Tuesday, April 19, 2022

How to Make Soap Nut Liquid Concentrate

Learn how to make soap nut liquid.  Soap nut concentrate is a natural soap that can be used for cleaning your home, laundry, dishes, and even for cleaning your hair and skin.  Also learn about preserving soap nut liquid concentrate with a natural preservative.





Soap Nut Liquid Recipe


Even before the events of 2020, we kept basic supplies on hand just in case.  While others were stocking up on toilet paper and convenience foods, I was looking for ingredients to use to make my own cleaning products and food from scratch.


I keep liquid castile soap for cleaning, but I also recommend that any homesteader have soap nuts in their supplies.


Soap nuts take up less room, and they are shelf stable for years.  Liquid castile soap has a fairly long shelf life, but it will only last about three years on the shelf.


Soap nuts are just as versatile as liquid castile soap because you can easily turn them into a soap nut liquid concentrate that you can use for cleaning.


Making homemade soap nut liquid is easy, even in an emergency.  I used my stove, but you could easily make it over a wood fire in the backyard.


For more natural DIY ideas, check out these posts:




Get more natural cleaning recipes in my Natural Cleaners ebook.  It has 12 recipes plus printable labels to help you get started cleaning naturally.





What is Soap Nut Liquid?


A DIY soap nut liquid is a liquid soap that you can make with soap nuts.  Soap nuts are the shells of dried berries.  


Soap nuts have been used for cleaning and hair care for centuries in India and Nepal, but they are grown all over the world.


The shell of the berry contains a natural soap called Saponin.  When the nuts are soaked in water, they release the saponin creating a liquid soap.


Saponin is a natural soap, and it's biodegradable.  For those with septic systems, soap nut liquid concentrate is an excellent natural cleaner.


You can get dried soap nut shells from Grassroots Herb Supply on Etsy or from Mountain Rose Herbs.  Mountain Rose Herbs does charge shipping, but their prices are much lower.


Do Soap Nuts Expire?


The dried soap nut itself doesn't expire.  As long as it stays dry, it is shelf stable for many, many years.  This is one of the biggest benefits of soap nuts for homesteaders and why I like to use them for making soap nut liquid.


Soap nut liquid, however, does expire.  Since it's water based, it only lasts about a week.  We will talk about preserving soap nut liquid below.


Are Soap Nuts Antibacterial?


Soap nuts do have some antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, so your soap nut liquid recipe can kill germs.





Do Soap Nuts Smell Nice?


Soap nut liquid might have a slight almost vinegary scent.  However, the scent fades quickly and doesn't linger.


When you use soap nut concentrate for laundry, your clothes won't have any scent.


You can add essential oils for cleaning if you want to.


Are Soap Nuts Hypoallergenic?


Yes, soap nuts are hypoallergenic.  They are a great natural option for those with dry or sensitive skin.


Adding Essential Oils to Soap Nut Liquid Concentrate


You can add between 5 and 15 drops of essential oils to your DIY soap nut liquid (for 3 cups of liquid in this recipe).  For cleaning, I use 15 drops per batch, but for hand soap, body wash, or shampoo, I use 5 drops per 3 cups.


To make sure you dilute essential oils properly, I recommend using an essential oil dilution chart.


Oil and water don't mix, so you'll have to shake the product or use natural solubizer.  Natural solubizer helps the oil and water mix.  


To use a natural solubizer, place the essential oils in a small cup.  Then add the same amount of natural solubizer.  Stir.  Add more natural solubizer until the mixture is clear.  


You can use up to 10 drops of natural solubizer per drop of essential oil. Depending on the oils that you use, you will use about 1/2 teaspoon of natural solubizer for this recipe.


Good essential oils for cleaning are:



Plant Therapy also has a cleaning set with several oils and blends just for cleaning.  Revive also has a cleaning set with a blend and two single oils.


If you do add essential oils, always make sure the oils are safe for children, pregnant women, and pets in the home.  





Can You Use Vinegar With Soap Nuts?


One limitation of liquid castile soap is that you can't use it with vinegar because they pretty much cancel each other out.


You can, however, use soap nut liquid concentrate with vinegar for cleaning.


How Do You Use Soap Nut Concentrate?


DIY soap nut liquid is incredibly versatile in your home.  Here are some ways to use your soap nut liquid recipe:


  • Use your soap nut concentrate to make soap nuts laundry detergent.  You would use 2 cups of your DIY soap nut liquid and add vinegar and essential oils.
  • To make an all purpose cleaner, combine 1 cup of soap nut concentrate with 2 cups of water.  You can add 1 tbsp vinegar and a few drops of essential oils if desired.
  • Use the liquid to wash dishes.  Simply squirt some concentrate into hot water.  It doesn't suds as much as dish soap, but it will get your dishes clean.
  • Dilute your soap nut extract liquid concentrate with 1 part concentrate to 2 parts water.  Then use as a soap nut shampoo recipe, body wash, pet wash, or even a natural pesticide for plants.
  • Use the soap nut concentrate for mopping the floors.  Add a cup of concentrate to a gallon of hot water in the mop bucket.





How Do You Preserve Soap Nut Liquid?


Your soap nut extract liquid concentrate is mostly water, so it will only last for about a week at room temperature.  You can also place it in the fridge for up to two weeks.


For longer storage, you can freeze it in silicone ice cube trays or use a natural preservative.


For preserving soap nut liquid, I recommend either Geoguard ECT or Leucidal SF.  Both are natural preservatives and give a soap nut liquid shelf-life of 6 to 12 months.


To use Geoguard ECT, use 6 drops per ounce of soap nut concentrate.  Or you can add 1/2 teaspoon of Leucidal SF per 3 cups of liquid.  


How to Thicken Soap Nut Liquid


Your soap nut extract liquid concentrate will be thin.  If you want to thicken it for shampoo or body wash, let it cool completely.  Then add 1 to 2 tablespoons of Guar Gum or Xanthan Gum and stir well.  


DIY Soap Nut Liquid Ingredients


You will need the following to learn how to make soap nut liquid:






How to Make Soap Nut Liquid Concentrate


Step #1

 

Place soap nuts and 2 cups of water in a small pan.  Heat on high until boiling.  





Step #2


Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 20 minutes.  Cover the pan so water doesn't evaporate.


Step #3


Add the final cup of water and simmer for an additional 10 minutes.  





Step #4


Remove from heat and let cool completely.


Step #5


Remove the soap nuts.  Add a preservative and any essential oils that you want to use.  Store in a mason jar with a lid.





Now you know how to make soap nut liquid concentrate!  Don't forget that soap nut liquid shelf-life is only about a week without a preservative.


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soap nut, concentrate, liquid, cleaning, natural
Yield: 3 cups
Author: Cari @ Homesteading in Ohio
Estimated cost: $5

How to Make Soap Nut Liquid Concentrate

prep time: 5 Mperform time: 1 hourtotal time: 1 H & 5 M
How to make a natural cleaner with soap nuts.

materials:

  • 5 soap nuts
  • 3 cups water
  • 144 drops Geoguard ECT or 1/2 teaspoon Leucidal SF (optional preservative)

tools:

  • Small pan

steps:

  1. Place soap nuts and 2 cups of water in a small pan. Heat on high until boiling.
  2. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 20 minutes. Cover the pan so water doesn't evaporate.
  3. Add the final cup of water and simmer for an additional 10 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and let cool completely.
  5. Remove the soap nuts. Add a preservative and any essential oils that you want to use. Store in a mason jar with a lid.
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