Substitute for Laundry Detergent: 5 Items You Can Find at Home

When you have piles of laundry but you run out of detergent, all you have to do is find a substitute for laundry detergent.

Some items in your house can be effective alternatives that work as greatly as detergent to remove stains and keep your clothes fresh.

1. Vinegar and Baking Soda

Substitute for Laundry Detergent

Hit your pantry and grab white vinegar and baking soda to substitute laundry detergent. This combination creates a powerful agent to get rid of stubborn stain and bad smell in your clothes, ideal for kids’ clothes. That said, it is completely safe and skin-friendly.

The cheap alternative for laundry detergent is completely easy to use. Add a half cup of baking soda and start the wash cycle. Add a half cup of white vinegar when rinsing to soften the fabric. Dry clothes as usual and see how magical the ingredients work.

2. Oxygen Bleach

Oxygen Bleach

Oxygen-based bleach is a popular alternative to detergent. The gentle bleaching agent helps remove stains and brighten white clothes, not to mention it is relatively safe for all fabrics. It is also environmentally friendly, which means the residue doesn’t threat the ecosystem.

Using this gentle substitute for laundry detergent doesn’t require extra effort. Add one and a half cup of oxygen bleach powder to the washer drum before throwing your dirty clothes. This chemical item is safe on fabrics but it is not recommended to use on wool and silk.

3. Dish Soap

Dish Soap

A small drop of dish soap can substitute your laundry detergent. Alone, it works well to remove odor and mild stains from your clothes and it is safe for colored fabrics that do not require a special care. Add a half cup of vinegar if you want to make it more powerful.

However, dish soap tends to produce a lot of bubbles which can cause a mess in your laundry area. To prevent your washing machine from damage, be sure to add only a small squirt of dish soap.

4. Baking Soda and Lemon Juice

Baking Soda and Lemon Juice

Pairing lemon juice and baking soda creates a powerful natural formula to clean your white and colored laundry. This substitute for laundry detergent offers several benefits like easy to find, safe for nature, and effective to remove stubborn stains without damaging the fabrics.

Add a half cup of baking soda to the washing drum before a wash cycle and let it work. During the rinse cycle, add a half cup of lemon juice to freshen up the clothes. For stubborn stain, pre-wash with lemon juice for optimum result.

5. Borax


Borax is a versatile household cleaner that works excellently to substitute laundry detergent. It has been widely used to whiten your white fabrics and soften the hard water. Measure a half cup of borax and add to the drum then wash as usual.

Borax removes stains efficiently but it is not recommended to use it frequently. This is because the compound can cause itch on your skin.

Whether you run out of detergent or you want an eco-friendly alternative, you can always find a great substitute for laundry detergent. These household items work as effectively as commercial detergent and they are super easy to find.

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