Soap Nuts for Household Cleaning Recipes

Soapnuts in a bowl

Soap Nut or Reetha is as an all-purpose natural and biodegradable cleaner that is not only healthy and hygienic for your family but also safe for the environment. Soap nuts are the basic components of various shampoo and soap brands but, those are far from being Reetha’s only functions. Soap nuts have a component saponin that has the tendency to produce foam with water. This saponin has excellent cleaning, antifungal and antibacterial properties that can come handy when it’s your house that requires cleaning.

Quick Facts of Soap Nut

  • Soap nuts make for all-natural biodegradable cleaning agents.
  • Free from chemicals and toxins.
  • Soap nuts can also be used to clean laundry, glass, and other household items.
  • Soap nuts can also be used as a hand wash and can also be made into bug spray.
  • Soap nuts can be used for hair and skin.

How does Soap Nut (Reetha) Work?

When soap nuts are immersed in hot water, the component saponin present in them is released which produces foam and has cleaning, antifungal and antibacterial properties. Saponin cleans the dirt off your hair, skin, laundry, glass, windows while also attacking germs and bacteria.

How to Use Soap Nut for Cleaning?

Soap nuts, for cleaning, can be used in two forms-

1. Whole Nut

This method works best for cleaning your laundry.

  • Soap nuts usually come with reusable muslin bags.
  • Fill this bag with 5-6 soap nuts and drop with your clothes in the washer in warm water.
  • With warm water, the saponin will be released which will cleanse your clothes in a thorough manner.
  • This soap nuts filled muslin bag can be reused for up to 8-10 times.

2. Liquid Solution

Soapnuts showcased in fron of vinegar

Soap nut liquid cleaner is made by soaking soap nuts overnight. Add boiling water to soap nuts in a bowl, let it soak overnight and then strain the liquid in the morning. This liquid solution can then be sprayed on surfaces like glass, kitchen counters, stovetops, bathtubs, toilets, sinks, floor, etc. to clean them.

DIY Cleaner Using Soap Nut

Man holding a blue bucket full of cleaning tools

DIY cleaner using soap nuts are easy to make and just as easy to use. Here’s all you need to know about how to make cleaners with soap nuts-

1. Glass Cleaner


  • 1 Cup Water
  • 1 tbsp. Soap Nut Liquid
  • 1 tbsp. White Vinegar

How to prepare

  1. Soak 10-12 soap nuts in boiling water and leave them overnight.
  2. Next morning, strain the liquid and mix it with water and white vinegar.

2. Household Cleaner


  • Soap Nut Liquid

How to prepare

  1. Immerse soap nuts in boiling water and leave them overnight.
  2. Next morning, strain the liquid and put it in a spray bottle and use for cleaning your house.

3. Bathroom Cleaner

Cleaning tools kept on a table in open nature setting


  • 1/8 Cup Baking Soda
  • 1/8 Cup Borax
  • ½ Cup Soap Nut Liquid

Check here to know more Baking Soda for Cleaning: Uses, Tips & Precautions.

2. How to prepare

  1. Make soap nut liquid with the above-mentioned procedure.
  2. Mix this liquid with baking soda and borax.
  3. Use a sponge to soak the liquid in it and use to clean your bathroom.

4. Hand Wash Recipe


  • 1/8 Cup Soap Nut Liquid
  • 5 drops Tea Tree Oil (or any other essential oil)

How to prepare

  1. Obtain soap nut liquid by following the above-mentioned procedure.
  2. Mix Tea Tree Oil in the liquid and pour in a pump bottle for everyday use.

Discover more homemade sanitizers.

5. Laundry Detergent


  • 1/8 Cup Soap Nut Liquid  OR 4-5 Soap Nuts

How to prepare

  1. Obtain soap nut liquid from 10-12 soap nuts by soaking them in boiling water and leaving overnight.
  2. Pour this liquid onto your clothes in the washer and the saponin will work to break down the dirt, grease and oil from your clothes.
With Soap Nuts

1. Put 4-5 soap nuts in the muslin bag that comes along and put the bag in the washer.

6. Liquid Bug Spray


  • 1 Cup Soap Nut Liquid
  • 5-6 drops of Tea Tree Oil (or any other essential oil)

How to prepare

  1. Strain the soaked soap nuts to acquire soap nut liquid.
  2. Mix Tea Tree Oil with this liquid and put this mixture in a spray bottle.

Tips While Using Soap Nut (Reetha) for Cleaning

Icons of different types of cleaning. Woman with a spray bottle in the background

1. Clean Dishes

While using soap nuts to clean the dishes you always want to use hot or lukewarm water as only hot water can release the saponin in the soap nuts.

Find out more about cleaning dishes and utensils using natural methods.

2. Clean Floor

Soap nuts clean best when they’re mixed with essential oils (like tea tree oil, lavender oil, etc.). Essential oils along with the saponin in soap nuts give the best cleaning as their dirt pulling abilities become strong.

Read more on cleaning floor and tiles.

3. Uses for Laundry

To clean laundry with soap nuts, warm water should be used always. Also, it is better to use dry soap nuts in a muslin bag instead of soap nut liquid.

4. Glass Cleaning

Mixing white vinegar with soap nut liquid to clean glass enhances its ability to provide lustre to the reflecting surface.

5. Stove Cleaning

Using soap water to clean the stove top along with soap nut increases the stain removal ability of Reetha. And, as is said, it is better to always use warm water while cleaning with soap nuts.

6. Carpet Cleaning

Soap nuts can be and should be used alone when it comes to cleaning your carpets. Soap nut liquid cleans and is odourless so your carpets are safe from dirt as well as unwanted strong fragrance.

As it is clear by now, there is more to soap nuts than meets the eye. They are not only useful for hair and skin but also for cleaning your house. Saponin in soap nuts has the tendency to form a foam with water and clean the dirt, grease and oil off of the area where it has been sprayed or applied. With soap nuts, you can adopt natural and organic cleaning by making use of them to clean your kitchen, countertops, stovetops, bathroom, tiles, toilet, glass, windows and utensils. Reetha’s antibacterial, antifungal and insecticidal properties make it one of the best organic cleaning agent you’d ever have come across.

Also read:10 Best Natural Laundry Detergent for Baby.

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Vanshika Jain
A major prerequisite of an English Major degree is that one is erudite literati and a good writer. Writing comes as naturally as breathing to me. And, it is for my love of ruining parchments by inking that I got into writing about personal care, home care and wellness. Many people struggle with finding natural solutions for problems related to skin care, hair care, health and hygiene. And it is always good to find researched articles written on natural solutions to such problems on the internet. The plus side for the writers is that it gives them an opportunity to promote natural and organic ways of health and home care while simultaneously enhancing their own knowledge on the matter and honing their writing skills.


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