Soapwort Saponaria officinalis (Bouncing Bet)
Is a gentle effective cleaner used on delicate fibres that can be harmed by modern synthetic soaps. It has been used to clean the Bayeux tapestry. It is organic and eco-friendly.
HOW TO MAKE A LIQUID SOAP
Dig up the roots and wash them gently to remove surplus soil. (The roots are more powerful than the leaves.)
Chop them into small 1cm pieces using secateurs.
Simmer gently for 30 minutes in de-Ionised water.
Blend the softened roots in a liquidiser – a few at a time adding a little more water but taking care not to overfill the liquidiser as this will create lots of foam.
When well blended leave to soak overnight.
The following day pour the liquid through a sieve or cheesecloth to remove the chopped roots.
Whisk the liquid with an electric or hand blender. This will create a lovely foam.
This is your eco-friendly – gently liquid soap.
SAFETY NOTE – some people use soapwort liquid as a shampoo – however it can cause eye irritation.
Do not grow soapwort close to a pond as saponins can be toxic to fish.