How to Wash Synthetic Wig Without Wig Shampoo?

Published on:

Maintaining the freshness and appearance of your synthetic wig calls for routine cleaning, especially if you encounter dirt, sweat, or product buildup. However, specialized wig shampoos aren’t always on hand. 

Luckily, several household items can serve as effective substitutes for keeping your wig looking its best without needing professional products. This article will explore those alternatives, ensuring your wig stays clean and maintains its luster even when wig shampoo isn’t available.

6 Methods for Washing Synthetic Wigs Without Wig Shampoo

A sink filled with warm water, a gentle detergent, and a wig being submerged and gently agitated. A soft towel laid out for drying

Ever found yourself in a scenario where your synthetic wig needs a wash, but you’re out of wig shampoo? Fret not. Here are six easy alternatives you can use to cleanse your wig, ensuring it remains in pristine condition.

Baking Soda Method

A hand pouring baking soda onto a synthetic wig, massaging it in, and then rinsing it with water

Have you got baking soda at hand? Great! It’s not just for your baking needs; it can gently clean your synthetic wig. Why choose baking soda? It’s because it’s kind to those delicate fibers and excels at banishing odors without the harshness of regular cleaners—not to mention, it’s super wallet-friendly and likely already in your kitchen.

Here’s how to give your wig a fresh start:

  1. Fill a basin with cool water. Avoid hot water as it can damage synthetic fibers.
  2. Mix in 1-2 tablespoons of baking soda. Stir to ensure it’s well dissolved.
  3. Submerge your wig and swirl it gently. Aim for a soaking time of about 15 to 30 minutes.
  4. Rinse it out. Keep rinsing until the water runs clear to ensure all baking soda is gone.
  5. Let it air dry. Place your wig on a stand or draped over a towel in a spot away from direct heat or sunlight.

Remember, patience is key. Give your wig the time it needs to dry naturally and it’ll thank you with prolonged life and sustained vibrancy.

Mild Dish Soap Technique

A hand pours mild dish soap onto a synthetic wig. The wig is placed in a basin of water and gently swirled to cleanse without wig shampoo

When faced with a synthetic wig that needs refreshing, your humble dish soap is a surprisingly effective ally. Choose a mild dish soap, one that’s light on additives and heavy chemicals. This ensures your wig stays undamaged and retains its vibrant look.


  • Removes dirt and grease effectively.
  • Easy to find and light in your pocket.

Here’s how you can use it:

  1. Fill your sink or basin with cool water to avoid any heat damage.
  2. Add just a few drops of the mild dish soap. A little goes a long way.
  3. Submerge your wig, gently stirring it around for about 15-20 minutes. No scrubbing is needed.
  4. Carefully rinse the wig under cool running water until it’s completely soap-free.
  5. For drying, lay the wig on a towel or place it on a wig stand, keeping it out of direct sunlight or heat.

Cornstarch Cleaning

A hand pours cornstarch onto a synthetic wig, massaging it in, then brushing it out to clean without wig shampoo

Have you ever reached for your synthetic wig and noticed it’s lost its freshness? No need to worry if you’re out of wig shampoo. Cornstarch is a household item that can come to your rescue. Here’s a step-by-step guide to using it:


  • Gentle on synthetic fibers.
  • Efficiently absorbs oil and dirt.
  • Revives wig volume and texture.

How to Clean with Cornstarch:

  1. Sprinkle a small amount of cornstarch onto areas of the wig that look oily or dirty.
  2. Use your fingers to softly work the cornstarch into the fibers, tackling the roots and bangs where buildup commonly occurs.
  3. Allow the cornstarch to sit and absorb the oil for 15-20 minutes.
  4. Finish by brushing out the powder with a wig brush, ensuring all the cornstarch is removed and your wig looks refreshed.

Baby Shampoo

A hand pours baby shampoo over a synthetic wig, massaging it gently. Water runs over the wig as it is rinsed clean

When your wig shampoo is not at hand, baby shampoo is a superb substitute. Given its mild nature, it’s perfect for the delicate fibers of your synthetic wig. It’s gentle enough not to damage the hair and is typically free of harsh chemicals.

Here’s the simple process:

  1. Fill a basin with cool water to avoid warping the synthetic fibers with heat.
  2. Dispense a dollop of baby shampoo into the water and stir to create a sudsy mix.
  3. Submerge your wig and lightly swirl it around, letting the shampoo work through for about 10-15 minutes.
  4. Rinse the wig under cool running water until the suds have been completely removed and the water is clear, confirming no shampoo residue is left.
  5. Rest the wig on a towel or a wig stand, ensuring it’s well-shaped and away from heat as it air dries.

Remember, avoiding direct sunlight and heat when drying preserves the lifespan of your synthetic wig. Use this trick for a gentle, thorough clean that maintains your wig’s luster and form.

