natural way to wash clothes without detergent
Kristina Davis

Laundry detergent is very expensive hence it’s no wonder, many people are now considering the natural way to wash clothes without detergent

Apart from the cost which could be as much as $10 per load, many laundry detergents often contain harmful ingredients.

This includes phosphates and other chemicals which can irritate your skin and cause health issues down the line. 

Instead of using regular detergents and water, there are alternatives. You can try one of these natural ways to wash clothes without any added chemicals or preservatives.

READ NEXT:  How to Tell If Bedbugs Are in Your Clothes?

You can wash your clothes naturally without detergent by using hot water, vinegar, or with lemon juice. You can equally use borax or essential oils to get the job done.

Can You Wash Clothes Without Detergent?

wash clothes without detergent

Cleaning your clothing without using any detergent at all can be done using simple household ingredients that you probably already have on hand. 

There are many options available these days. Some of these options are more natural, some are more eco-friendly and some cost money. 

But all of them can be used by anyone who wants to save money on their laundry bills and feel good about what they’re doing in the process. 

The below options are some natural ways to wash clothes without detergent.

Option #1: Hot Water

A good place to start is with hot water. This should be enough to get the job done, but if you need more power, add some vinegar or baking soda for extra cleaning power.

When it comes to washing clothes, you can wash them in hot water and leave them soaked in the water until it cools down.

READ NEXT:  Can You Use Fabuloso On Clothes Or Not? - Know Here

Soaking clothes helps to remove stains, dirt, and grease from your clothes.

Note: Soaking also helps dissolve soap scum on the surface of your laundry detergent and will help remove odors from your clothing.

Option #2: Vinegar

Vinegar is a natural cleaner and deodorizer. It can be used to remove stains, as well as odors and dirt from clothes.

vinegar in spray bottle

The best way to use vinegar for washing clothes without detergent is by mixing it with water in a ratio of 1 tablespoon per cup of water.

You then add this mixture to your laundry and gently agitate it until all the stains are gone!

Are you looking for something with a little bit more kick? Or perhaps just don’t want to use baking soda, just add 2-3 tablespoons of white vinegar into the wash cycle.

Allow it to sit for 10 minutes before rinsing out all of those stains from your favorite shirt!

Option #3: Lemon Juice

Lemon juice is a natural cleaning agent and has many uses, including removing stains and odors from clothes, kitchen counters, and other surfaces.

READ NEXT:  How to Remove Yellow Stains On White Clothes After Storage?
use lemon juice

If after using hot or cold water on your clothes, you still want something natural-smelling in there, try adding some lemon juice instead.

It does wonder at getting rid of hard-to-remove stains like blood and coffee grounds!

Also works well when combined with other ingredients like baking soda. Just mix up equal parts each time before adding them together.

Add them into one giant mixture so they don’t clump together during washing time.

Option #4: Essential Oils

Essential oils are natural, so they’re good for the environment.

They can be used to cleanse and purify your clothes, as well as make them smell nice. And in some cases, even like specific scents.

Essential oils can be mixed with water to create a detergent substitute. You will want to use 1/3 cup of essential oil per gallon of water. 

use essential oils

If you don’t have access to essential oils or would rather not buy them at all, then simply replace one tablespoon per load with something else instead.

READ NEXT:  Do You Put Detergent In Before Or After Clothes? - Find Out The Best Way

Option #5: Borax

Borax is a naturally occurring mineral found in the earth, and it has been used for centuries.

It’s also an excellent laundry booster that can be used with baking soda and vinegar to clean your clothes without harming them.

Borax is safe for use on all types of fabric, including silk, wool, and cotton, and the best part about borax is that it won’t stain.

So you’ll end up saving money because you will not have to buy special detergent every time you need it!

What Can I Use To Wash Clothes Without Detergent?

what to use washing clothes

If you’re tired of using the same old detergent to clean your clothes, then you might be interested in trying some new ways. 

There are many options available these days that will help you get rid of stains and make your laundry look fresh and clean.

