Soapnuts, also known as soap berries, are a natural washing alternative that can be reused many times – and then composted. They come from a berry around an inch in diameter that is split, separated into shells (which are what you use for washing) and then dried for several weeks. The shells are high in saponin, which removes dirt and oil from fabrics when mixed with water. They keep for a very long time in a container or jar – remember to tie them into an old sock, stocking or organza tied closed to wash with! They don’t leave any residue and can safely be used for children’s clothing, linen, nappies, pet bedding – they kill bacteria, microbes and dust mites and leave fabrics clean and smelling fresh. You can also make your own liquid concentrate to make cleaners, shampoo, hand soap and more!
Washing Machine
6-8 pieces soapnuts (3-4 whole soapnuts, split)
1 mini wash bag, organza bag, odd sock or stocking
1. Place soapnut shells into the wash bag. If using a sock/stocking, tie the end closed with a knot.
2. Place into the washing machine with your clothes.
3. Cycle machine like normal.
4. Remove bag of soapnut shells and dry.
5. Repeat x 4-6 times.
6. Compost shells once they are pale and squishy (or brittle when dry). 
Hot washes = release saponin quicker = stronger clean = replace soapnuts more often. 
Cold washes are fine too.
Hand washing: put into soak bucket, add water and clothes and soak as required.
Car Washing
6-8 pieces soapnuts (3-4 whole soapnuts, split)
Hot water
1. Put soapnuts into the bucket, half fill with hot water and wait 10 minutes.
2. Wash car.
3. Dry shells before storing.
Soapnut Concentrate
100g soapnuts 
3 litres water
1 teaspoon cornflour (optional) or glycerin
1 tablespoon boiling water (optional)
1. Combine soapnuts and water in a pan. 
2. Bring to a boil, simmer for 1 hour.
3. Strain to collect liquid (concentrate). Pour into foaming bottles.
4. Compost used shells.
5. Thicken concentrate (optional) by combining cornflour with the water, then stirring into the concentrate. Pour into pump bottles.
6. Use concentrate: 1-2tbsp = laundry liquid
Pet Shampoo
All-Purpose Cleaner
Carpet Cleaner
Pest Spray (add 1 drop tea tree oil)
Removing Rust
7. Storage: store concentrate in the laundry for up to 2 weeks, or refrigerate for up to 4 weeks. Or freeze.
8. Citric acid: 1 tsp citric acid + 2tbsp boiling water, dissolve, add into 4 cups concentrate for long storage.

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