Fabric Softener

A bottle of fabric softener pouring onto a synthetic wig being washed without wig shampoo

Have you wondered if fabric softener could actually help with your synthetic wig maintenance? Yes, fabric softener, commonly used for laundry, can also be a life-saver for your wig! It’s typically utilized post-cleaning, providing softness and manageability to synthetic fibers while keeping static and frizz at bay.

Here’s the step-by-step to revive your wig using fabric softener:

  1. Create a mix: Dilute a tablespoon of mild fabric softener in a basin filled with cool water.
  2. The soak: Submerge the wig and gently swirl it around for just a couple of minutes.
  3. Rinse it out: After the soak, rinse the wig thoroughly with cold water, ensuring all residue is gone.
  4. Dry correctly: Let the wig air dry naturally on a stand or draped over a towel; remember, no direct heat.

Simple, right? This method leaves your wig looking refreshed, without the heaviness some conditioners can cause. Just make sure to use the fabric softener sparingly—a little goes a long way!

Regular Shampoo

A hand pours regular shampoo onto a synthetic wig, massaging it gently to cleanse without wig shampoo

Cautiously opt for a sulfate-free and mild shampoo when washing your synthetic wig. These formulations are gentler and less likely to deteriorate synthetic fibers. To minimize potential damage, here is your wig-care cheat sheet:

  • Dilute the shampoo with plenty of cool water (think one teaspoon to a gallon).
  • Submerge your wig briefly, swishing it softly to avoid tangling.
  • Rinse immediately with cool, clear water to prevent residue build-up.
  • After shampooing, consider applying a deep conditioner to maintain the wig’s moisture.

Advanced Wig Care

For synthetic wig care, use specialized conditioners and avoid heat-styling tools. Air dry your wig to prevent tangling. Use gentle cleansers like mild dish soap or baby shampoo.

Conditioning and Styling

After cleansing your synthetic wig, the next vital step is to condition it. You don’t need specialized products; a simple fabric softener will work wonders. It’s designed to soften fibers just like those in your wig. Here’s the process:

  1. Mix a solution: Combine one part fabric softener with two parts cold water in a spray bottle.
  2. Spray your wig: Lightly mist the wig with the solution, avoiding the root area to prevent loosening the knots or damaging the cap.
  3. Detangle gently: Use a wide-tooth comb or your fingers to carefully remove any tangles.

Once conditioned, styling your synthetic wig while it’s damp is the safest approach since it’s less resistant to heat. If you must use heat, ensure your styling tools are set to a low temperature to prevent damage. Cool air from a hairdryer or heated rollers designed for synthetic wigs is recommended.

Let your wig air dry on a wig stand. Not only does it help maintain the shape, but it also allows for proper air circulation. Avoid combing or brushing when the wig is completely dry; this helps prevent frizz and static.

For a refreshing scent and to reduce static, a light spritz of wig conditioner or a specifically designed wig spray adds the finishing touch to your synthetic wig, leaving it looking as natural and vibrant as the day you got it.

Heat Styling Alternatives

When you don’t have the luxury of wig shampoo, you might feel hesitant to apply heat to your synthetic wig. Go for heat-free styling to preserve the fibers. Braiding your wig while damp can create waves, suggesting a look that says ‘I care’ and ‘I woke up like this’.

Consider using foam rollers overnight to achieve curls without risking damage. Your wig will thank you for maintaining its texture and staying refreshingly cooperative. Remember, it’s not just about looking good but doing good—for your wig’s longevity.

You can spritz a water and conditioner mixture on your wig and gently finger-comb it for a smooth, natural style. This trick maintains the wig’s quality and elegantly sidesteps the need for heat. It’s like giving your wig a mini spa day, with no appointment necessary.

For a straight look, hang your wig on a wig stand and comb gently, allowing gravity to do the work. Embracing these alternatives not only saves your wig but also expands your styling toolkit. Your wig’s versatility might just surprise you!


By incorporating these tips, your synthetic wig can last longer, look better, and remain a versatile component of your wardrobe. Lastly, here are some valuable tips: Always let your wig air dry on a wig stand; this prevents matting and maintains the wig’s style. Test any new cleaning method on a small, inconspicuous area of the wig first to ensure it doesn’t harm the fibers.

Do you have personal hacks or questions about wig maintenance? Feel free to share your thoughts and get the conversation going!

Author: Charity Nasike


Charity Nasike is a passionate wig wearer and basically has diverse knowledge related to wigs' care and maintenance. When she's not writing, she's either in the kitchen trying out new recipes or on social media advising fellow ladies tricks to apply on their wigs.

Save 80% on your next human hair order!

We have partnered with to offer the best deal on high-quality virgin human hair to our readers. If you click on the button below, we will take you to their exclusive discount page.

Quality Human Hairs

Leave a Comment