Can You Wash Clothes With Body Wash?

Have you ever run out of laundry detergent when you’ve piled up a heap of laundry to do? There’s really nothing to worry about because there are a multitude of options you can choose from (at home) which can help you achieve a decent laundry.

Part of the options include body wash.

Yes, you heard that right.

Body wash can be used as a substitute for laundry detergent, provided it doesn’t contain moisturizing agents and isn’t going to be used in the washing machine. Body wash containing moisturizers would add a filmy layer to the surface of your clothes which would make them attract dirt easily. Meanwhile, using body wash in the washing machine would produce too much suds that would cause issues for both the washer and the laundry.

In the next few headings, you’ll learn how to properly use body wash to clean clothes. You’ll also discover items at home that can help you do the laundry when you run out of laundry detergent.

Using body wash as a laundry detergent

When opting for body wash to do the laundry, make sure it doesn’t have a moisturizer in it or anything that adds a layer of moisture to the body after cleaning. The last thing you want to deposit on your clothes is a slippery moisturizing layer that attracts dirt. 

Go for body wash that has only a foaming action, and ditch those you see with the “hydrating” or “moisturizing” tagline. 

How to use body wash to wash cloth

There is a triple exclamation warning concerning using body wash in the washer. 

“It should never be done”. Never!

The washing machine is not designed to accommodate too many suds, especially the modern washer like the HE machines. They’ll break down faster if you keep up with that practice! 

So if you’re using items like body wash or shampoo in the washing machine, you’ll be generating too many suds which would end up affecting washing machine and laundry in the following ways. 

— Poor washing

Clothes do not wash properly in a very sudsy environment, unlike dishes. This is because the suds interfere with the washing action: the motion of the agitators through the wash water that forces garments to rub against each other and release dirt”. 

Another thing is that you’re most likely going to end up with streaks on your clothes due to the deposits of suds that have not yet completely left the surface of the cloth during rinsing.

— Smelly machine

When you generate too many suds in your washing machine, some of them get left behind even after washing. So the ones that get left behind would serve as a breeding ground for bacteria and fungus there by causing your washing machine to grow mold and also begin to smell.

— Overflowing

When you have too many suds, you typically will be dealing with overflowing. This normally happens in front loaders, so if anything, avoid putting body wash in a front loader!

Now that we know the status of body wash in the washer, how then do we use it to clean laundry?

Hand washing. 

Handwashing is the best way to clean laundry using body wash. With handwashing, suds will definitely form, but the good news is that you can easily manage it’s formation. 

You can do that by removing excess suds with your hands or by using very little detergent and being very careful with the kind of agitation you put into the wash water.

To wash clothes using body wash by hand, simply get a bowl and fill it up with water. Use the appropriate temperature of water depending on the level of tolerance for your fabric. 

Add very little amount of the body wash into the wash water and swish and swirl to incorporate. Now soak your clothes into the water for about 15 to 30 minutes, and then begin washing. Soaking is of paramount importance because it will help loosen up dirt on the clouds. And this would make washing easier.

Can you wash clothes with only water?

Washing your clothes with only water is not possible. You won’t be able to release all the dirt and as a result the cloth won’t be washed the way it’s supposed to. 

When it comes to laundry without detergents, the most basic thing you can use is water and baking soda. Baking soda is a laundry booster meaning that it helps detergents to better perform the functions they are supposed to serve. Thus, without detergent, you can actually fall back to it to help out with the laundry.

Just don’t expect the same cleaning efficiency of laundry detergent in baking soda.

Washing your clothes with baking soda is pretty easy, add 1/2 cups to an empty drum, add wash water, preferably warm to hot water because it will further aid with soil removal, and then run the wash cycle.

Can you use shampoo to wash clothes in the washing machine?

Shampoos, just like body wash, should not be used in the washing machine to clean clothes. However, you can use shampoo to wash clothes by hand. Make sure you’re using very few drops of shampoo because it lathers very well, And you don’t want too much lather that would inhibit your washing action.

Can you wash clothes with bar soap?

You can absolutely use bar soaps to do the laundry. When using bar soap, ensure you opt for soaps that do not contain moisturizers or hydrators to avoid boosting the rate at which your clothes pick up soiling.

Using bar soap is very easy, cut a chuck out of it using a knife and then melt this chunk inside a container (with little water inside) placed over a heat source. Use the melted soap like you would a liquid detergent. 

Another alternative that you have, is to rub the soap against your clothes and then scrub the soap off the cloth to remove soiling.

Final Thoughts

Body washes that do not contain moisturizers or hydrators are perfectly fine for laundry. 

Make sure you’re not using them in the washing machine however, because it can cause too many suds that can impede washing and cause the washer to require maintenance too often. 

When using body wash to clean clothes by hand, ensure you’re adding only very little drops to the wash water to avoid creating too much suds that can make washing difficult for you.