By Sheetal Kabra

Having taken the path myself, I have realized that adopting a natural and chemical free home care regime need not be an expensive affair. There are plenty of options suiting different budgets that are available in the market. However, if you are confused, or still haven’t found the right product suiting your pocket needs,  then this post is just for you.

I have, in my quest to find eco-friendly, natural, safe and affordable detergents, experimented extensively with several ingredients but settled at 2 ingredients – reetha or soapnuts and vinegar (white vinegar as its the cheapest. Alternatively, you can also use bioenzyme as it is also a vinegar). While Soapnuts lather and clean well, white vinegar being acidic helps remove hard water scales and tough stains. My affordable detergent comprises these two ingredients.

Step 1: Prepare the soap nut extract – Soak a handful of soapnuts overnight (there is no specific proportion of soap nuts to water). Boil them thoroughly for about 10-15 minutes. Once cool collect the strained water. You can re-soak the soap nuts in fresh water for another round of boiling and straining. After this discard the soap nuts.

Step2: Measure out white vinegar/ bioenzyme Measure out equal quantity of white vinegar or bioenzyme as the soapnut extract.

Step 3: Prepare the detergent – Mix the soapnut extract and vinegar/bioenzyme well and store in a bottle. Ta da! Your all natural detergent is ready!

Note: Due to vinegar, the smell of the mix is quite pungent. However, the smell vanishes after some time. You can add few drops of any essential oil to tone down the pungent smell, however, I am not sure how effective it is.


This mix can be used for cleaning just about everything except clothes (especially whites). You can use this mix to clean tiles, toilet bowls, dishes, taps,  kitchen counters, as vegetable cleaner or as even  floor cleaner. Prepare a fresh mix every 15 days.

I always have this detergent made and available at my home and prefer to use it for floor, tiles, sink and toilet bowl cleaning. This detergent is easy, affordable and effective. Go ahead and experiment with this and let me know how you find it.

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