Factsheet S16: Soap plants


Many plants contain saponins in low concentrations, in leaves, seeds and sometimes roots. One property of saponins is that they form a lather in water which is a gentle but effective cleanser. This article highlights the main plants which can easily be utilised in this way to provide home production of soap substitutes. The advantage of saponins over other soaps is that they are salt-free and thus are less likely to be affected by alkaline or acid conditions (for example, hard water).

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