READ THIS before Using Aleppo Soap for Laundry
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Why should you read this before using Aleppo soap for laundry? Because it is not always safe to use Aleppo soap – or any other real soaps – for washing clothes.
While Aleppo soap for hand washing clothes is totally safe, there are some things – above all water hardness – you should consider before using Aleppo soap in the washing machine. Let’s proceed in steps.
The origins of Aleppo Soap
Aleppo soap obviously comes from the ancient city of Aleppo, located in modern Syria. It is 100% natural, and plant based. It is probably the most ancient soap in the Western world, and it is considered the ancestor of Castile soap.
Aleppo soap is particularly indicated for babies and children (we recommend using it for the care of the newborn), for sensitive skins, and for face washing.
The quality and gentleness of Aleppo soap depends on its laurel oil content, which can be anything between 2% and 70%.
In this article we’ll see a rare case in which Aleppo soap is not always safe to use: in the washing machine.
Benefits of Aleppo Soap for Laundry
These benefits apply to both Aleppo soap for handwashing and Aleppo soap used in the machine washing
- Aleppo soap is one of the best detergents for sensitive skins: great for babies, psoriasis, eczema etc.
- It is eco-friendly: it is a 100% natural laundry soap, it is biodegradable, and it is zero waste, since you can buy Aleppo soap unpackaged or wrapped in paper
- Aleppo soap for laundry is cheap, like all the remedies The Indian Rose recommends (going all natural and eco-friendly shouldn’t be expensive). In fact, you don’t need to use the most expensive Aleppo soap for laundry, a 20% laurel oil content will work. And it lasts forever: a little bit goes a long way
- It is safe for your health and that of your family members as it doesn’t contain allergens, chemicals, and fragrances
- It is versatile: you can use it for your face, body, hair, housecleaning, dishwashing, and washing clothing. If you want to embrace minimalism, Aleppo soap is the way to go
- It is very effective on stains: hasn’t your mother ever told you Marseille soap is the most effective on stubborn stains? That is because it contains saponified olive oil. Aleppo soap contains large quantities of olive oil, plus laurel oil, which is another cleaning oil
- Unlike chemical laundry detergents, It is effective at all temperatures, as long as you use enough mechanical energy (elbow grease!!!)
- It is good for white as well as colored clothes, and on all types of fabrics
- It leaves clothes soft and shiny: no more dry and shrunken clothes, and no more fabric softener!
- It contains no toxins and no Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, which can potentially irritate skin and enter the bloodstream, with unknown consequences
- It is safe to keep around kids
- It is plant-based and vegan
- Most Aleppo soap bars are fair trade, and help communities earn a living in Syria. By buying it, you will help foster a very ancient artisanal tradition. Just be sure to buy an ethical soap.
Aleppo Soap for Hand Washing Fabrics
Let’s get things straight: Aleppo soap is PERFECT for hand washing.
- It is extremely harsh on stains, and delicate on fabrics at the same time
- It is very effective on greasy stains
- It washes and purifies fabrics at a very low temperature
- It is a natural disinfectant, therefore perfect for washing baby’s clothes
- It is ultra concentrated and quite foamy, meaning a little bit goes a long way, therefore cost-effective
- It leaves clothes so soft that a softener is not needed
WOW! It comes as no surprise that Aleppo soap has been used for hand washing in Syria since like forever.
How to Use Aleppo Soap for Hand Washing Clothes?
You can either use it as a bar, or as a liquid.
The best way to make the most of Aleppo soap bar for laundry is by rubbing it directly on damp clothes. For a deeper scrub on stubborn stains, use a hard wooden brush.
If you are trying to remove a difficult stain before machine washing your clothes, dampen the Aleppo soap bar and rub it on the stain. Let it act for at least 15 minutes before machine washing.
After use, place your Aleppo soap bar in a dry place. If you leave it wet all the time, it won’t last as long.
If you prefer to use it in its liquid form, follow the tutorial on how to make homemade Aleppo laundry liquid below. Use it as you would use any other fabrics hand washing detergent.
