Soapwort Root–A Natural Cleanser

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My most recent Mountain Rose Herbs purchase included a bunch of herbs that I wanted to get acquainted with for medicinal and beauty purposes.  One of those herbs was soapwort root.  I was very interested in this herb because of its gentle cleansing abilities.  Soapwort root has a very high concentration of saponins which gives a slightly sudsy gentle cleanse that can be used as an all purpose beauty wash.   Soapwort is also called Bouncing Bet, Latherswort, Fuller’s Herb, Crow Soap, and Sweet Betty.

There are many different ways to create a soapwort root cleanser and various recipes online.  I believe that the best way to get as much saponins from the soapwort root is to soak it overnight.  This simple recipe is one to love.

What you will need:

Soapwort root

Distilled water

Essential oils (optional)

Simply steep 4-6 tablespoons of dried soapwort root in 2 cups of distilled boiling water overnight.  Let it cool completely and strain the liquid in a clean container preferably with a pump.  Finally add a few drops of your favorite essential oils.  Lavender essential oil is perfect to compliment all skin and hair types.  This natural cleanser will last about one week especially if you refrigerate it.  I suggest adding a natural preservative such as rosemary extract or grapefruit seed extract.

Soapwort root cleanser is good for all skin and hair types and will leave both feeling very soft and refreshed.  Although this gentle cleanser does not provide abundant suds like soap, you will see small suds.  What is so great about this cleanser is that it is pH balanced for both skin and hair.

I was surprised that soapwort root cleanser will remove light makeup very well.  I only use natural chemical free makeup unless I have to wear other makeup for a job.  I still remove my eye makeup with a light oil, and this cleanser will remove the rest.  I also really like mixing it with rhassoul clay for an exfoliating face wash.

When I tried soapwort root as a shampoo, I found that it was most effective if I had been light on applying leave-in products to my hair.  Otherwise rhassoul clay was better if I was heavy handed with products.  For those who are light on the leave-in hair products this may be the perfect natural shampoo for you.

I’ve enjoyed having another DIY cleanser option that is easy to make and reformulate with different herbs and essential oils.  There are endless options for this one cleansing herb and very easy to personalize for your own specific needs.  This cleanser is gentle enough for daily use and has been known to treat acne, eczema, and other skin and scalp ailments.  Soapwort root cleanser is another great option for simple green beauty from head to toe.

Learn more about my current beauty regimen here.

(General Note:  Please research new herbs to ensure there is no conflict with pregnancy or medical conditions before using.)

(Image by Mountain Rose Herbs)

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  1. says

    Thanks for this info will add it to my list as I make a few products for myself as well, including deodorant, tooth oil, hair butter, hair gel, body oil and the list goes on and on.

  2. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Trish, I love making my own products and I see you have a list of your own too! That’s awesome! Let me know if you try this one and how it works out for you. Have a wonderful weekend!

  3. says

    Always be careful when purchasing organic care products, though. Unless the product has a government seal for being certified organic, or has a stamp that says it’s 100 percent organic, it probably contains chemicals.

  4. Dawn Michelle says

    Certified Organic does not always mean chemical free. I can think of one certified organic skin care line that I used to use that contains Phenoxyethanol. It is important to read labels!

  5. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Chara, Soapwort root acts as a gentle cleanser which will remove light oils and butters but I feel is too gentle for thick heavy oils like castor oil. I prefer cleansing with clays for heavy products. I’m currently cowashing and mainly using conditioners and shea butter or flaxseed gel as stylers which I enjoy the most. Best wishes!

  6. Anonymous says

    Have you tried adding/steeping this herb in acv? I would like to REALLY simplify my hair cleansing regimen with a 2-n-1 herbal cleansing/conditioning rinse.

  7. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Anonymous,
    I haven’t steeped soapwort root in apple cider vinegar specifically, but have infused many other herbs in apple cider vinegar. I usually change the herbs each time I’ve done this. You can see more about that here.
    Best wishes!

  8. Anna says

    I highly doubt seeping soapwort root in acv would work since vinegars break down soaps and removes soap residue which is why it is used as a rinse.

  9. Anna says

    Great post by the way! I’ve been using a similar recipe to make soapwort root shampoo and have been using it daily for months! ACV is a decent rinse but makes my scalp flaky.

  10. Dawn Michelle says

    Thanks Anna! We are all so different so it’s good to know what works for you and what doesn’t.

  11. Chris says

    Will this work on a very oily scalp? Is the water boiling the whole time the soapwort is in it overnight or is the water brought to a boil and the soapwort seeps in it overnight? Does the water have to be strained to get larger particles out?

  12. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Chris,
    When the scalp overproduces oil it is usually from having been stripped heavily of its natural oils from harsh shampoos and also possibly from diet. Your scalp can normalize with less washing and also gentle cleansers. Depending upon how long you’ve been using no ‘poo hair care methods will also determine how effective soapwort root will work for you.

    To make soapwort root shampoo boil then steep overnight. In the morning strain well. You can also find other natural cleansing options for hair here, I hope that this is helpful and best wishes!