What are Soapberries?
Soapberries are a natural alternative to traditional laundry detergent and fabric softener and are suitable for both front and top loader washing machines.
Sourced from the Himalayas, Soapberries are the fruit of the 'Sapindus Mukorossi' tree. The dried shell is full of natural anti-bacterial, anti-fungal soap called Saponin, which is a naturally occurring surfactant. Soapberries are extremely hypo allergenic and are perfect for sensitive skin. ThatRedHouse Soapberries are the only ones on the market that are 'Certified Organic'.
Soapberries are related to the lychee, and once they ripen on the tree, are picked, de-seeded and dried in the sun. That is the extent of their processing before they are bagged and ready for use. No chemical sprays of any kind are used in the growing or harvesting process so since they are sustainably grown, you can add them to your compost to break down naturally once you've finished using them.
How are they used?
• Simply add the equivalent of 5 whole berries to the cotton washbag provided and throw it in the wash (with the clothes so it can agitate).
• Suitable for both front and top loaders… *IMPORTANT – asked frequently
• For dirtier loads, increasing the water temperature to 40-60 degrees draws more soap out of the berries. In cold water the small wash bag will last approximately 5 loads, in warmer water, 3-4 loads can be done from the one small wash bag.
• The berries can also be boiled (like Pasta) to make a potent liquid. This liquid can be made into others cleaning products, from shampoo, body/hand wash to glass and household cleaner – Recipes
• When the berries lose their firmness and structure, go brittle and crunchy like dried leaves, they have been fully used and have no more soap left • Soapberries can be added to your garden/compost after they are finished to break down naturally – 100% sustainable.
• Do they really work? – YES!!! Of course they work. In fact, they contain a high level of concentrated soap, and have strong anti bacterial and anti fungal properties.
• How do they work? – Soapberries contain Saponin, a natural surfactant which works by breaking the surface tension of the water, allowing the dirt to be lifted out naturally. They are also anti-bacterial/anti-fungal.
• Do I need to remove them from the machine before the rinse cycle? – No. Soapberries leave NO residue on the clothes at all. Users can even skip the rinse cycle altogether if desired, because there is nothing to rinse off. This is also a water saving feature.
• Are they good for sensitive skin? – ABSOLUTELY! Soapberries are one of the most gentle ways to clean clothes. They are ideal for even the most severe of skin conditions. Therefore (being so gentle) they are also great for use with babies and children.
• Do they have a fragrance? – No. the actual berry can have a feint vinegar smell but imparts no fragrance to fabrics. If a fragrance is desired, simply add a few drops of our Laundry Tonic to the fabric softener dispenser, or the cotton bag prior to the wash.
• Will they 'whiten' my whites?- Regular laundry detergents use chemical 'optical brighteners' to make your whites 'appear' whiter. Our Soapberries will clean your whites, but because they do not contain optical brighteners, they will not give the same appearance as the chemical-based detergents. You can add washing soda or lemon juice to your load if you want to whiten your clothes more.
• Do they 'foam up' when I use them? - Soapberries will create some suds when activated, but they will not create the same foam that conventional chemical detergents and soaps produce. This foaming action in conventional products is a chemical foaming agent used to give the 'illusion' of cleaning, and has no bearing on the effectiveness of cleaning action.
• Are they safe for compost, septic and grey water? - Yes! They are completely natural, biodegradable and safe for use in those applications. In fact, being antibacterial and anti-fungal, they actually work well with septic tanks. If you are using grey water in your garden, there really is no better choice than Soapberries.
• Can we use them to clean in the bathroom and kitchen too? - Absolutely! Soapberries can be boiled to release the saponins, then strained and put in a spray bottle for use around the home. Add some eucalyptus or tea tree oil to the liquid, and you will have a potent multi-purpose cleaner. Because it is antibacterial and anti fungal, it will help with the removal of mould and germs around the home.
• What is the shelf life? - Unused Soapberries will last indefinitely as long as they are kept free from moisture. We do however recommend using them within two years to ensure maximum freshness. In between washes, store your used Soapberries in their little cotton bag in a dry place - on a hook in the laundry is best.
• Do they remove stains? - Soapberries will clean your clothes of everyday dirt but tougher stains will need to be treated prior washing. Soapberries will replace detergent but if a stain would normally be treated, the same applies to Soapberries.
(Information supplied by ThatRedHouse)