Laundry Soap & Detergent to Kill Bed Bugs -Extremely Effective!

Need to rid your house of bed bugs? Curious about how effective soap or Detergent is in killing bed bugs?

In this guide you will learn:

  • How Soap & Detergent works to kill Bed Bugs,
  • How to Effectively use Soap to get rid of bed bugs,
  • How to use Soap or Detergent to clean your clothes & Bedding of bed bugs.

Bed bugs are very small insects that are brown in color and thrive in cluttered or dirty areas. They have oval shaped bodies and primarily feed on blood from humans or animals.

A bedbug bite is extremely itchy and can swell up to form welts if you are allergic. Any part of your skin that is exposed while you sleep is susceptible to bites.

The Most common place to find bed bugs is on your mattress and bedding, the reason being that it provides an easy place for bed bugs to feed. They sometimes leave behind a dark trail on your bedding, which can be an early sign of an infestation.

Does Soap Kill Bed Bugs?

Soap can effectively kill bed bugs but only if it is applied directly on the body of the bed bug. It will not be helpful in preventing further infestations or killing bed bugs that are not in the immediate path of the soap.

However, because soap will only be effective if it comes into direct contact with a bed bug, it should not be relied upon as a sole method of infestation eradication. You will likely need something much stronger to rid yourself permanently of these bugs.

Here’s how Soap Affects bed bugs…

Bed bugs are tenacious little creatures. They can live up to a year without feeding which means that their bodies are designed to store as much food and water as possible.

When you put soap directly on a bed bug, the outer layer of the bug will dissolve. This outer layer is responsible for keeping the bugs hydrated. Removing the layer causes the moisture stored in the bed bug’s body to dry up, leading to death.

Best Laundry Soap That Kills Bed Bugs

While using a commercial extermination service or a strong mix of soap and alcohol is the best way to rid your house of bed bugs, it can also be helpful to wash all of your soft items.

The heat from the washing machine will work to kill the bed bugs. Furthermore, the added power of the detergent will break down their bodies, ensuring that no bed bugs remain after the wash.

So, does the type of laundry soap that you use matter? Not really!

The good news is that almost any soap will be effective in battling bed bugs.

Does Dawn Dish Soap Kill Bed Bugs?

Like regular dish soap, Dawn dish soap can effectively kill bed bugs when it comes into contact with their bodies. Do keep in mind, however, that water dilutes the power of the soap and can render this process ineffective.

Also important to bear in mind is that dawn dish soap will not be useful against bed bugs that are not in the area in which you are applying soap. Because bed bugs are so small and good at hiding, it can be difficult to locate them.

This means that you are likely to miss some of the bed bugs if you are applying soap to their bodies to kill them. Bed bugs also breed quickly, so any bugs that you miss will multiply soon.

How To Use Soap To Kill Bed Bugs

There are a number of different ways that you might use soap to aid in your bed bug battle.

  • Use Soap to Clean Your Clothes

The number one way that you can use soap to fight bed bugs is by washing your clothes with a strong detergent. This will help kill the bed bugs on your clothes, sheets and blankets.

  • Use Dish Soap to Kill Bed Bugs On Contact

Because soap loses some of its power when diluted with water, you might try pouring soap directly on the bed bugs to disintegrate their bodies.

  • Combine Soap with Other Ingredients to Create a Spray

Because soap alone is not the most effective tool to rid yourself of bed bugs, it is often combined with other ingredients to make a spray or cleaning solution. Other strong ingredients, like alcohol, can be helpful in killing bed bugs.

Using Soap to Deter Bed Bugs

Using soap to clean areas and clothes will not effectively deter bed bugs from living on them and laying eggs.

Keeping a house cleared of any extra clutter, especially around the bed, will help eliminate hiding places for the bugs.

This makes it harder for them to nest and makes it easier to clean up if you do have an infestation.

Laundry Detergent To Kill Bed Bugs

Is it Actually Possible to Wash Bed Bugs Out of Clothes?

It is certainly possible to wash bed bugs out of your clothing and kill them with Laundry Detergent! In fact, washing your clothes is one of the best ways to rid your items of these bugs.

Many other methods of home bed bug removal have not been proven to be effective in getting rid of them.

