Due to one reason or another, it may be inconvenient for some people to use traditional washing machine detergents to wash their clothes. The other alternative is to use liquid soaps meant for fabric but they can be quite expensive and unsuitable for daily use.
But not being able to use detergent for cleaning clothes can be a bother as all of us want our clothes to smell fresh when we wear them. And detergents use fragrances that infuse the fabric of the clothes.
A safe and inexpensive alternative is using laundry bar soap, it is not only cheap but is also a proper cleaning agent that helps to get rid of stubborn and dirty stains.
But there are some problems regarding using laundry soap in the washing machine. The most important one is that the rotating drum may get damaged due to the soap. But people still do use laundry soap. Let us find out how.
Can I Use Laundry Bar Soap In The Washing Machine?
Yes, you can use laundry bar soap in the washing machine. But you need to consider some factors before doing so. One of those factors is soap hardness. A soap that is too hard will not dissolve in water easily leading to an incomplete washing of your clothes.
The water temperature plays a role if you choose laundry soap as very cold water will not dissolve the soap and it will remain in chunks without getting any cleaning done.
Similarly, while using a bar of soap in a washing machine, you should turn up the agitation level to make sure that the soap reaches all corners of the clothing that you have put in the machine.
How to Use Laundry Bar Soap in a Washing Machine?
Here are a few easy steps that you can follow to safely and properly use a laundry soap bar in the washing machine.
Prep the Soap
Laundry Bar Soaps are commercially available in the form of bulky and thick bars with ridges. The ridges help the user to grip the soap properly when applying it on the cloth or a particularly deep stain. It goes without saying that you cannot just directly use it inside the washing machine.
Putting in a laundry soap bar inside a washing machine is almost equivalent to putting in a solid object or a rock that will bump all over the drum when in motion and maybe even damage the inner surface. All the while there will be no cleaning done.
Therefore, to avoid this you must prep the soap.
Use a sharp tool and grate the soap into smaller pieces. If you are using a knife, then the pieces will come out in uneven chunks. But if you run the soap through a sharp grater, the consistency will be powder-like and most close to a detergent.
If you still feel that the grated soap feels chunky, you may dissolve it in a bowl of lukewarm water to soften the soap particles down.
The Process to Add the Soap
Assuming that you have dissolved the soap in a bowl of warm water, you may choose to add the whole thing via the detergent tray or just directly apply it to the clothes.
Open the lid or the door of the washing machine and disperse the wet soap all over the clothes that need to be washed. However, this method is not recommended for those with a front-loading washing machine as all corners of the clothes may not get access to the soap. Try to use the detergent tray. Its purpose is to dispense the detergent as and when needed.
In Top-loading washing machines, the grated and wet soap can be added just like you would do for a detergent powder, directly on the clothes.
Start the Washing Machine Cycle
This is a fairly simple process without any complications. However, do keep certain things in mind. Depending on the hardness of the particular soap you are using, it may or may not dissolve very well.
Bar soaps are not made to dissolve very quickly because then you would be buying a new bar every other week. Plus the harder the soap is, the easier it is to grip and scrub it over clothes. That is why these soaps may prove to be unsuitable for washing machine use.
In any case, breaking it down and dissolving it in a bowl of warm, water helps to break it down. Still, you should set a program for the washing machine cycle that will have a higher agitation. Agitation in a washer is done through a part called the Agitator which is like a spindle protruding from the bottom.
It moves back and forth causing the water and the detergent to wash all the clothes thoroughly. The faster it moves, the more through the wash. So, if you set the agitator to move aggressively during the washing cycle, it may be able to combat the issue of the hardness of the soap.
Clean the Rotating Drum
After you have washed the clothes, remove them from the washer carefully. Check for soap deposits or scum anywhere inside the rotating drum or on the detergent tray and if you do find any then clean it off.
Letting soap scum accumulate inside a washing machine is not a good idea and especially laundry soaps which are made with fatty acids or animal fat that make them hard and firm. This may end up becoming food for bacteria and once bacteria start breeding, the insides will start smelling like sewage.
The smell of soap can also attract cockroaches who feed on it and if you do not use the washer frequently, these bugs will lay eggs and infest the inside of your washing machine.
There are both advantages and disadvantages when it comes to using laundry bar soap in the washing machine. They are cheaper than detergent powders, long-lasting, and even environment-friendly.
This means that you will save a lot of money in the long run while avoiding detergents that are made from chemicals. Laundry bar soaps are made with natural and biodegradable ingredients.
However, there are also downsides to this such as the residue or soap scum that gradually build up over time. If not cleaned after every use, this may accumulate and negatively affect the performance of a washing machine.
It can also be less efficient at cleaning. So, you may use regular bar soap for daily clothes and reserve the detergent powder for clothes that have specific manufacturer’s instructions or are expensive.