SoapBerries: Natural Cleaning Products That Works

After your enthusiasm for the tips on naturally cleaning your bathroom with vinegar, baking soda and lemon I think you guys are gonna LOVE this post!  I’ll start with a confession.  I was super skeptical when I was asked to try soapberries.  Haven’t heard of them?  Neither had I.  But I’m so glad I know about them now.

What is a Soapberry?

Soapberries are actual berries that contain saponin, which is a natural surfactant, the active ingredient in soaps that separate the dirt, oils and such from your clothes.   Thanks to saponin, these natural little berries are capable of cleaning your dishes, your laundry, your windows and much more without a single chemical.  And I’m about to show you the proof.

My Tests:

I decided to put my bag of soapberries to the test in 3 ways.  First I dropped 2 soapberries into a spray bottle and mixed them with 8 oz of warm water to make a general cleaning solution.  I shook the bottle up a little and used the natural solution to tackle an embarrassingly dirty built in bench in my kitchen.  This bench is probably the most used piece of furniture in our home.  It sits around our kitchen table where we do school every day, where we eat, where we play cards, where we color, you get the idea. And my sweet little boys love to stand on it, rather than sit, so it is covered in dirty little foot prints, hand prints, and yes, some food.  After preparing the mix, all I did was spray it directly onto the bench and wipe it down.  I think it’s clear from the photo below where I tried the soapberry solution and how it worked.  It cut right through the dirt.  After taking this photo, I went back and cleaned the whole bench, which now looks fabulous.

Next, I mixed up a second solution to tackle the dirt and streaks on my windows and mirrors.  I dropped 2 soapberries into a clean spray bottle, mixed in 8 oz of warm water and 1 3/4 tablespoons of white vinegar.  Below are the before and after photos from my back door, which the kids open with their hands as they run in and out from the backyard.

BEFORE

AFTER

My final test was a load of laundry.  I wasn’t taking it easy on the remaining soapberries.  I needed to wash two large blankets from our recent beach trip, both of which had been sitting in the laundry room under wet towels for two weeks!  They smelled like a musty mix of seashells and sunscreen.  I dropped the remaining 5 soapberries into the provided muslin drawstring bag, tied it shut and tossed them in the wash with the blankets.  A photo can’t really do this justice since they haven’t invented smell-o-vision yet, but I will tell you that the blankets came out of the dryer fluffy, clean and smelling fresh.  The reality is they basically had no smell at all, which I personally love.  I couldn’t smell the musty old beach odor and I also didn’t smell any fragrances or chemicals.  That’s exactly what I want from a clean load of laundry.  Soapberries can be used over and over again in the wash until they are broken up and have lost their luster.  That’s when you know it’s time to replace them.

I didn’t have time (or enough soapberries) to try some of the other recipes that come with these cool little natural cleansers.  But you can grind them up to make a cleaning powder, which can be turned into dish soap or floor cleaner.  You can also use them to clean jewelry.  Because they’re natural and contain no preservatives, you want to use any liquid soapberry solutions in 3-4 days.

I was truly impressed with the soapberries and I will be ordering more to use around the house.  If you’d like to give soapberries a try visit So Berry Clean.  A 4 oz bag is $9.95 and will wash approximately 60 loads of laundry.  Of course, you can use them for lots of other things as shown above.

What do you think?  Have you used or would you like to try soapberries?

*I was given a bag of soapberries free to try.  I was under no obligation to write about them and all opinions are my own.

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Comments

  1. I have the front load washer and can not open it once the cycle starts. So do you leave the berries in through the rince cycle also or do you need to remove them. I would like to try them but I will need to know about the cycles first. Thank you.

    • broccolicupcake says:

      I left mine in through the entire cycle. The directions that come with the soapberries say to leave it in. Everything seemed to be rinsed thoroughly and there was no soap or soap residue.

  2. I just became a fan of your fb blog. Found you through Faithful Provision… love both the sites :)
    Question: Are “soapberries” a natural disinfectant also??? I’m looking for s/thing to clean our bathrooms w/out any of that chemical smell & really need s/thing to help aLL the mold that gets build up in corner edges of a bathtub… I really don’t want to use bleach…

    • broccolicupcake says:

      Thanks for the sweet comment. I’m not sure soapberries will help with mold. I’d try vinegar (white) and baking soda. If its really bad tea tree oil kills mold. A little goes a long way.

  3. Where do you buy soapberries?

  4. My husband & I are seniors, so we were a little skeptical when we saw them at a farmers market. It is now a year later and we have just run out of the large bag we purchased. We are impressed with how clean and fresh our clothes are. Love that they are Eco friendly and so economical too. We just picked up our second bag for the coming year…we are chemical free!

  5. I’ve tried and like soapberries, especially on blankets and anything fleece. These two items washed in soapberries and then dried with an alpaca fur dryer ball are the softest ever. Incredibly soft – and absolutely no static. But: before using the soapberries for all my laundry, I went online to see what I could learn about their ability to disinfect. Someone, somewhere (sorry, this was awhile back) tested them on ecoli (which they didn’t kill) and staphylococci (which they did kill). I never fully trust web information, but have decided to play it safe and only use the soapberries on items like sheets, blankets, and outer wear. alpaca fur balls are good for everything, but one got wet and it oozed something that felt suspiciously like fabric softener, so I need to investigate… Anyone know about that?

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