Washberry is used as an alternative to the traditional detergent in liquid or powder form. And it may well be very different to wash clothes with berry skins rather than the detergent you may be used to. And many questions can arise along the way.
We dream of giving you the best experience with our wash berries . So, in this post, we would like to share 10 things you need to know before you get started.
1. Wash berries do not contain additives and chemicals
Washing berries is a completely natural alternative to the conventional detergent – a 100% pure natural product with no added chemicals.
The berries are picked from the soap tree and dried - that's it! The berry shells are therefore a completely chemical-free detergent that can go along with nature's cycle after use.
The natural soap substances, the saponins, are formed completely naturally in the berry - and they are not harmful to either humans or nature. When the berries come into contact with the water from the washing machine, the soap is released, which cleans the clothes of everyday dirt.
Because washing berries is a detergent completely without added chemicals, you must also prepare yourself that it is different to wash with chemical detergent that contains additives for e.g. to bleach white clothes or to dissolve stubborn stains.
2. Washing berries does not make clothes whiter
Detergent intended for white clothes often contains bleach or optical white, which emphasizes the white color of the clothes. But those properties unfortunately also mean a lot of allergy-causing chemistry that can irritate the skin and is not good for the aquatic environment.
Washberry does not contain any chemical ingredients to make the clothes white or to preserve the white color. Therefore, white clothes can take on a gray tint over time if you wash them with washing berries. We usually use a bit of our own baking soda for the washing machine in the detergent drawer if we want to clean up the white color.
You can use the berries to wash white clothes, but we recommend sticking to the regular colored wash if you want to keep the white color.
3. They do not remove the difficult stains on the clothes - use stain remover
The berries do not contain added chemical ingredients such as enzymes that dissolve and remove difficult stains from clothes. Eg. oil stains or heavy colored stains such as red wine.
Wash berries still clean, even if they don't work as a stain remover on the really tough stains.
Fortunately, we have developed the most effective and gentle stain remover as a supplement to washing the berries. It has removed everything from accidents on bodystockings, red wine, turmeric, ketchup, mud and grease stains. And we cannot do without it in our washing kit. With it, you can specifically remove stains as needed, instead of washing all the clothes in stain-removing chemicals, when it is often not necessary.
In short: The soap in the berries cleans, stain remover removes the stains when the accident is over.
4. They wash the clothes perfectly clean from everyday normal dirt
The berry shells are brilliant for your regular laundry - especially colored washing from 30-60 degrees. The berries wash nicely clean, but as I said above have more difficulty lifting the very difficult stains. However, there is a big difference between washing clean and removing stains, and washberry washes nicely clean.
If clothes are to be classified as microbiologically clean, the Danish Health Authority recommends washing at 60 degrees or above - regardless of which detergent you use. If there is blood, faeces, diarrhea or vomit on the laundry, the Danish Health Authority recommends that the temperature be at least 80° C, regardless of the detergent you use.
The soap in the berries cleans, heat kills the bacteria.
5. Washing berries is the best detergent for allergies
Before we switched from ordinary detergent to washing berries, we often experienced skin irritation from the residues of the detergents on our clothes - even if we used detergents with allergy labeling and without perfume. But after we switched to washing with the berry skins, the allergic reactions have completely disappeared. And many others have the same story.
Traditional hypoallergenic detergents typically contain enzymes and so-called surfactants , which many people are allergic to. Therefore, many find that they find it difficult to tolerate detergents, even if they are labeled as hypoallergenic.
In contrast to chemical detergent, washing berries contain absolutely no synthetic chemical substances. It is a 100% pure dried berry shell and is therefore completely free of additives or perfumes that can increase the risk of allergies. Therefore, washing berries is absolutely the most hypoallergenic detergent you can use.
6. Washing berries works even if the shell is broken into smaller pieces
Washberries are whole as they should be, whether they are broken or whole. Our berries are processed manually in Nepal and therefore vary in size and whether they are whole/broken.
The greatest concentration of the soap substances is actually on the inside of the shell, so it is actually a good thing that many of the shells are open, as the soap then flows out better. You can actually see the shiny film of juicy soap inside the berries.
For crushed shells, you just use the number of half or quartered shells that add up to 5 whole berries.
7. The soap does not need to be rinsed out
The small cotton bag with washed berries must be placed in the washing drum together with the clothes, and therefore the berries are included during the entire wash and are not rinsed out with the rinse program at the end.
We often get questions about that. Can it really be appropriate that the soap should not be rinsed out? But no - it doesn't actually have to be.
Conventional detergent has to be rinsed out, as it contains enzymes, perfumes and other chemicals which can be allergenic and which also wear out the fibers in the clothes if left sitting.
But the soap in wash berries is completely harmless and does not leave a film on the clothes. So it doesn't need to be rinsed out like chemical detergent.
8. Washberry smells completely neutral
Wash berries is a 100% neutral detergent and contains no perfume.
It is absolutely the most gentle choice to wash without perfume, but if you just love a delicious scent for your clothes, we have developed our delicious laundry fragrances , which consist of mixtures of 100% pure essential oils. They give the clothes a fantastic scent when they are dripped into the fabric softener drawer.
9. You can look at the berries when they need to be changed
It's pretty clear to see when the wash berries are used up.
When the shells have become thin/porous, paler in color and no longer have the shiny membrane left on the inside, there is no more soap left in them and they are ready to be replaced.
We have made a good video guide here:
The higher the temperature you wash with, the more soapy substance melts out of the berries and the faster they have to be changed. But it can easily vary from berry to berry when they need to be changed, so look at your berries after washing to see if they still look "juicy" or if they have become thin, pale and break easily.
10. You can make liquid soap from lingonberries
Due to their high content of natural soap substances, the wash berries are brilliant to use in recipes for all kinds of cleaning and personal care. By boiling the berries with water, the natural and antibacterial soap substances are melted out of the skins.
The decoction gives you a concentrated liquid soap which can be used for everything from cleaning, liquid detergent, washing up, body and hand soap to shampoo, shaving foam and much more. Limited only by imagination.
Find all our soapberry recipes here.
This is the best way to get started with cranberries
Our Care by Nature washberries are the highest quality berries available. So if you are curious about washing berries, this is a good place to start.
We have both the regular large bag of berries here on the website and in many of the country's supermarkets, but you will also find small sample bags of lingonberries here on our website if you are unsure whether they are for you. That way, you don't have to buy a whole bag, but can safely try it out first.
You can of course also read a lot more about our washing berries here on the website by clicking on the product or exploring our inspiration universe or FAQ.