Can You Use Shampoo To Wash Clothes? (Machine vs Hand Washing)


Have you ever found yourself in a sticky situation when you want to wash your favorite clothes or lucky accessories on a business trip or vacation, realizing that you don’t bring laundry detergent? Can I wash clothes instead of shampoo?

This question may seem very strange to many people, but it works to some extent, especially when you are in a hurry. Scroll down this article to learn more about this ingenious method.

laundry detergent
What if laundry detergent runs out?

Can I use shampoo to wash my clothes?

We all know that there are two different washing methods: washing machine and hand washing. So let’s see if you can use shampoo on any laundry system.

washing machine use

It cannot be overemphasized how terrible the consequences of washing clothes in the washing machine using shampoo are.

Why? Shampoos create a huge amount of lather, so removing them is time consuming and labor intensive.

So the cleaning process is too long. The longer the discharge cycle, the greater the power consumption. As a result, your electricity bill will be higher than usual at the end of the month.

And, unfortunately, there are times when the washing machine is not able to completely remove the foam, making it impossible to completely wash clothes. Not only does it leave residue on clothes, it also leaves stains.

In particular, when using a full-load washing machine, it is easy to damage because it is only suitable for specially designed low-foaming detergents. As a result, you may have to pay for your arms and legs for repairs.

washing machine
It is not recommended to add shampoo to the washing machine

Washing hands

It is not recommended to use shampoo in the washing machine, but the opposite is true for hand washing.

Add a small amount of shampoo (eg 1 teaspoon of baby shampoo) to a sink that is already filled with water.

Shampoo works with liquid laundry detergent, rinsing oil, grease, and almost any stain on clothes.

Also, some garments made from silk, wool, etc., due to their hair-like texture, even suggest that the manufacturer should use a shampoo to avoid spoiling the texture of the fabric.

Of course, shampoos still make up a lot of foaming agents, so the same problems mentioned above arise. Hand washing these foaming agents and catching fish is not easy.

So, in emergencies when you have no other choice, choosing a mild shampoo like baby shampoo is the ultimate choice.

Washing hands
Shampoo can be an alternative to laundry detergent for hand washing

How to wash clothes with shampoo?

Shampoo use can be applied to both hand washing and spot treatment by following these steps:

Washing hands

  • Step 1: Fill a clean sink with cold or warm water along with a different cloth.

Carefully check the instructions for each type of clothing you want to wash. Always be safe using cold water when not tagged.

In general, linen, cotton and other synthetic fibers prefer warm water. Hot water is essential for heavily soiled clothing.

Black or red products/white clothing with patterns should be used in cold water. It can also be applied to delicate fabrics such as lace or silk.

Garments marked dry-clean only can be hand-washed or used by a professional laundromat.

  • Step 2: Make soap by adding shampoo to water.

Make a soapy solution by pouring a teaspoon of a mild, non-dye or tint-free shampoo into the water and stirring until the mixture is well mixed.

The best option is baby shampoo. Because it acts as a laundry soap and can leave a subtle, fresh scent after washing.

If you’re not sure which shampoo is safe, stay away from shampoos with a “boost color” or “correct gray” because they always color.

Never use 2-in-1 shampoos and conditioners as they contain oils that can stick to clothes.

The amount of shampoo depends on the amount of clothes. For every 8 pounds of clothing, you may need an additional teaspoon of shampoo.

  • Step 3: Put your clothes in water and let them soak for a few minutes.

Soak the entire piece in water for up to 5 minutes to allow the soap mixture to soak into your clothing. However, heavily soiled clothing may take 10 minutes longer.

You can wash 4-5 small pieces of clothing such as underwear at a time. However, please wash only one type of pants or T-shirt.

  • Step 4: Massage the soapy water over the most contaminated areas of the fabric.

Pay attention to the armpits of the shirt, for example.

Soapy water massage on fabric
Soapy water massage on fabric
  • Step 5: Remove clothes and rinse with clean running water.

If you are washing clothes in cold water, use cold water to rinse. It doesn’t matter whether you use a different sink or the same sink for rinsing.

  • Step 6: Gently squeeze out the water.

Do not overtighten as this may cause unwanted stretching of the clothing.

  • Step 7: Dry your clothes.

Depending on the type of clothes, you can lay them down, hang them, or put them in the dryer. If you are confused, it is recommended to lay it flat to maintain its shape and let it dry naturally.

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

stain treatment

  • Step 1: Remove as much dust as possible.

For liquid stains such as tea, coffee, beer, wine, or sauce, quickly rinse the stain area under running water. For solid or semi-solid stains such as ice cream, peanut butter, or dirt, dab with a paper towel. Do not wipe or wipe as this may smear the stain.

Sometimes a dull small knife can be useful for removing hard dirt.

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

In this case, a drop of shampoo the size of a pea is enough. Then fold the cloth and rub it on the stain. Depending on the type of stain, you may need to use cold or hot water.

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

  • Step 3: Absorb rough stains with a dry towel, reapply water and shampoo if necessary.

You may need to turn the clothes inside out to avoid soiling and add more shampoo to get rid of the stain on the other side. As you repeatedly wipe the stain, you will see the stain disappear.

Be careful with your movements so as not to affect large areas of the clothing. And do not rub the dirty area itself. It allows it to spread and remain deep into the fibers.

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

Still, the temperature of the water should be similar to that when mopping the soil. Once the dust is gone, you can wash it normally in the washing machine using regular detergent. If that doesn’t work, reapply with water and shampoo as in step 3.

In the absence of detergent, the sink method can be applied. However, do not put the shampoo in the washing machine. Otherwise, you may mess up the foam later.

  • Step 5: Change the shape of the garment and hang or lay to dry.

Carefully check the instructions on the clothing tag to determine which drying method is best for your clothing.

Unfortunately, if the stain is still visible, you may need to treat the area and rinse again.

Shampoo to treat stains
You can use shampoo to treat the stain

Frequently Asked Questions

In this section, we will answer some common questions we have received from individuals around the world. Hopefully, they can solve your problem too.

How much shampoo should I use when washing?

Because shampoo is made up of many foaming agents, one teaspoon is sufficient for a regular washbasin with a sufficient amount of liquid. You can add a little more for a larger amount of clothes or a larger sink.

Do all types of shampoo work?

Most shampoos do the same thing, except for purple shampoos for bleached hair and shampoos that combine shampoo and conditioner.

However, since they are hand-washed, it is wise to choose a mild baby shampoo rather than an adult shampoo.

Are there other alternatives to laundry detergent?

If you’re running out of laundry detergent and don’t have a mild shampoo, there are other alternatives.

For laundry tips, you can use baking soda, white vinegar, body wash gel, lemon juice, soap, vodka, borax, etc.

laundry detergent
Baking soda, white vinegar, body wash, lemon juice, vodka, and borax can be used as alternatives.


Now you know the exact answer to your question. ‘Can I wash my clothes with shampoo?’, right?

If you have neither the time nor the choice, shampoo is a great solution for a quick fix when you’re running out of detergent. However, shampoo must be used only for hand washing, and to avoid problems, do not use a washing machine.

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

Thanks for reading.


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