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What Can I Use Instead Of Laundry Detergent?

Laundry detergent, whether in liquid, powder, or pod form, makes the process of washing garments and linens very easy. All you need to do is put the correct amount of detergent in the washer, ensure the machine is in the appropriate settings, and let it go for a spin. Of course, laundry detergent isn’t for everyone. 

You might be skeptical about whether or not laundry detergent will react well with the material of whatever garments or linens you are washing. Maybe you or a loved one is sensitive or allergic to a substance commonly found in most laundry detergents. Whatever the reason, you might ask, “What can I use instead of laundry detergent?” The good news is that you can explore six possible answers to that question in this blog. 


Borax is the first possible answer to “What can I use instead of laundry detergent?”. This detergent alternative is effective in removing stains, residue, and odor from your washer load due to its high pH level. Borax is usually most effective in warm or hot water. Experts recommend adding either one full cup or half a cup to your washing machine in lieu of traditional detergent. 

Baking Soda

Baking soda is a classic alternative cleaning solution in many scenarios, so of course, it’s another possible answer to “What can I use instead of laundry detergent?” Baking soda is used in a similar manner to borax in this case. It is particularly effective for cleaning undergarments, towels, gym clothes, and swimwear. It’s also the user-friendly detergent alternative that some people use instead of traditional detergent altogether. 

what can i use instead of laundry detergent baking soda


If you want a more liquid-based solution to “What can I use instead of laundry detergent?” standard white vinegar is a candidate worth considering. This alternative is great for removing stains, odors, oils, acids, mildew, and pet hair and doubles as a softener and disinfectant for your clothes. Half a cup of vinegar is recommended for cleaning clothes in place of detergent for a regular cycle. One cup of vinegar is advised for whitening clothes and removing stains. In this case, soak the clothes you are removing stains from in the vinegar overnight. 

what can i use instead of laundry detergent vinegar

Oxygen-Based Bleach

A powder-based detergent alternative worth considering is oxygen-based bleach. Oxygen-based bleach is ideal for delicate items and for getting rid of tough stains. They are more effective when used as a pre-soak solution than they are as a detergent alternative. That said, experts advise against using this alternative with any items made of silk or wool. 


Vodka is probably the most unconventional solution to “What can I use instead of laundry detergent?” After all, laundry is probably the last thing that comes to mind when you think of vodka. However, vodka is an effective laundry detergent for disinfecting and doesn’t leave any scent behind. 

Soap Nuts

If you thought vodka was an unusual substitute for laundry detergent, get ready to learn about soap nuts. These are growing in popularity as an alternative to laundry detergent due to their being non-toxic. They were also used as a detergent option long before the invention of the type of laundry detergent found in stores today. Soap nuts can be put in a mesh or fabric bag that’s washing machine friendly. That bag is then included in a regular laundry load. Run a warm water cycle when using soap nuts as detergent for best results. 

what can i use instead of laundry detergent soap nuts

Our Technicians Will Solve Your Appliance Problems! 

You now have six different answers to the question, “What can I use instead of laundry detergent?” Try out each method at least once to determine which laundry detergent alternative is best for you. Of course, sometimes, issues with your laundry can be traced to the washer or dryer. When problems with your washer or dryer arise, contact us at Appliance Repair Houston, and our technicians will be on the job. 

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