Aleppo Soap for Washing Machine: Is It a Good Idea?
Many people recommend the use of Aleppo soap as laundry detergent in the washing machine. But I am here to say it is not always safe.
While Aleppo soap for hand washing clothes presents no contraindications, Aleppo soap for the washing machine might not be effective, unless some precautions are taken.
What most people don’t know is that most commercial detergents for the washing machine contain little to no soap, even if the label says “soap”. They are basically chemically manufactured cleaning agents that, unlike soap, are water soluble.
“Real soap” – such as Aleppo soap – is made from natural oils, which need mechanical energy to get rid of. Soap, in the form of oil, might build up on clothes and inside the washing machine, resulting in unclean clothes and possible damage to the washing machine. In fact, soap creates a water repellent film that makes it impossible for water to penetrate and clean your fabrics.
I said it might because it doesn’t always happen. And there are ways to reduce the likeliness of soap buildup.
Read the following points before using Aleppo soap (or any homemade laundry soap for that matter) as a laundry detergent:
- How hard is your water?: the harder the water, the more likely the soap will buildup and cause damage. SOLUTION: Use specific filters that soften the water, or add more washing soda to your homemade Aleppo soap for laundry.
- How old is your washing machine? The oldest, the most likely to rinse real soap away. In fact, newer washing machines move clothes around, they simply do not feature enough mechanical energy to get rid of real soap. Most modern laundry detergents are made to melt in water and not cling on clothes. SOLUTION: No solution for this one, just follow the rest of the precautions. Newer machines use less water: therefore they are more cost-effective and more environmentally friendly.
- How hot is the water? Oil-based soaps, including Aleppo soap for laundry, do not melt, clean clothes properly, and rinse away if the water is not warm enough. Basically, they are suitable for hand washing in cold water if you use a lot of mechanical energy (your hands!), but not in new washing machines. SOLUTION: Set temperature to at least 40 degrees Celsius or 100 degrees Fahrenheit
- Does your homemade laundry soap contain washing soda? If it is an all natural homemade laundry soap with no washing soda, your clothes could develop the oily film we talked about. SOLUTION: Use washing soda together with Aleppo soap! Washing soda is a chemical agent, but it is considered a safe and environmentally friendly cleaning agent. The harder the water, the more washing soda is needed
So is homemade laundry soap safe? It really comes down to the hardness of your water, and the way you do laundry. The good news is that by using Aleppo soap for laundry a couple of times, you will realise whether the fabrics come out clean or oily. That’s a good indicator of whether it is safe for you to use homemade laundry soap or not.
Is homemade laundry soap all natural safe? If it does not contain washing soda, it might damage your clothes and washing machine.
Now that you know when and how to use Aleppo soap for laundry, let’s see how to make homemade Aleppo laundry soap.
How to Make Homemade Aleppo Laundry Soap
This homemade Aleppo soap laundry detergent is perfect for both machine washing and hand washing. And it couldn’t be easier to make: it is made of 3 basic ingredients, plus 2 optional additions:
- Aleppo soap bar or flakes, whose amazing characteristics we already know
- Washing soda, which is a cousin to baking soda. It is a chemical salt that penetrates fabrics and gets them clean. Even more importantly, it softens the water. Feel free to increase the quantity if your water is particularly hard.
- Kosher salt, believe it or not, is one of the most effective agents against stubborn stains. And it helps fabrics retain their original color.
- Sodium percarbonate is an eco-friendly bleaching agent. It is only effective when water is hot (40 degrees Celsius / 100 degrees Fahrenheit and above)
- Tea tree oil is a natural disinfectant and antiseptic, and it adds a fresh scent
Vinegar can be added in the washing machine softener dispenser, never to the actual detergent. That is because soap and vinegar neutralise each other. Vinegar transforms natural soap into pure oil, and we don’t want that! Simply add it to the softener dispenser to make sure it only comes into contact with clothes after soap has been rinsed and fabrics are clean.
