Soap what?!! This was also my reaction when I first heard about soapnuts.  From Wikipedia, soapnuts or soapberries are called such because their fruit pulp is used to make soap.  The insides of the nuts contain saponins, a natural surfactant.  I had been looking for an all-natural laundry detergent to use for N’s clothes, as part of the eco-friendly changes that I am trying to do in my household.  Saw these soapnuts at Sunday Legaspi Market and purchased a trial pack for P100.  The soapnuts were from Chlorophyll and if you can’t get to the Sunday Market, check out their details below.

Soapnuts – break them so the sapindus gets to your laundry
*photo from
we use these cotton bags, stuff them with about 4-5 berries broken into pieces and throw them into the wash
*photo from

Since I prefer online shopping (and home deliveries), I checked if there was anyone else who sold them and delivered.  I found Ivy Esguerra of Nature Corner.  But I was sad to learn that she stopped selling the soapnuts due to high freight costs!  However, she still maintains her website to provide information on soapnuts.  I was quite lucky because Ivy shared some of her remaining stocks of soapnuts with me.
So how to use the soapnuts?  We put about 4-5 berries inside a cotton sack and break then into half.  The water needs to get into more surfaces of the soapberries for the sapindus to work.  Then we just throw them in the wash with dirty clothes.  We reuse the soapnuts 3-4 times and just throw them out when they’ve lost their moisture.  The clothes do get clean but they don’t have that “clean laundry” smell that we’re used to smelling from major detergent brands.
Since Ivy was kind enough to share her soapnuts stash with me, I’m giving away 1 bag of about 16 pieces of soapnuts.  You can join by leaving a comment about an eco-friendly change that you implemented in your household.  While you’re at it, I would appreciate it if you can like my Facebook page and tweet or blog about this giveaway!  Comments will be accepted until 22 July 2011.  Contest is open to everyone with a Philippine address I can ship the giveaway to.