Can You Use Shampoo To Wash Clothes?

Have you ever been in this sticky situation: Wanting to wash your favorite clothing item or lucky accessory in the middle of business or holiday trips and realizing that you do not bring laundry detergent along? Can you use shampoo to wash clothes instead?

This question might seem pretty weird for several people, but it does work to some extent, especially when you are in such a hurry. Scroll down this article to understand more about this unconventional method.

Laundry Detergent
What If You Run Out Of Laundry Detergent?

Can You Use Shampoo To Wash Clothes?

We guess you all know two different ways of washing clothes: washing machine and hand wash. So, let’s dive in to know whether the shampoo is usable for any clothes washing system or not.

Using Laundry Machine

We can’t emphasize enough how terrible the outcome will be when you use shampoo to wash clothes in the washing machine.

Why is that? As shampoo generates a huge quantity of bubbles, which is an exhausting and time-consuming task to get rid of.

Therefore, that makes your cleaning process too long. The longer the discharge cycle, the greater the power consumption. And as a result, you will have a higher than usual electricity bill at the end of the month.

And sometimes, unfortunately, your washing machine cannot entirely remove bubbles, leaving clothes unable to clean completely. Not only residue is left on clothes but also stains.

Shampoos Hub
Shampoos Hub

In particular, if you use a front load washing machine, it will be more prone to damage because these machines are only suitable for specially designed, low-foaming detergents. As a result, you may have to pay an arm and a leg for repairs.

Laundry Machine
It Is Not Recommended To Add Shampoo To Washing Machine

Hand Washing

Though using shampoo in the washing machine is not recommended, the story is the opposite with handwashing.

Put a small amount of shampoo, for example, a teaspoon of baby shampoo, into the sink already filled up with water.

The shampoo will work as the liquid laundry detergent, rinsing grease, oil, and almost all stains out of your clothing.

Moreover, with some clothes made of silk, wool, etc., due to their hair-like texture, even the manufacturers suggest you should use shampoo to avoid ruining the fabric texture.

Well, of course, shampoo still constitutes a bunch of foaming agents, creating the same problem we mentioned above. It is not easy to hand wash and fish out those foaming agents.

So, in emergent cases when you have no other choices left, picking out a mild shampoo, such as baby shampoo, is the ultimate choice.

Hand Washing
Shampoo Can Be An Alternative For Laundry Detergent For Hand Washing

How To Wash Clothes With Shampoo?

The use of shampoo can be applied to both hand wash and spot treatment by following these steps below:

Hand Washing

  • Step 1: Fulfill a clean sink with cold or warm water depending on the different fabrics.

Carefully check the instructions of each clothing type you want to wash. In case there is no tag, use cold water to always be on the safe side.

Generally, linen, cotton, and other synthetic fabrics prefer warm water. For heavily soiled clothes, hot water is a must.

You should use cold water for any white clothing with dark or red articles/ patterns. It is also applicable to delicate fabrics such as lace or silk.

For clothes marked dry clean only, you can choose to either hand wash or use a professional cleaning service.

  • Step 2: Add shampoo to water to create soap.

Pour in the water a teaspoon of mild shampoo, which does not consist of dyes or tint, and stir until the mixture blends well to form a soapy liquid.

The greatest option is baby shampoo, as it can work as a bar of laundry soap and leave a subtle and fresh scent after washing.

If you have no idea which shampoo is safe, stay away from those with “boost color” or “correct grays” because they are always tined.

Never use a 2-in-1 product of shampoo and conditioner since it includes oil that might stick to your clothes.

The amount of shampoo you use depends on the clothes’ volume. For every extra 8 pounds of garments, you might need an additional teaspoon of shampoo.

  • Step 3: Put the clothes into the water and let them soak for a couple of minutes.

Remember to let the entire piece be soaked in water for up to 5 minutes for the soap mixture to penetrate the garment. However, the heavily soiled clothes might need a longer time, for around 10 minutes.

You can wash 4-5 small clothing items such as underwear at once. But for a pair of trousers or a T-shirt, wash one item only.

  • Step 4: Massage the soapy water into the clothing fibers of the fabric at the most soiled parts.

For example, pay attention to the underarm of a shirt.

