add any other products to your wash! You can get rid of those nasty, mainstream, chemical-filled detergents that you’re used to and make the switch to a natural, eco detergent that’s good for your family and the earth.
Plus, they’re easy to take anywhere with you due to their compact size and the fact that they’re a solid product. There’s no need to worry about liquid spilling in your luggage. So, if you’re a lover of camping or travel, these little berries are the perfect companions for you.
On top of the benefits inside the berry itself, soapberries are actually a much cheaper sustainable laundry detergent than classic store-bought products. A 1kg pack of That Red House Soapberries (available via our online store) contains enough of these natural cleaning berries to last you 365+ washes – that’s more than a whole years’ worth of laundry loads! And how much does it cost? Less than 12c a wash! How amazing is that? It’s definitely worth investing in a pack of these handy little cleaners.
How do you use soapberries for laundry?
It’s simple! You just pop around 5 whole soapberry shells in the small cotton bag provided, then add it to your front loader or top loader wash cycle with your clothes or linens. Remove the bag after use and pop it aside because you can reuse the same shells for another 3-4 loads.
It’s best to use warmer water for dirtier loads – kids soccer gear or gym clothes, for instance – because the soapberry saponins are released more effectively in hot water. If you don’t want to change the settings on your wash though, you can just soak the bag of soapberries in hot water for a few minutes before adding to the washing machine. Either way works!
Once the shells look like they’re thin, brittle and falling apart, you can easily add them to compost or bury them in the garden and they will break down as nature intended without damaging the environment.
Where can you buy soapberries?
At Wear & Repeat we only stock the soapberries from That Red House as they are the highest quality available and will be sure to make your laundry lifestyle much easier, safer and better for the environment and your family.
We would love for you to try out these naturally soapy little babies so please feel free to head over to the Wear & Repeat online store and check out the three convenient pack sizes we offer:
1kg Soapberries (365+ washloads)
500g Soapberries (180+ washloads)
250g Soapberries (90+ washloads)
Until next time, keep yourself safe and well and make good choices for your home!
Read about Wardrobe Spring Cleaning Tips for 2020.