Why Homemade Laundry Soap Is Bad? – 3 Main Reasons

By Marsha Harrison

why homemade laundry soap is bad

Homemade laundry soap is not formulated for modern washing machines. Yet, due to the increased prices of goods and pollution problems, many of us are exploring new ways to spend less money and contribute to protecting the planet.

If you are thinking of making your laundry soap, I strongly suggest that you ditch the idea. Let me demonstrate why homemade laundry soap is bad for your washers.


Reasons Homemade Laundry Soap Is Bad

Is homemade laundry detergent safe?”

I bet you searched this question on Google and found conflicting information as thousands of internet users discuss the pros and cons of using DIY laundry soap and detergents.

Since we use the terms “soap” and “detergent” interchangeably, let’s refer to the technical definitions first.

Soap is made of lye, water, and oil or fat. Detergents, on the other hand, do not contain fats. Instead, they use surfactants. These make them more soluble in water than soap.

Now that I’ve explained the basics, let me discuss why you should use detergents instead.

Reason #1: Soap doesn’t work well with modern washing machine


Although both soap and detergent are used for cleaning, the latter is more water-soluble makes a world of difference when it comes to doing your laundry.

To better understand this, let’s compare our skin to our clothes. Our skin is smooth, while clothes are made of fabrics with lots of microscopic holes, loops, and textures.

We can easily shower or bathe ourselves with soap because it rinses well with water. The same can be said with washing the dishes with dish soap. Our plates are non-porous so the soap can be removed easily with water.

However, using soap when washing clothes requires highly intense agitation. Thus, we use a washboard and soap to handwash clothes.

The invention of washing machines has changed the way we do our laundry. These washers rub the clothes by agitating or spinning them. However, they do not agitate as harshly as when one might do with washboards.

Without the intense agitation, the soap and the minerals in the water will get stuck in the loops, holes, and textures of the fabric. As a result, this will trap bacteria and dirt.

Reason #2: Homemade soap may break your washing machine

A lot of people are asking, can homemade laundry detergent ruin washers?

Unfortunately, it can. As mentioned above, homemade soap can build up in your clothes. You can expect that it can also leave behind residue in the washing machine.

As such, this build-up will invite molds and mildew and both are dangerous to your health. Moreover, manufacturers know soap and oil are not supposed to be used with washers.

If you damage your washing machine because you didn’t utilize it correctly, then you will not be able to use the warranty.

Reason #3: It’s not good for the environment


Just because a product is formulated with all-natural ingredients does not mean it is great for the environment.

Using homemade laundry soap creates more waste. First, you will pay more to get your broken washer fixed, or buy a new one if it is broken beyond repair.

Another consequence is that you will end up rewashing your clothes due to the soap residue stuck in them. This means using more water and soap.


Making homemade soap and detergent lets us enjoy the unique benefits that no store-bought product can offer. For one, we get to infuse our favorite scents in bars of soap. For another, we can add suitable ingredients for our skin type.

But in my explanation of why homemade laundry soap is bad, there are some things that you can’t DIY.

If your motivation for taking up DIY projects is to save money or reduce waste, do your research first to ensure that you are achieving your goals!

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