10 Best Laundry Detergents and Additives for Bed Bugs in 2023

If there’s one thing that nobody ever wants to deal with it’s bed bugs. These pesky little critters are incredibly irritating and spread rapidly. Even though they are generally harmless, bites from bed bugs can leave skin rashes, and even cause allergic reactions on occasion. On top of the fact that they’re guaranteed to lower the property value of your home as well.

Who the Heck Wants to Live with Bed Bugs!

What makes the situation even more tricky is that not only can they inhabit other places outside of the bedroom, like furniture and even clothing. But they’re also remarkably resilient and not particularly easy to see, combining for a less-than-desirable scenario.

In the following guide, we are going to look over some of the best laundry detergents and additives for bed bugs.

Does Laundry Detergent Kill Bed Bugs?

The good news is that washing your laundry with high-quality detergent is the first step to getting rid of bed bugs. The issue is that this typically won’t solely work to kill them. Even though there are conflicting opinions on this topic, the general consensus is that the combination of a hot wash cycle, along with detergent will be too much for the bed bugs to handle.

However, this will only work if the wash cycle is long enough, hot enough, and the detergent has come into contact with the bugs and their eggs. Luckily, there are some specific detergents that are formulated especially to work against bed bugs, as well as other insects.

What is a Laundry Detergent Additive?

The truth of the matter is that not all laundry detergents are created equal, which is why certain additives are used to give the detergent an added boost to improve its overall cleaning ability. For example, it’s well-established that adding distilled white vinegar to your rinse cycle can help to strip away any detergent residue that might be clinging onto certain fabrics. As well as other additives such as baking soda, borax, washing soda, chlorine bleach, and water conditioners/softeners.

Natural products like distilled white vinegar and baking soda can improve the cleaning ability of the detergent tremendously. However, these sort of boosters should be used along with the regular amount of detergent recommended for each load.

10 Best Laundry Detergents and Additives for Bed Bugs

1. Bed Bug & Mite Killer Laundry Detergent Additive Bed Bug & Mite Killer Laundry Detergent Additive by Premo Guard – 32 oz – Child & Pet Friendly – Stain & Odor Free – Best Natural Treatment – Industry Approved – Satisfaction Guarantee

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One of the best things you can do if you’ve got bed bugs is invest in the Bed Bug & Mite Killer Laundry Detergent Additive. Not only is this formula free of chemicals, only containing all-natural ingredients, but it’s also renowned for being one of the most powerful pest treatment laundry additives for household and commercial use.

It’s tested and proven to eliminate bedbugs, dust mites, spider mites, bird mites, mold mites, fleas and ticks. Plus, it’s scent-free and entirely safe for both children and pets, making it one of the more safe and effective additives for eliminating bed bugs.

2. Formula 4 Bed Bug Detergent BED BUG DETERGENT- 50 Loads

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Another reliable alternative is the Formula 4 Bed Bug Detergent. This unique formula is not only effective at removing bed bugs, but also lice, fleas and dust mites as well. Washing away parasitic insects in any temperature water. It’s an incredibly powerful and concentrated formula that is not only effective against bed bugs, but also at washing all kinds of laundry.

Beyond this, this detergent also carries an extremely fresh and clean laundry fragrance, and is commonly used commercially for things like hospitals, dormitories, and homeless shelters.

3. Kleen-Free Naturally Cleaner, Eliminator, and Laundry Additive Kleen-Free Naturally Cleaner, Eliminator, and Laundry Additive, Super Concentrated, 128 fl. oz. (3.784 L)

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The Kleen-Free Naturally Cleaner, Eliminator and Laundry Additive is another highly-recommended solution for killing bed bugs. In fact, this formula is hypoallergenic, non-pathogenic, and non-flammable. Most importantly, this additive is fast-acting, doesn’t produce any toxic fumes, and is far more effective (and safer to use) than pesticides.

Beyond this, it’s a proven biodegradable enzyme cleaner that is used around the world as a natural eliminator and multi-purpose cleaner. In fact, it’s one of the leading formulas in restaurant and institutional settings due to it’s low toxicity and superior cleaning properties.

