Washing Dreadlocks with Baking Soda ACV

ACV Baking Soda - Deep Clense Wash

One thing a lot of people have been doing in replacement of dreadlocks shampoo, is the baking soda + apple cider vinegar wash. This post will give you everything you need to know about washing your dreadlocks with baking soda acv.


Often peoples desire and worry for making the right choice, leads to confusion and mis-information. A big reason why people tend to choose this over shampoo is because they hear people say "i dont use any nasty chemicals". Let us set the record straight.
The proper chemical name for 'baking soda/bicarbonate of soda/sodium bicarbonate' is sodium hydrogen carbonate. It too is a chemical. There are shampoos out there that use nasty chemicals, also some that don't. Its worth reading what shampoo you can use. This is more a method for a quarterly soak rather than a regular wash.

This method is ideal if you've had dreadlocks for many years and excessive residue has built up. Its also a recovery for regular shampoos. If you use a specialist dreadlocks shampoo, this shouldn't be necessary. Baking soda wash is harsh on your scalp and can cause increased irritation when done excessively.

Some people will tell you not to mix the baking soda and ACV and to add the ACV after the wash to "balance the ph". Ph values are a scale of 0 - 10 not just balanced or unbalanced. Please follow our advice in the video and mix. Doing BS and ACV separately can seriously damage the hair.

To give some perspective, the hairs natural PH value of around 4.5 - 5.0 making is slightly acidic. Baking soda's pH value is 9.5 (alkali). ACV's pH value is around 3.0 - 4.0 when diluted making it more acidic than hair. You need to use hair products with a pH close to the pH value of the hair. If you don't this is where damage occurs. Balacing aside, is not mixing will expose hair to both high extremes in such a short space of time that its really bad for your hair and scalp. See the article 'Baking Soda Destroyed My Hair'.

The reason this method isn't used as a regular wash is as follows
  • It's pretty time consuming as you need to set everything up to avoid getting it on your scalp and only to soak your dreadlocks.
  • As mentioned, its perfect as a quick recovery from excessive residue build up but dreadlocks need regular washing to keep them from smelling.
  • Baking soda and vinegar, when mixed react to create sodium chloride (salt). This dries your scalp which is great for people with really oily/greasy hair by if your scalp is sensitive or dry, this will cause you many problems, become irritable and give you a very flakey scalp, particularly if done regularly.


One thought on “Washing Dreadlocks with Baking Soda ACV”

  • Justin

    Thank you! what is the best thing to use after the ACV wash to get rid of the smell and make sure my scalp is properly moisturised?

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