How to get rid of dirt, smells and tough stains

Updated: Mar 25

Who likes to clean?

Not me. 😬 Well, let me clarify. I do want my space to be neat and organised, but I won’t freak out if I don’t manage to wipe, sanitise or dust off my things every now and then.

I’ll live.

But it does feel good when you clean your room, take a step back, and smile because you feel like everything’s so shiny. It’s like you’ve accomplished something amazing. 😊

Of course, I also want to up my cleaning game so I can make better use of my time and be efficient. Any product that can help me do this, please let me know.

One range that I happened to come across that I think would be cool to try out is Soapnut Republic.

A New Zealand brand, Soapnut Republic was established in 2012 by New Zealander and Australian couple Bobby Mitchell and Kim Gilliland. They offer hand soaps, home care and laundry cleaning products, just to name a few. Their personal care line will also be launching soon.

Soapnut Republic
The floor cleaner, dish soap, laundry liquid, multi purpose spray, foaming hand soap and glass cleaner – which would you like to try first?

They’re available and sold in Singapore, China, Hong Kong, Denmark and Germany.

What’s interesting about their products is that they’re made with soapnut berry extract, plant-based ingredients and essential oils. These ingredients, they tell us, are all sustainably sourced, safe for the skin, allergen-free and biodegradable.

What are soapnuts?

According to Soapnut Republic, “Soapnuts have been used as a cleaning agent to produce soap in South America, India, Indonesia and China. In traditional Indian culture, soapnuts have been used as a shampoo to help with dandruff. In Indonesia, it is used as a laundry wash as it retains the colours of the batik fabric. And in Chinese medicine, soapnuts have been used to treat dry skin.”

Maybe it will make a difference in the way I look at cleaning, how I clean my space, and do my laundry? It happened to Kim. 😊

“Before Soapnut Republic, I liked to have a clean home – but I never liked cleaning because I hated the smell of conventional cleaning products,” admits the CEO and co-founder.

Soapnut Republic
Meet Kim

“I’ve also never liked wearing gloves to wash the dishes or clean the house, so I didn’t like the way those conventional products felt on my skin. They made my hands extremely dry.”

And now?

“We started Soapnut Republic so that our home environment would be safe for our young family. Bobby accidentally drank bleach as a two-year-old, and we wanted to make sure that our three children would never be exposed to that sort of risk,” she recounts.

“These days we really enjoy cleaning with our own products. We’ve put a lot of time and effort into perfecting the formulations and making sure they’re safe, and we’re extremely proud of how they perform so well.

“In particular, I enjoy doing the laundry. Our Laundry Liquid smells amazing as I’m pouring it into the machine dispenser. It leaves my clothes, towels and bed linen feeling soft with a lovely, natural fragrance,” she adds.

“Bobby’s thing is washing the dishes. He loves it!”

It all sounds promising

And ideal, even… but not when you actually have to get down and dirty, and deal with stains and household accidents. I mean, sometimes it feels like you do have to scrub and rub endlessly. And who would want that? (Okay, don’t answer that.)

But Kim is fully aware of this, and has gathered some tips and tricks of her own through experience and trial and error. She lists nine of the toughest things and spaces to clean at home, and what she does to make the undesirables go away. 😊

Note: This is not a sponsored post. Kim mentions their products, but feel free to find, test, substitute or insert your own favourite cleaners here.

#1 Felt-tip pens on fabric furniture

“Spray our Multi Purpose Spray directly onto the stain and blot it with a wet, clean cloth. Repeat this process until the mark eventually disappears. Don’t rub vigorously or you may damage the fabric. It takes time and patience, but you can remove most felt-tip pen marks.”

#2 Mould

“Our Glass Cleaner contains a high level of white vinegar and other natural surfactant ingredients, which are effective at removing surface mould. If mould has severely damaged your walls or ceiling, you may need to replace the plaster and repaint. To prevent this sort of mould damage, clean all living areas regularly with our Multi Purpose Spray and place dehumidifiers in your bathrooms.”

#3 Dirty marks on walls

“We have three little kids so we’ve had a lot of practice with this. Our Multi Purpose Spray will wipe away most marks on washable walls. Spray the product directly onto the marked areas (don’t go overboard) and simply wipe away with a clean, damp cloth. It works really well for crayon marks on walls too.”

#4 Permanent markers on benchtops

“This can seem like a big problem, but it is usually solved quite easily with the Soapnut Republic Glass Cleaner. Spray it onto the marked area, leave it for five to 10 minutes, and then simply wipe away the marker stain.”

#5 Coffee mug stains

“I’ve seen people use bleach to whiten the insides of coffee mugs, but do you really want to risk your health by soaking the cup you’re going to be drinking from in toxic chemicals? The very simple solution is to use our slightly abrasive, non-toxic Cream Cleanser. It removes coffee stains from mugs and cups with minimal effort.”

#6 Food and drink stains on clothes

“Our Natural Stain Remover will remove most food, wine, oil, dirt and grime stains – all within reason, of course. The trick is to treat stains as quickly as possible. Don’t leave them in the laundry basket for a week or more and expect miracles. Spray the Natural Stain Remover directly onto any marks, leave it to soak for a few minutes, and then start to work it into the fabric. Most marks will gradually disappear. Don’t rub vigorously or you’ll damage the fabric. If the stain is extreme, we recommend following this process by soaking the fabric overnight in Soapnut Republic Laundry Soaker and then washing as normal.”

Soapnut Republic
You're all set

#7 For fitness equipment

“You don’t need to spend money on specially designed yoga mat and exercise equipment sprays when our non-toxic Multi Purpose Spray will do the job just as well, if not better. It is perfectly safe for skin contact.”

#8 For pet equipment, stains and smells

“Clean pet equipment regularly with our Multi Purpose Spray and a clean, damp cloth. Our products are completely safe for pets, and rest assured that we do not test any of our products on animals. In fact, our products are accredited as vegan and cruelty-free by PETA. We’ve also had many customers tell us that our Glass Cleaner is effective for removing pet urine stains and smells from fabric furniture.”

#9 For children’s toys and nursery items

“Due to the non-toxic, allergen-free nature of our formulations and the fact that our ingredients are food-grade, our Multi Purpose Spray (and all Soapnut Republic products) are perfectly safe. For toys that can be immersed in water, you can also use our Dish Soap.”

Your cleaning arsenal

If you’re looking for products to help clean your home, there’s one rule that Kim suggests we keep in mind.

“We all want clean homes, but it’s important to consider the possible compromise on your health if you are using toxic chemical products,” she says.

“Our bodies absorb toxic chemicals like a sponge. I think it’s important to know exactly what’s in the products you are using, and to be confident that there are no possible health risks.

“With Soapnut Republic, there is no compromise. Our products clean exceptionally well, yet they are completely safe for the people using them and the environment too.”

And hopefully cleaning won’t be such a chore anymore. 😊

For more on Soapnut Republic in Singapore, click here. Follow them on Facebook and Instagram.

They sell regular bottled products at 500ml to 1L, and bulk-sized bottles at 5L, online; you can opt for delivery too. You can also get refills of selected products through The Social Space (Marina One) and The Bare Essentials. Plus they recently launched exclusively at FairPrice Finest, so you will soon be able to buy them island-wide.

Soapnut Republic
Don't forget to wash your hands!