4. Stop Bugging Me! All-Natural Bed Bug Killer Laundry Additive Concentrate EcoClear Products 774371, Stop Bugging Me! All-Natural Non-Toxic Bed Bug Killer and Repellent, 16 oz. Laundry Additive Concentrate

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Another very effective alternative is the Stop Bugging Me! All-Natural Bed Bug Killer Laundry Additive Concentrate. It’s another extremely potent concentrate that can kill off any bugs or insects with just two tablespoons.

Despite this, this product has been thoroughly tested to be safe for both people and pets, as all ingredients are natural and non-toxic. It’s also another reliable detergent that is effective and safe to use with colorfast fabrics. Meaning that you can get clean and bug-free clothes without worrying about altering the colour or texture of the fabric.

5. Live-Free Bed Bug Lightning Laundry Additive Live-Free Bed Bug Lightening Laundry Additive - 32 Oz

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The Live-Free Bed Bug Lightening Laundry Additive is another ideal solution for killing off any bed bugs, dust mites, and even bird mites, lice, or fleas. Past this, it’s also entirely safe to use for colorfast clothing, and is rid of any poisonous or synthetic pesticides that could be harmful to you or the environment. Meaning that it is also kid and pet friendly.

Furthermore, it carries a 100% kill rate guarantee, is lightning quick when put to action, and is one of the most commonly used additives around the world for killing bed bugs.

6. Hygea Natural Exterminator Laundry Treatment Hygea Natural Exterminator Combo Pack, Non Toxic Treatment, Natural Bugs & Lice Eradicator, Includes Spray 24 oz, Travel Spray 3 oz & Laundry Treatment 32 oz

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Alternatively, there’s the Hygea Natural Exterminator Laundry Treatment. This exceptionally effective and powerful product works tremendously well against bed bugs, as well as other insects and allergens. This one-of-a-kind formula can be used on any water safe surface, such as upholstery, mattresses, bed linens, clothing, floors, walls, and more.

Plus, it’s entirely odorless, non-toxic, and safe to use anywhere around humans or animals. In fact, Hygea Natural Exterminator is used around the world by hundreds of hospitals and hotels to help prevent bed bug outbreaks. So, it’s certainly one of the more battle-tested formulas on the market.

7. DeMite Pillow Protectors Laundry Additive DeMite Laundry Additive for Allergies w/Pillow Protectors 2-Pack 21”x27” Pillow Cover - Protects Against Bed Bugs & Dust Mites in Bedding & Clothing (Standard Cases + 1L)

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The DeMite Pillow Protectors Laundry Additive is another fantastic solution for anyone looking to rid themselves of those pesky bed bugs. It’s a highly concentrated laundry additive that removes proteins that cause allergic reactions from bedding and clothing, and is safe to use on all washable and colorfast items. Plus, it’s entirely fragrance and dye-free.

Also, this unique set comes with a pack of 4 breathable, comfortable, and well-enclosed zippered pillow cases that are designed to work effectively with the additive, and provide you prolonged protection from mites. Each of which is made of 100% cotton, carries a 400 thread count, and comes with a lifetime warranty.

8. SayByeBugs Bed Bug Extermination Laundry Detergent

The SayByeBugs Bed Bug Extermination Laundry Detergent is scientifically engineered to kill all forms of bed bugs, fleas, ticks, and other pests immediately on contact. Moreover, this powerful formula is scent-free, stain-free, and safe to use around family and pets alike thanks to it’s highly effective water-based solution.

In fact, you can even safely use it on things like luggage, purses, briefcases, furniture, flooring, as well as mattresses, linens, bed spreads, and pillows. Plus, your purchase even comes with an unconditional 100% satisfaction 90-day money-back guarantee!

9. Bed Bug Dust Mite Natural Laundry Treatment

The all natural Bed Bug Dust Mite Natural Laundry Treatment is another remarkably effective and safe to use solution that’s guaranteed to make your home pest-free. It uses a scientifically proven formula to eradicate insects in your wash cycle with it’s natural solution reacting violently with insects’ outer shell, eliminating them instantly on contact.

Beyond this, it’s also non-toxic, hypoallergenic, scent and stain free and entirely safe to use around children, pets, and homes. All together forming one of the top-ranked bed bug additives on the market.

