Last three weeks we have been posting articles on toxic chemicals in common household cleaning products (you can check them here, here and here). This made us search for various options to replace the dangerous products with green and safe recipes. Baking soda, vinegar and salt are among favourites in DIY cleaning, but we want to draw your attention to soapnuts – absolutely natural, hypoallergenic and easy to use.

What are Soapnuts

Soapnuts are actually berries, growing on bushes and small trees from genius Sapindus. Native people in Asia and some parts of North America have used these small fruits for cleaning as well as for remedy for many diseases for thousands of years. Soapnus can be ordered from many organic online shops. There are many different ways of using this wonderful plant for cleaning, personal hygiene, in beauty recipes etc. Here are our suggestions:

Household Soapnuts Recipes

Soapnut General Purpose Cleaning Liquid


  • 10-15 soapnuts shells
  • 6 cups of tap water
  • A clean pot

Check the instructions in this video:

This liquid can be used as all-purpose cleaner or as a basic ingredient for other home cleaning products, and instead of some commercial products for personal hygiene like shampoo, body and hand wash. Soapnut liquid is perfect for people allergic to common cosmetic and cleaning products, small children and babies, pets, asthma sufferers etc.

NB! Soapnut liquid is natural cleaner and eventually it will go bad. To preserve it longer you can add ½ teaspoon citric acid diluted in a few drops of warm water.

Liquid Laundry Detergent


  • 1/3 cup of the basic soapnut liquid
  • 3-4 drops of essential oil (optional)

Mix the basic soapunut liquid with the essential oil and use as ordinary laundry liquid detergent. The main purpose of essential oil is to give your laundry nice aroma, since soapnuts have really light smell. But if you make a research you can also find that different essential oils have different properties – lavender, orange or clove will keep moths away from seasonal clothes. Tea tree and eucalyptus oil has antibacterial properties.

Laundry Powder Detergent for Heavily Stained Clothes


  • 4-5 soapnut shells
  • 3-4 tbs borax
  • 4-6 drops of essential oil (optional)

Grind the soapnuts in food processor or spice grinder. Mix with borax and essential oil and use as ordinary laundry detergent.

All-purpose Cleaner

  • ½ cup basic soapnut liquid
  • 1 cup tap water
  • 2 tbs white distilled vinegar
  • 4-6 drops tea tree oil

Mix all the ingredients well and pour into spray bottle. Tea tree oil has strong antibacterial properties, making the solution perfect for cleaning kitchen countertops, bathroom tiles, sink etc. Vinegar is excellent preservative so the all-purpose cleaner will be good longer than the basic liquid.

Window and Glass Cleaner


  • 1 cup distilled water
  • 1 tbs soapnut liquid
  • 2 tbs white distilled vinegar
  • 2 tbs denatured alcohol
  • 2 drops of lemon oil (optional)

Put all the ingredients in a clean spray bottle and shake well. Works great on toothpaste splatters on bathroom mirror.

Soapnut Hand Wash


  • ½ cup liquid castile soap
  • ½ cup basic soapnut liquid
  • 2 drops lavender or tea tree oil

Put all the ingredients in a pump bottle and shake well. If you don’t have liquid castile soap you can melt some over bain-marie. This liquid is gentler than ordinary hand soap and it won’t dry your skin.

Bathroom and Kitchen Cleaner


  • 4 tbs baking soda
  • 4 tbs borax
  • ½ cup soapnut liquid
  • 6-8 drops of tea tree or eucalyptus oil

Mix everything in a small bowl. The result will be thick paste, suitable for countertops, tiles, sink, bath tub and toilet bowl. If you want to whiten the bathroom sink and tiles you can add 2-3 tbs freshly squeezed lemon juice to the paste. Eucalyptus and tea tree oil have strong anti-bacterial properties so your bathroom and kitchen will be clean and disinfected.

Powerful Dishwasher Detergent


  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 1 cup borax
  • 4 tbs ground soapnuts
  • 4 tbs grated castile soap

Use food processor to grind soapnuts and castile soap. Add all ingredients in a clean jar and mix well. Use 1/3 of the mixture per load in your dishwasher.

Do you have your own soapnuts recipe? Share it with us on our Google + page. 🙂 Alternatively, you can always check out our professional home cleaning services in London.