Can I Use Shampoo as Laundry Detergent? Pros and Cons!

How many of you have found yourself in a difficult scenario when you need to wash a beloved piece of clothing or a fortunate accessory in the middle of a work or vacation trip but forgot to carry laundry detergent? So, in such a case, is it possible to use shampoo as laundry detergent?

If you don’t have any laundry detergent, you can still wash your clothes by hand with shampoo. Shampoo should not be washed in a washing machine since it might produce a lot of foam and cause bubbles to escape the machine. So you can hand-wash your garments in the sink or clean stains with shampoo and water.

For some individuals, this question may seem strange, but it is effective, especially when you are in a rush. To learn more about this alternative strategy, continue reading this blog!  

Is It Possible to Wash Clothes With Shampoo? 

Whenever it comes to washing clothes, there is a wide range of options. Standard laundry detergent is recommended by some, while organic or homemade alternatives are preferred by many others.

Using shampoo as laundry detergent is not ideal, but it can work in a pinch. Shampoo is designed for hair, not fabric, so it may not clean clothes as effectively. Use sparingly to avoid excess suds, and rinse thoroughly to prevent residue on your clothes.

There are numerous methods for doing laundry. Some individuals believe that washing clothes with a washer is more efficient than washing clothes by hand, while others believe that hand-washing clothes save water and electricity. This blog will cover how to wash your clothes with shampoo by hand and even in a machine.

Using Shampoo to Hand-Wash Clothes

1. Based on the fabric, fill a sink with warm or cold water.

Read the washing instructions for each item of clothing before washing it. If there isn’t a tag, just use cold water to be cautious.

  • Cotton, linen, and synthetic materials should be washed in warm water. Use hot water if the clothing is highly dirty.
  • Use cold water if you are laundering any white items with any red or dark-colored ones.
  • Use cold water on sensitive textiles like silk and lace.
  • While “dry clean only” products can be hand-washed, it is recommended to take them to a cleaning company.  

2. To keep the liquid soapy, add 1 teaspoon of mild shampoo.

Squeeze a mild shampoo into the liquid which does not include any pigments or chemicals, and mix it till the water becomes foamy. Baby shampoo is a good option because it works almost as well as laundry detergent and has a pleasant, gentle aroma.

  • If you are not aware whether your shampoo contains a pigment, look for types that say “remove greys” or “boost color.”
  • So because conditioner contains oils that stick to clothes fibers, don’t use 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner mixtures.
  • You may need to add an extra 1 teaspoon of shampoo if you are using more than 128 ounces of fluid.

3. Allow 2 to 5 minutes for the clothing to soak in the water.

Soak 1 or 2 items of clothing in the water, pressing down any trapped air to ensure the entire clothing is soaked. Allow for a 5-minute soaking to allow the shampoo and water to penetrate the fibers.

  • Allow 10 minutes for extremely stained clothing to soak.
  • You can launder 4 or 5 items at a time if you are washing little items like undergarments.
  • Only wash one t-shirt or pair of jeans at a time if you are washing them.

4. In the dirtiest areas, rub soapy water into the fibers.

Keep the clothes at the dirtiest parts and rub the soapy water through the fibers with your fingers. When working with thin materials (such as Pima cotton), be delicate and prevent twisting or stretching the fibers.

  • If you are cleaning a shirt, for example, concentrate on the armpit areas.

5. Rinse the garment in clean water after removing it.

Remove the garment from the water and turn on the tap; if it was washed in warm water, rinse it in warm water (and vice versa). Wash the entire clothing, paying special attention to the areas where you concentrated your cleaning efforts.

  • For rinsing, you could use the same basin, a bathtub tap, or a separate sink if one is accessible.

6. Gently squeeze out the water.

To eliminate extra water, hold the wet clothing over the sink and lightly squeeze it. Prevent squeezing the clothing too aggressively to avoid straining the fabric.

  • You can also set the moist clothing on top of a clean, dry towel on a table. Then wrap the towel and clothing together, pushing out all the water as you go.

7. Use a dryer or air dry the clothes.

Read the cleaning directions on the package to determine if it should be allowed to dry, spread flat to dry, or steam dried on higher or lower heat in the dryer. If you are not sure, spread the clothing evenly to dry so it keeps its shape.

  • To dry a garment, place the clothing on top of a dry towel on a tabletop, rearranging it and pressing out as many folds as you can with your hands. After 2 hours, check to see if the front is dry, and if it is, turn it over so the backside is exposed to the atmosphere.
  • To hang dry, put the clothing flat and smooth out as many creases as possible with your hands. After that, hang it to dry in a well-ventilated area.
  • If the clothing can be dried in the dryer but you don’t have one, use a low-heat hair dryer to dry it manually.

The Benefits of Shampoo as a Laundry Detergent

Shampoo can be used to clean garments. It removes dirt, grease, and stains from clothes effectively. Some of the benefits of using shampoo as a laundry detergent include:

  • The first benefit is that shampoo is inexpensive. A bottle of shampoo is usually far less expensive than a bottle of detergent.
  • The shampoo is safe for the environment because it is biodegradable. This means it may be safely flushed down the toilet without causing damage to the environment.
  • Conventional laundry detergents are harsher on your clothes and skin than shampoo. Because shampoo is designed to be mild on the skin, it may be less likely than some standard laundry detergents to cause skin irritation or reactions.
  • Shampoo can be used on all types of laundry, especially comforters, and towels.

The Drawback of Shampoo as a Laundry Detergent

The shampoo is designed to remove grease and debris from hair, but it can also remove oils and dirt from the clothing, requiring cleaning. But the following are some of the consequences of using shampoo as a laundry detergent:

  • Shampoo as a washing detergent, can cause clothes to feel rigid and rough, causing them to degrade faster.
  • Shampoo isn’t meant to be used in hot water, and it can cause clothes to shrink or discolor.
  • Shampoo can leave a soapy coating on your clothes, making them more susceptible to grime and dust.


Finally, utilizing shampoo as a laundry detergent is an effective approach to cleaning your garments. Washing clothes with shampoo has a number of advantages and disadvantages that you should consider before doing so.

While shampoo isn’t the greatest laundry detergent, it is still a realistic solution for those seeking a cost-effective and environmentally friendly option. Shampoo as laundry detergent is a wonderful choice to explore if you want to save resources and support the environment.


Are All Shampoos Effective for Washing Clothes?

Most shampoos offer the same positive results, with the exception of shampoo for bleached hair. However, because you will be hand-washing it, it is best to use a baby shampoo rather than an adult shampoo.

Is There Any Other Laundry Detergent Alternative?

If you run out of washing detergent and don’t have gentle shampoo on hand, there are a few additional options. Baking soda, white vinegar, shower gel, lime juice, bar soap, alcohol, gypsum, and other laundry tricks are available.

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