Bed bugs will die in the washing machine. Bed bugs in the washing machine will die at a temperature of 118 degrees Fahrenheit.

Heat has been scientifically proven to kill bed bugs, making washing clothes in a machine one of the first things you should do if you have an infestation.

So, go ahead and wash or dry any clothes or bedding on the highest temperature to ensure that none survive.

There are a couple things to remember when you start the process of washing all your clothes.

Firstly, bed bugs spread quickly. This means that they can transfer from your clothing to the floor, carpet or furniture as you carry your laundry to the washer.

  • Mitigate this problem by placing all your clothing into bags and closing them tightly. Even if you’re unsure if the clothing was exposed to bed bugs, it is safest to wash everything just in case.
  • You need to use heat to kill bed bugs. Wash your clothes at a high temperature with a concentrated laundry detergent. Dry on the hottest setting as well.
  • Be sure to place your clean clothes in a new bag after you are done. This will prevent bed bugs from making a home in your freshly laundered clothes. Keep the bags shut until you are sure that your house is free from the infestation.

Because bed bugs are so persistent, you might have to wash your clothes more than once, especially if you do not seal them in bags afterwards.

Regular VS Special Bed Bug Killing Detergent

So what’s the difference between a regular laundry detergent and one that is designed to tackle bed bugs? Good question.

Before you consider buying a special bed bug detergent, it is important to remember that ANY commercial laundry detergent will work against bed bugs.

Laundry detergents that are designed to fight bed bug infestations are usually highly concentrated. They often lay claim to “special solutions” that will kill a bed bug by breaking down its body.

In reality, all soaps will break down a bed bug’s body when applied directly to the critter.

These detergents are effective, but regular detergent and a hot wash cycle will also do the trick.

That being said, there are certain laundry detergents that are designed to treat bed bug infestations.

Best Bed Bug Specific Detergent:

If you’re looking for a laundry soap that is designed to use against bed bugs, you might try reaching for Formula 4 Bed Bug Solutions. It comes in both pod and liquid form and can be used with any temperature water.

Best Natural Detergent to Kill Bed Bugs:

If you’re into natural products, you might be looking for a chemical-free detergent to wash away any bed bugs. If this is the case, Grove Co. Ultra-Concentrated Liquid Laundry Detergent is a good option for you.

Because it is super concentrated, it will be effective in killing off bed bugs. With 98% of the ingredients coming from natural sources, this laundry soap is better for the environment and free from synthetic odors.

Best All-Around Detergent to Kill Bed Bugs:

If you are looking for an affordable detergent that you can continue to use after you’ve rid your clothes of bed bugs, you might want to try Tide Liquid Laundry Detergent Soap, Ultra Concentrated. 

Not only will it help in your fight against bed bugs, it comes in an eco-friendly box and will get you through 96 loads of laundry. Because you might have a lot of washing to do as you work to rid your belongings of bugs, this is a big plus!

How Long In The Dryer To Kill Bed Bugs?

To make sure that the bed bugs on your clothes and sheets have died, you need to wash and dry them on a very hot cycle.

You will need to dry your clothes in the dryer for at least 40 minutes to ensure that no bed bug survives.

DIY Bed Bug Spray For Clothes

There are a lot of myths floating around out there about using home products to rid an area of bed bugs. Methods such as using baking soda, talcum powder or moth balls have NOT been proven effective against bed bug infestations.

If you are looking for a DIY spray that you can create at home, your best bet is mixing rubbing alcohol with water. In order for this to be effective against bed bugs, however, you must use an alcohol with a 90% or higher percentage.

This method does have certain health risks associated with it. Using something with a very high percentage of alcohol also means that your clothes will be flammable if sprayed with the solution.

The best, safest and easiest way to rid your clothes of bed bugs is to wash and dry them at a very high temperature.


Bed bugs are one of the most frustrating infestations to have in your home because they are so quick to multiply.

Just remember, one of the best ways to tackle these creatures is to use laundry detergent and heat to wash all your clothes and bedding!

If you have a serious bed bug infestation, soap will likely not be enough to get rid of it. Calling a fumigation pest control service is a good way to ensure that you reach all the bugs!