Several years ago, I decided to clear my home of toxic cleaners. I knew that somehow, women of the past cleansed their living quarters without our modern, bottled goods! After experimenting with variety of natural options, I finally settled on a favorite. Today, I’m still using this same natural household cleaner in the kitchen, bath and on my floors.
I’ve stayed with this specific one because it’s easy to make, toxin free and does the job well. In fact, I consider it to be one of my best homemaking discoveries!
Ingredients in My Natural Household Cleaner
This cleaner is both basic and simple! It consists of vinegar, soap nuts and depending on your homemaking mood, sometimes fresh herbs or citrus peels.
Before I give you the recipe and instructions, let’s quickly discuss why we use vinegar and soap nuts.
Vinegar As a Cleaning Base
Vinegar is acidic and will naturally kill bacteria. When combined with the saponins in the soap nut, it’s cleansing power only increases!
Vinegar also acts as a preservative. Unless refrigerated, soap nuts infused with water will lose their cleansing properties in 10-14 days.
What Are Soap Nuts?
Soap nuts come from the soap nut tree. While some varieties grow in the southern US, they are commonly found in the eastern hemisphere. There, they have been for centuries as a cleansing agent.
When purchasing soap nuts, you actually buy the hull (or husk), nut-free! Because husks are high in natural saponins, they are separated, dried, then sold by the pound for cleansing purposes.
In our modern world, they are commonly used as a natural laundry detergent, in soap bars, as a ‘tea’ shampoo for the hair and of course, as part of a natural household cleaner!
Sourcing Soap Nuts
You can source soap nuts in a variety of places. Your local health food store may carry them. I’ve been very happy with my purchases from Superior Soapnuts. They are a wonderful option for those of us who live in the northland of a Canada!
Readers living elsewhere have a variety of options available on Amazon. I highly recommend purchasing soap nuts that are organic and those that have been inspected by a trusted source.
A Natural Household Cleaner
This recipe won’t take more than a minute to put together!
Place 5-8 whole soap nuts in the bottom of a glass quart (1 litre) jar. You can also add citrus or plant matter, if desired. Fill the jar with white vinegar.
Add a lid, then leave the contents to infuse with the vinegar.
Within a day, the soap nuts will begin re-hydrating. Slowly saponins will be released, giving the surrounding vinegar a brown tinge.
This cleaner won’t go bad and can be used in 3-4 day’s time. However, I’ve let mine sit up to 6 months! The longer it infuses, the stronger it’ll be!
Always strain the finished product before pouring it into a spray bottle. It can then be used for cleaning the bathroom, floors and disinfecting household surfaces.
Re-purposing the Goods
Plant matter should be tossed out, but be sure to hang onto the soap nuts! They can be re-purposed for the next 2-3 batches of cleaner. And may I recommend starting a new one immediately after you’ve strained and bottled the old?
That’s it! Now you can go whip up a batch of this natural household cleaner for your own personal use!