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Can I Use Shampoo as Laundry Detergent?

Ever found yourself without detergent, pondering, can I use shampoo as laundry detergent? It's a quirky question that pops up when you're in a bit of a laundry pickle.

In search of the answer, we're going to explore the possibility of using shampoo in place of your regular laundry detergent. We'll sift through the dos and don'ts, provide some nifty tips, and share a couple of warnings to keep your clothes looking and smelling fresh.

Whether you're wondering does detergent expire or how is detergent made, we're here to help!

So without further delay, let's dive into today's sudsy topic!

What this article covers:

Can You Use Shampoo as Emergency Laundry Detergent?

Our findings show that yes, in a pinch, you can use shampoo as an emergency laundry detergent. This unconventional method can be handy when you're out of your regular detergent and need a quick solution.

Shampoo can serve as a substitute for laundry detergent, but it's important to use it sparingly. A small amount is sufficient for a load of laundry. Overusing shampoo can damage your washing machine.

If this is a concern, consider purchasing a box of our eco-friendly detergent sheets from our convenient online store. We offer fast dispatch from Melbourne, ensuring that you get your eco-friendly laundry solution promptly.

A major benefit to using these sheets is that there is no need to worry about how much laundry detergent to use, as they are pre-measured!

Consider This Before Doing Laundry with Shampoo

Before you reach for that bottle of shampoo to do your laundry, there are a couple of points to consider.

Firstly, it's crucial to understand that not all shampoos are suitable. Some shampoos may work well, but our research indicates that 2-in-1 shampoos and those made for coloured hair might cause damage.

can you use shampoo as laundry detergent in a washing machine

Secondly, it's generally advised to hand wash items with shampoo rather than using a washing machine. This is because shampoo can create excessive suds, which might lead to problems with your machine.

How to Use Shampoo to Wash Laundry

Using shampoo to wash laundry is a handy trick when you're out of detergent, but it requires a bit of know-how to get it right.

Here's a straightforward guide.

Use Cold Water

Start by filling a sink or bucket with cold water. Cold water is generally better for hand washing as it's less likely to cause shrinkage or colour bleeding.

Moderate Shampoo Quantity

Add just a teaspoon or two of shampoo to the water. Based on our observations, this amount is sufficient for a small load of laundry.

Soak And Agitate Gently

Place 1-2 pieces of clothing in the water and let them soak for about 5 minutes. If the clothes are particularly dirty, you might extend this to 10 minutes. Gently agitate the clothes in the water to help loosen dirt and grime.

Rinse Thoroughly

After washing, rinse the clothes thoroughly under running water to remove all traces of shampoo. This step is crucial to ensure no residue is left on the fabric.

can you use shampoo as laundry detergent

Dry Properly

Once rinsed, gently squeeze out excess water (without wringing, which can damage some fabrics) and hang the clothes to dry.

A Few Warnings

While using shampoo as a laundry detergent can be a convenient stopgap, there are several warnings to heed to avoid any laundry mishaps.

Shampoo may not be as effective as laundry detergent in removing heavy stains or dirt from clothes. It's better suited for lightly soiled items and may leave residues on more heavily soiled garments.

It's important to consider the compatibility of the shampoo with the fabric you're washing. If you have sensitive skin or allergies, be cautious. Residues from certain shampoos may cause skin irritation.


While shampoo can indeed be a makeshift solution for laundry detergent in emergencies, it's essential to approach this method with caution. Remember, not all shampoos are suitable, and some can even cause damage, namely 2-in-1 shampoos and those designed for coloured hair.

When using shampoo, it's best to hand wash with cold water, use a moderate amount of shampoo, and rinse thoroughly to avoid any residue.

For a more reliable and eco-friendly laundry solution, consider our Activated Eco detergent sheets. With fast dispatch from Melbourne, you won't have to resort to emergency measures like using shampoo!

So, next time you're in a laundry bind, visit Activated Eco for a thorough, machine-and-skin-friendly wash!

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