Massage Soapy Water Into The Fibers
Massage Soapy Water Into The Fibers
  • Step 5: Remove clothes and rinse them under running clean water.

If you wash the garment in cold water, still use cold water for the rinse. It does not matter if you use the different or the same sink for rinsing.

  • Step 6: Squeeze out the water gently.

Do not wring it tightly as it might result in unwanted stretching in your clothes.

  • Step 7: Dry the piece of clothing.

Depending on each clothing type, you should lay it, hang it, or tumble it in a dryer. If you are confused, it’s best to lay the piece flat and let it dry naturally, preserving its shape well.

If the instructions allow you to put it in a dryer, you can also dry it on low heat with a hairdryer.

Spot-Treat Stains

  • Step 1: Get rid of as much dirt as possible.

For a liquid stain such as tea, coffee, beer, wine, or any sauce, quickly rinse the staining area under running water. For a solid or semi-solid stain such as ice cream, peanut butter, or dirt, try to dab it off with a paper towel. Do not wipe or brush as it might spread the smudge.

Sometimes, a dull small knife might come in handy when getting rid of any solid dirt.

  • Step 2: Put a drop of shampoo on a damp rag.

In this case, a pea-sized drop of shampoo is enough. Then, fold the rag over and rub it on the smudge. You might need to use either cold or hot water, depending on the stain type.

For example, warm water effectively removes vomit, sweat, grease, dye, oil, and tomato-based items, while cold water is best for blood, tea, coffee, wine, beer, soda, jelly, and even soy sauce.

  • Step 3: Use a dry towel to absorb the tough stains, reapply water, and shampoo if necessary.

You might need to turn your garment inside out for stubborn dirt and add additional shampoo to blot the stain away on the other side. You should see the stain fading when you blot it again and again.

Please pay attention to your movements to not let them affect larger areas of your clothes. And never rub the dirty zone against itself. It might let it spread and stay deep-set into the fibers.

  • Step 4: Rinse the acne-affected area and wash the clothes as usual.

Still, note that the water temperature should be similar to that when you blot the dirt. If the dirt disappears, you can wash the pieces as normal in a washing machine with a regular detergent. Nevertheless, if not, reapply it with water and shampoo as in Step 3.

In the case of having no detergent, you can apply the sink method. But avoid putting shampoo into a washing machine, or else you might face such a bubbly mess later.

  • Step 5: Reshape the garment and hang or lay it flat to dry.

Carefully check the instructions on your clothing tag to know which drying method suits your items the most.

Unfortunately, you might need to treat that spot and rinse it again if the stain is still visible.

Shampoo To Spot-Treat Stains
You Can Use Shampoo To Spot-Treat Stains

Frequently Asked Questions

In this section, we will answer some common questions that we received from several individuals worldwide. Hopefully, they can solve your problems as well.

How Much Shampoo Should I Use For Washing?

As the shampoo is made up of many foaming agents, a teaspoon of it is enough for a standard bathroom sink with plenty of fluids. You can add a bit more for a bigger load of clothing or a larger sink.

Do All Types Of Shampoo Work?

Most shampoo brings the same effective result, except for purple shampoo for bleached hair and the one with a combination shampoo and conditioner and.

But since you hand wash it, it is more sensible to choose a gentle shampoo for babies instead of adult shampoo.

Is There Any Other Alternative For Laundry Detergent?

If you run short of laundry detergent and do not have gentle shampoo, there are still some other substitute methods.

For laundry hacks, you can use baking soda, white vinegar, body wash gels, lemon juice, bar soap, vodka, borax, etc.

Laundry Detergent
You Can Use Baking Soda, White Vinegar, Body Wash, Lemon Juice, Vodka, Borax As An Alternatives

The Bottom Line

Now, you know the exact answer to the question ‘Can you use shampoo to wash clothes?’, right?

If you have neither time nor choices, shampoo is a great quick fix when you run out of detergent. But remember that you only should use shampoo for hand washing, never using the laundry machine if you don’t want to get in trouble.

It is also the end of our article. Hope you have enjoyed it and learned something new.

Thank you for reading.

Edna Feber

I’m Edna. I'm here to guide you about hair products and maintenance tips. You'll fine here product reviews regarding hair tools, hair color, hair care and more along with tips to keep your hair healthy!

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