10. Bed Bug Detergent Hypo Allergenic For Linens and Clothes

Rounding out our top 10 best laundry detergents and additives for bed bugs is the Green Bean Buddy Bed Bug Detergent Hypo Allergenic For Linens and Clothes. First and foremost, this all-in-one anti-allergen detergent is safe to use with all washable, colorfast fabrics, and can be used in both hot and cold water.

It’s also one of the fastest-acting formulas available, as you simply need to dilute the solution with a 1:10 ratio, wait 10 minutes, and then start washing immediately after. Furthermore, it also features a fresh, non-irritating infused wellness fragrance.

How to Wash Clothes and Bedding Exposed to Bed Bugs?

If you’ve got clothes or bedding that has been exposed to bed bugs, and you want to go through the process of cleaning them yourself, follow the guide below;

Step 1

First, check the labels for each item to see what the most recommended method for cleaning them is. Then put each one of the clothes and bedding into sealed bags or containers. This way you avoid the risk of spreading them to other places in your house.

Step 2

From here, place the bags in the washing machine directly, and rip them open inside the washing machine. This way you ensure that you’re not spreading them onto the ground around the machine. Gather the bag afterwards, and throw it into another (clean) bag, seal it, and throw it away.

Step 3

Once you’ve sealed the infested items inside your washing machine, be sure to load it up with a safe to use and effective laundry detergent along with a natural additive.

Step 4

Finally, and most importantly, make sure that when you switch the laundry over to the dryer, you set it to at least 30 minutes. On the highest temperature possible.

You can also repeat these final two steps to ensure that you’ve truly gotten rid of them all.

Bed Bugs FAQs

Can I Use the Dryer to Kill off Bed Bugs?

For sure! The heat supplied from a clothes dryer is high enough to kill bed bugs in all stages of their life cycle. With that being said, some machines take longer to heat up than others. In order to kill bed bugs, you will need to set your dryer temperature between 39 and 50 degrees Celsius.

Although, it could take the dryer 10 to 15 minutes to reach such a temperature. If you want to increase the chances of killing off these pests in the dryer, you can always invest in dryer strips. With just a single sheet you can rid your bedding or clothes of any bed bugs that are present.  Follow this link to learn more about it.

Can I Soak Bed Bug Infested Clothes or Sheets in Vinegar Before Washing?

Absolutely! The acidic properties of vinegar are generally toxic enough to kill (or at least greatly affect) bed bugs. While there’s a good chance that the vinegar will kill the bed bugs, it’s not fully guaranteed. However, if you follow this up with a thorough wash using the aforementioned method, then you can surely kill off most of (if not all) the bed bugs present.

Does Regular Laundry Detergent Kill Bed Bugs?

It is certainly possible to wash away and kill bed bugs using regular laundry detergent, but it may not be nearly as effective as solutions that are specifically made for this purpose. There are certain additives and detergents that carry qualities that can not only kill these pests on impact, but are also safe for you and the environment. So, not only are they more effective than traditional laundry detergent at killing things like bed bugs, lice, ticks, and other critters, but they’re probably safer to use as well.

What Should I Do with My Mattress if I Have Bed Bugs?

Unfortunately, there is no mattress that is safe from bed bugs, and if it does get infested, you will have to jump into action to save it. The best thing you can do is either pay for an exterminator to come and treat it with heat or pesticides, and then fit an encasement overtop to stop the spread. Or you can treat it yourself.

Most people seem to think that once there’s an infestation that they can simply throw away their mattress to get rid of the problem. The issue is that (not only is that a massive waste of money), but it doesn’t exactly solve the problem either because even if you discard your bed, your new one will become infested anyway. You should instead deal with the problem at it’s source so that the issue doesn’t arise again.

Final Thoughts

Unfortunately, bed bugs are elusive by nature. Meaning that they know how to stay out of sight during the daytime, and then come out to attack you at night. Luckily, there are plenty of solutions to stop the spread, and even prevent them from ever entering your home.

While there is no surefire way to guarantee bed bugs from entering your living space, the best way is by making sure that you’re living in the cleanest environment possible. Switching out and washing your bed sheets at least once or twice a week.

However, with this guide by your side you’re already well on your way to prevent that from ever happening!