For instance, dish soap can be used as a substitute for laundry detergent. But it won’t be as effective at removing stains and dirt from your clothes. 

Use a small amount of dish soap and wipe it on your clothes instead of using liquid laundry detergent. 

Note: Dish soap is not as effective as regular laundry detergent, but it will help to get rid of the stains on your clothes.

Here are some tips to wash your clothes without detergent:

Tip #1: Vinegar And Water Solution 

vinegar and water solution

Mix one cup of vinegar with 2 gallons of water in a large bowl or container. Use this mixture to wash all your clothes, including bedding and towels (if you have them). 

READ NEXT:  How To Wash Toxins Out Of Shein Clothes? (Best Methods)

If you prefer not to use vinegar, mix 1 cup per gallon of warm water instead.

Tip #2: Baking Soda And Water Solution

Place 3 tablespoons of baking soda into a large bowl or container. Then add enough cold water so that it is just covering the surface of the powder.

Soak your washing machine in this mixture for about an hour before running it through as normal on a hot cycle. 

You can also do this same technique with two cups of vinegar instead if you want to try something different!

use baking soda

Tip #3: Baking Soda and Vinegar Mixture 

If you’re looking for an alternative to detergent, try washing your clothes with a dash of vinegar and baking soda mixture.

READ NEXT:  How to Remove Odors From Clothes Without Washing? - Homeowners Guide

This can be used as a fabric softener or laundry detergent, depending on how much water you use.

The best part about this method is that it works well on stains, odors, and dirt without getting your clothes too wet, which means they won’t shrink. 

The downside? You’ll need some patience while waiting for the solution to take effect.

Note: It may take several intervals of washing before everything is out of sight.

How To Wash Clothes Without Detergent

how to wash clothes no detergent

Washing clothes without using any detergent is a great way to save money and protect the environment. 

It’s also a good way to keep your clothes clean and last longer. Because detergents build up on fabric and leave residue behind.

Follow these steps below to clean your clothes without detergents:

Step #1: Add Water To Your Washing Machine

The first step to washing clothes without detergent is adding water. You can add as little or as much water as you like.

READ NEXT:  Can You Wash Bedding With Clothes? Is it a Good Idea?

But generally speaking, the more water you use, the cleaner your clothes will be.

Measure out 1 cup of plain tap water into a large bowl or jug (1 cup equals about 8 ounces).

Then pour it into your washing machine along with any other laundry-related items that need to go in there, such as towels or sheets. 

use washing machine

If you’re using distilled or filtered water instead of tap water, make sure it’s not too hot when pouring.

This is because this can cause damage to some machines’ motors.

Step #2: Add White Vinegar, Borax, and Baking Soda

Add 1/2 cup of white vinegar, 1/2 cup of borax, and 1/2 cup of baking soda to your washer.

Mix the ingredients with water before adding them to the washing machine.

Tip: Do not use more than the recommended amounts due to toxicity concerns and clogging issues with hard water and salt buildup in detergent containers.

Step #3: Turn On Your Washing Machine 

Now turn on your machine, and give it time to do its job. If you have an electric washing machine, turn it on to wash at half-capacity for about 10 minutes. 

READ NEXT:  How To Get Transmission Fluid Out of Clothes?

Turn off the water and let the machine sit for a few more minutes before turning it back on again. Then you can run it another cycle.

Step #4: Run The Washer On A Normal Cycle

run a normal cycle

Don’t use the dryer, fabric softener, or bleach.

Use a mild detergent, such as Woolite or Tide, on the delicate cycle. Rinse well and hang to dry.

Tip: If you’re looking for a way to freshen up your comforter, try adding some vinegar to the rinse water; this will also help remove any soap residue.


All of these methods are the natural way to wash clothes without detergent.

They are great ways for getting your clothes clean without using detergent, and they’ll save you money. 

The first step is always the hardest. But once you get over that hurdle it becomes easier to stay on track with water-only laundry. Which is what this article was all about!