You should be able to find those ingredients at big natural stores. If not, they are available online:
Here is a very clear step-by-step guide on how to make homemade Aleppo laundry soap
Homemade Laundry Soap Recipe
- 200 g (7 oz) Aleppo soap bar
- 150 g (5 oz) washing soda
- 5 tbsp kosher salt
- 100 g (3.5 oz) sodium percarbonate
- 5 drops tea tree oil
- Grate Aleppo soap with a grater or cut it in chunks and blend it in a blender
- Add kosher salt and blend again
Now you have 2 options: you can either make homemade Aleppo laundry powder, or Aleppo laundry liquid
Homemade Aleppo laundry powder
- To make powder laundry detergent simply mix all the ingredients together, store in a glass jar and add 2 tablespoons of the powder to each laundry
Homemade Aleppo laundry liquid
- To make liquid laundry detergent simmer soap flakes and kosher salt in water. You will need roughly 3 times the amount of soap in water. Simmer until completely dissolved
- Let cool a bit and then add washing soda and tea tree oil and mix. The following day, add another cup of cold water, the sodium percarbonate and mix well, or blend
- Store in a glass jar and add 2 tablespoons to each laundry
- Like any liquid laundry soap, the homemade Aleppo laundry liquid is better for dark colors compared to the powdered soap, as it dissolves more easily
What Aleppo soap is best for Aleppo soap laundry detergent?
While I recommended at least 40% laurel oil content when using Aleppo soap for skin, a 20% laurel oil content is more than enough to make laundry soap. That’ll make the cost of this homemade laundry soap go down while not compromising the effectiveness. In fact, the remaining 80% of the bar soap is olive oil, the main ingredient of Castile soap and definitely one of the most effective saponified oils for washing clothes.
Aleppo Soap for Washable Diapers
I’ve had people asking: can I use Aleppo soap for cloth diapers? It’s understandable, since specific diapers detergents are very expensive. However, as in the case of the homemade Aleppo soap laundry detergent, the answer is not straightforward.
Before using Aleppo soap for washable diapers you should consider the factors mentioned above: hardness of water, washing soda content, and washing machine model.
This is how to use Aleppo soap for cloth diapers:
- Follow the recipe for the homemade Aleppo laundry soap above but adjust the ratio of Aleppo soap to washing soda: there should be more washing soda than soap
- Leave out sodium percarbonate as it can make the Ph environment too acidic, causing a diaper rash
- Add more tea tree oil: it will safely disinfect your diapers
- Always wash with hot water: 40 degrees Celsius / 100 Fahrenheit or more
- Give diapers an extra rinse with vinegar at the end: it will help get rid of all the soap
- Try the homemade Aleppo soap for diapers a few times. If diapers feel humid and oily after drying, stop immediately.
If things do not work out, you can always use a commercial natural diapers laundry detergent made from Aleppo soap.
But wait! Why does a store-bought Aleppo soap laundry detergent not leave nappies oily? If you read the list of ingredients on most commercial Aleppo soap laundry detergents you’ll understand why.
This is the Aleppo soap laundry detergent I bought for myself. It says 5% Aleppo soap. Only 5%!
With so little actual Aleppo soap content, there is no risk for your diapers or your washing machine to become oily. At the same time, most Aleppo soap laundry detergents are better than the average commercial detergent, as they are made with safe, good quality ingredients that are good for the diaper, the baby’s skin, and the environment.
- Aleppo soap is 100% safe for hand washing soap. In fact, it presents many benefits
- Homemade Aleppo laundry soap has amazing qualities: above all it is natural and cheap
- Homemade Aleppo soap laundry detergent is only safe and effective for machine washing if the above mentioned precautions are take
- For cloth diapers, you should adjust the recipe of our homemade Aleppo soap laundry detergent
- Most store-bought Aleppo soap laundry detergents are safe to use in the washing machine as they contain little actual Aleppo soap
If you have tried Aleppo soap for laundry, please write us a message. I am very interested in the results, especially with regards to the hardness of the water in your area!