Have you ever wondered if you can use that good old laundry bar soap in your washing machine? I did too! I decided to dive deep into this, experimenting and researching to find the truth.

What I discovered was a mix of surprising insights, practical tips, and essential dos and don’ts that every washing machine owner should know. If you’re curious about unlocking the potential of laundry bar soap and navigating its challenges, join me as I share my journey and findings!

How to Use Laundry Bar Soap in a Washing Machine

Can Laundry Bar Soap be Used in a Washing Machine?

Yes, you can use laundry bar soap in a washing machine, but there are certain factors to consider to ensure proper usage and avoid any potential damage to your machine. Laundry bar soap needs to be grated or dissolved before using it in a washing machine.

This is because bar soap can produce a lot of soap suds that can get into the motor or drive system of the washing machine, leading to machine failure.

How to Use Laundry Bar Soap in a Washing Machine

There are some factors to consider when you are going to use laundry bar soap in your washing machine. Now without wasting any of our time let’s go in-depth into the things you need to keep in mind.

Soap Hardness

When using laundry bar soap in a washing machine, it is important to consider the hardness of the soap. Soap that is too hard may not dissolve properly in the water, resulting in poor cleaning performance and residue on clothes.

Testing the hardness of your water can help determine the appropriate amount of soap to use.

Soap Quantity

The quantity of laundry bar soap used in a washing machine is crucial. Using too much soap can create excessive suds, affecting the effectiveness of the cleaning process.

On the other hand, using too little soap may not clean the clothes adequately. It is essential to find the right balance and use just enough soap to get the job done without overwhelming the machine.

Water Temperature

Water temperature plays a significant role in using laundry bar soap in a washing machine. The right water temperature helps the soap to lather and clean the clothes effectively.

If the water is too hot, it can cause the soap to dissolve quickly, resulting in less effective cleaning. If the water is too cold, the soap may not dissolve properly and may not clean the clothes as well. Finding the right moderate water temperature is essential for optimal results.

Cycle Time

The cycle time of a washing machine is another crucial factor when using laundry bar soap. A shorter cycle time may be more effective in removing the soap from the clothes, while a longer cycle time can cause soap to become lodged in the fabric, making it more challenging to remove.

It is recommended to experiment with different cycle times to find the one that works best for your needs.

Washing Machine Agitation

The agitation level of the washing machine is important for effective cleaning. Using laundry bar soap in a washing machine may require adjusting the agitation level to ensure proper cleaning.

Some programs have higher agitation levels than others, so selecting the appropriate program can help the soap work its best.

Methods to Use Laundry Bar Soap in a Washing Machine

Methods to Use Laundry Bar Soap in a Washing Machine

Method 1: Creating Laundry Liquid from Soap Bar

If you prefer using liquid detergent, you can create your own laundry liquid from a laundry bar soap. Follow these steps:

  1. Cut the soap bar into small pieces using a grater.
  2. Mix the soap slices in warm water and stir gently until the soap dissolves.
  3. Add washing soda to concentrate the liquid, if desired.
  4. Allow the mixture to rest for 12 to 16 hours to create a concentrated liquid detergent.

This homemade laundry liquid can be used in your washing machine for handwashing or machine washing.

Method 2: Loading a Soap Bar Directly into the Washing Machine

Alternatively, you can load laundry bar soap directly into the washing machine. Follow these steps:

  1. Insert the laundry soap bar into the machine with the clothes. You can place it in a net-type fabric to prevent it from getting lost or tangled with the clothes.
  2. Set your washing machine to a warm or hot wash cycle and adjust the timer to around 40 minutes.
  3. Allow the machine to wash the clothes with the laundry soap bar.

This method is convenient for those who prefer a simpler approach to using laundry bar soap in the washing machine.

Benefits of Using Laundry Bar Soap in a Washing Machine

Using laundry bar soap in a washing machine offers several benefits:


Laundry bar soap is generally cheaper than laundry detergent, making it a cost-effective option for cleaning clothes. It can be up to 10 times cheaper than detergent, which can lead to significant savings in the long run.


