How To Make Soap Nut Liquid

You can make your own detergent. Soap Nut liquid is an all-purpose cleanser and it is very simple and easy to make. Just like cooking. You can use it for washing your laundry, cleaning your windows, dishes, cars, furnitures and everything else. There are 2 ways to go about extracting the saponin from the Soap Nuts.


Extract By Soaking

  1. Get a 1.5 litre bottle, add in 15 whole Soap Nuts and fill the bottle with water and let it soak overnight or for about 8 hours.
  2. Remove the Soap Nuts and store the Soap Nut Liquid in the bottle for use. It can keep up to 1 week.
  3. You can air-dry the Soap Nuts and add them to the next batch if you wish.


Extract By Boiling

Time for some DIY fun! Basically this is a water extraction method to extract saponin from the Soap Nuts. Like cooking a pot of Soap Nut Soup. When boiling, suds will form and so be careful not to let the suds overflow.

  1. Add 1.5 litres (6 cups) of water into a pot.
  2. Add in 15 whole Soap Nuts.
  3. Turn to high heat and bring it to a boil.
  4. Once the water is boiling, turn down to low heat and let it simmer for another 30mins. Stir occasionally.
  5. Remove from the heat and allow the liquid to cool. You will get about 1 litre (3-4 cups) of Soap Nut Liquid.
  6. Strain away the Soap Nuts and store Soap Nut Liquid in a bottle for use. It can keep up to a week.
  7. Soap Nuts can be added to your compost.


The Soap Nut liquid will be concentrated with Saponin. The color is light brown and watery and it does feel a little bit soapy, but not much. You will see suds when you shake it.

Below are a few photos we took to illustrate the steps on boiling Soap Nut Liquid.

add soap nuts to the pot of water

Add Soap Nut into the pot of water and fire up.

boiling soap nuts in a pot

Notice the suds? Be careful not to let the suds overflow so as to not make a mess. I used a masher to further mash up the soap nuts but it is not necessary.

tools to strain soap nut liquid

Once it is cooled, we are ready to strain the Soap Nut Liquid. Above are some of the tools I use.

straining soap nut liquid

straining soap nut liquid with a towel

A towel is used to further sift away the tiny particles. And then we are ready to decant Soap Nut Liquid into a bottle.

storing soap nut liquid into bottle


On Storing Soap Nut Liquid

Soap Nut is a natural fruit after all, so always make small quantities to make sure it is fresh. Soap Nut liquid can be kept for 1 to 2 weeks. To store longer, you can keep it in the fridge. But do remember to label it BIG and CLEAR. You don’t want to mix it up with other drinks… To store them even longer, it is suggested that you freeze it in cubes and use them as and when it’s needed.


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