Using Natural SOAPBERRIES For Your Laundry

by Tammy Taylor

*contains affiliate link

This past fall I was so thrilled when I suspected that our remote-pasture property contained Soapberry Trees.  I excitedly harvested a few berries and took pictures of the berries, the tree, the bark and submitted them to my local Extension Agent for identification.  Her response was that these trees were indeed the Western Soapberry Tree, meaning that these berries actually contain soponin – a soapy substance used by early settlers for cleaning, laundry, etc.  I dried the berries and have been using them in my laundry, comparing it to the more common soap nuts which I’ve purchased and used before from * Amazon.   I’m very pleased with the results.

Read Our Experience Using Natural SOAPBERRIES For Environmentally-Friendly Cleaning Of Our Laundry #TaylorMadeRanch

After the soapberries were fully dried I decided to give them a trial run in our washing machine.  I took a handful of soapberries and placed them in the cotton draw-string bag that I previously used with my soap nuts.  Since my soapberries are smaller than soap nuts I added more berries than I did the nuts, but about the same overall measurement (about 7-8 berries to 4-5 nuts)  Then I tossed them in my washing machine with a load of laundry.

Soapberries react to agitation & water similarly to soap nuts in that they don’t foam up much, so you can’t tell its efficiency based on how many bubbles you see (or don’t).  But when I pulled that load of laundry out and hung it on the line, I saw no difference from other cleaning agents I’d used in the past, including brand-name laundry detergents.  I think that if I had heavily soiled laundry such as manure-covered denim or heavily stained shirts I might use something heavier duty, but for towels, sheets, napkins and lightly soiled laundry these soapberries do just fine and I’m thrilled that it’s yet another product I can provide for myself instead of purchasing.

~TMR~

 

It's Easy To Subscribe To #TaylorMadeRanch Blog just click the email icon!  http://taylormadehomestead.com/

* A word about our Affiliate Link – We are currently enrolled as an Amazon Affiliate.  Occasionally I will insert an affiliate link into one of my posts if I think it may be of interest to you and both of the items linked in this post really help me in my canning endeavors!  I  receive nothing from the manufacturer, but I love my Tattler lids & thought you might too. If you click on any of my affiliate links and buy something (almost anything, not just what was linked) I get a small referral percentage from Amazon.  But here’s the really important part – the price you pay for your items is UNCHANGED.

When you buy something through the affiliate link it’s a great way to support this blog without anything coming out of your pocket so please click often!

Spread the love
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

21 thoughts on “Using Natural SOAPBERRIES For Your Laundry

  1. KimB.

    My husband and I had been trying to identify a tree on our property in North Texas, and finally a friend of his said it was a soap berry tree. So, I was checking the web, and finally found this site! Thanks for the information on using these just like the soap nuts that are from India and the Himalayas. I have one question for you, though, do you remove the seeds first? or just throw the dried fruits into the bag?

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      I dry the fruits intact and throw them seed & all in a small cotton draw-string bag. Congrats on your soapberry tree! ~TMR~

      Reply
  2. Pingback: Old-Fashioned Friday #62 - Our Heritage of Health

  3. Pingback: Old-Fashioned Friday #61 - Our Heritage of Health

  4. Kathy

    This is fantastic…I’ll have to research these! I appreciate you sharing with Home and Garden Thursday, Kathy

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      I’ve been pretty pleased with the performance of my soapberries. I’ll be sure to collect even more next fall. ~TMR~

      Reply
  5. Abby Jo

    Great post, wish we had some trees like that in North Idaho. I can always order some soap berries online 🙂

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      I’d ordered soapnuts on line in the past and they worked fine, but I’m so pleased to be growing soapberries right here at home and they work great as well. ~TMR~

      Reply
  6. Teresa

    I have used soapnuts and would love to still, but they are not cheap. I don’t think they would grow in mo because it gets to cold here. You are blessed to have them.

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      Oh yes Teresa, I was so excited when I saw the tree and suspected it was a Soapberry Tree, and when the extension agent identified it as such I squealed a little. LOL Now if I can figure out how to more easily harvest those berries, most of them are 20-feet up in the tree! ~TMR~

      Reply
  7. Tracy @ Our Simple Life

    What a treasure you found right on your own farm! I always wondered about soap nuts…never have tried them by anxious to give them a try.

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      I’ve used soapnuts before Tracy, I’d say using these soapberries is very similar. I don’t know how they’d do with heavily-soiled laundry like manure-covered denim but they do a fantastic job on regular laundry. ~TMR~

      Reply
  8. Judith C

    I think Soapberry trees are native to eastern Texas and Oklahoma as well as western Arkansas. My dad said they used them when he was a child living in eastern Oklahoma. Check with some of the organic seed farms, you may be able to buy a sapling tree from them. I used them for awhile… well until they were no more. Do you remove the bag of berries from the washer before you start the rinse cycle?

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      I don’t remove the bag before the rinse cycle Judith, I’ve been using them like I used soap nuts – removing the bag when I remove the clothes from the washer and hanging the bag on the line to dry with the clothes. I guess I never really thought about it. Hummm… ~TMR~

      Reply
  9. Vickie

    This is so interesting! I have never heard of soap berries before! Could you do another post about this and show the tree and bark and leaves? Are these trees native? Is it possible to grow a tree from seed – or one of those berries? I am so intrigued by this I think I will do some research! Thanks for the inspiration!

    Reply
  10. Cecilia

    How cool is that?! Where did you get the soap nuts? ( for those of us who don’t have soapberries?) I make my own laundry soap using Ivory soap.

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      Cecilia, I often make my own soap as well using Fels Naptha since our laundry includes heavy denim and tough dirt like manure. I got my soap-nuts from Amazon here –> http://amzn.to/1d9R595 ~TMR~

      Reply
  11. Lisa

    Wow, I have not heard of this. How cool to have this tree growing on your property! I am jealous! Love the self sufficiency! Lisa

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      Lisa I’m not gonna lie, I squealed with delight when I saw that tree, and when it was identified by the extension agent I was so excited. The berries are high up in the tree about 20 ft high so I need to find a good way to harvest them. Hummmm… ~TMR~

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

* Please enter the Biggest Number