Laundry bar soap tends to last longer than liquid detergent. A single bar of soap can last up to six months, while a bottle of detergent may last only one or two months. This longevity can result in additional cost savings and reduce the frequency of purchasing detergent.

Environmentally Friendly

Compared to some laundry detergents that contain harsh chemicals, laundry bar soap is often made from natural ingredients that are biodegradable. By using laundry bar soap, you can reduce your environmental impact and contribute to a more sustainable lifestyle.

Disadvantages of Using Laundry Bar Soap in a Washing Machine

While there are benefits to using laundry bar soap in a washing machine, there are also some disadvantages to consider:

Soap Scum and Residue

Using laundry bar soap in a washing machine can lead to the build-up of soap scum and residue. This residue can affect the performance of the machine and cause it to break down prematurely. Additionally, the soap film can be unsightly, difficult to remove, and may harbor bacteria.

Lack of Lather

Laundry bar soap often doesn’t create enough suds to effectively clean clothes. Liquid detergents are specifically designed to generate suds, which help remove dirt and stains from fabric. The lack of lather from laundry bar soap can result in less efficient cleaning.

Machine Damage

The build-up of soap residue from using laundry bar soap can damage the washing machine over time. This can lead to decreased performance and even breakages. Regular cleaning of the machine is essential to prevent soap residue build-up and maintain its longevity.

Efficiency and Environmental Impact

Using laundry bar soap may be less efficient and environmentally friendly compared to using detergent. Bar soap requires more water to rinse clean, which can waste valuable resources.

Additionally, some bar soaps may contain synthetic fragrances and harmful chemicals that can contaminate waterways when washed down the drain.

FAQ about How to Use Laundry Bar Soap in a Washing Machine

Can I use laundry bar soap directly on clothes without grating or dissolving it?

Yes, you can place the bar soap directly in the washing machine with the clothes, preferably in a net-type fabric to prevent it from getting lost or tangled.

How much laundry bar soap should I use in my washing machine?

Use a moderate amount to avoid excessive suds or insufficient cleaning. The exact amount depends on the load size and soil level of the clothes.

Is laundry bar soap suitable for all types of fabrics?

It can be used for most fabrics, but always check the garment care labels and test a small inconspicuous area first to ensure compatibility.

Can laundry bar soap remove tough stains?

It may not be as effective as specialized stain removers or detergents, so pre-treating stubborn stains before washing is advisable.

Can I mix laundry bar soap with liquid detergent in the washing machine?

It’s not recommended as it can lead to excessive suds and residue, potentially affecting the machine’s performance and the cleanliness of the clothes.

How often should I clean my washing machine when using laundry bar soap?

Regular cleaning is essential to prevent soap scum and residue build-up, consider cleaning after every few washes or as needed.

Are there any specific washing machine settings I should use with laundry bar soap?

Use a moderate water temperature and consider experimenting with different cycle times to ensure the soap is thoroughly rinsed from the clothes.

Can I use laundry bar soap in a front-loading washing machine?

Yes, but be cautious with the amount to avoid excessive suds that can affect the machine’s performance.

Can laundry bar soap leave a residue on clothes?

Yes, it can, especially if used in excess or not rinsed properly. Adjusting the water temperature and cycle time can mitigate this issue.

Is laundry bar soap safe for sensitive skin?

It depends on the ingredients of the soap. Choose soaps made from natural and mild ingredients and do a patch test if you have concerns about skin sensitivity.

It is possible to use laundry bar soap in a washing machine, but certain factors need to be considered to ensure proper usage and avoid potential damage to the machine.

Whether you choose to create a liquid detergent from a soap bar or load the soap bar directly into the machine, using laundry bar soap offers cost-effectiveness, long-lasting usage, and environmental benefits.

However, it is important to be aware of the potential drawbacks, such as soap scum, lack of lather, machine damage, and efficiency concerns. By understanding these factors, you can make an informed decision on whether to use laundry bar soap in your washing machine.

Please note that this article is for informational purposes only and does not substitute professional advice.

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