Soften your clothes and bedding while removing static cling with this all-natural DIY fabric softener recipe. Made with only two ingredients, this liquid fabric softener is quick and easy to make and is certain to brighten your laundry tasks.
Expensive. Laundry detergent. Dryer sheets. Liquid fabric softener. All of these cleaning items are not exactly kind to the pocketbook. When I was first married, I purchased all of the best (or so I thought) brand name cleaning items. Our laundry came out clean and smelt so wonderful! After some time, I realized that not only were many of these fragrant cleaning supplies unnecessary, they were also not benefitting our health.
Dryer sheets were the first item to go. I swapped them for homemade wool dryer balls. The switch saved money and prevented me from having to make a trip to the store to grab a box of dryer sheets when we ran out. DIY laundry detergent was easy to replace. But fabric softener was a different ball game. Honestly for a while we just went without any. That was until my Mom mentioned that vinegar was an excellent fabric softener — a well known old fashioned remedy, should I say. I already had lots of vinegar on hand so the shift was easy.
Homemade fabric softener is one of the most frugal items you can make on your homestead. It works just as well as traditional fabric softeners but without the chemicals or synthetic ingredients. So how does it work? Vinegar is an acidic liquid that helps to remove extra soap and detergent from clothing. This in turns leaves your fabrics feeling soft instead of stiff and scratchy. Never fear, your laundry won’t come out smelling of vinegar! If you’d like to add a subtle fragrance to your laundry, mix a bit of your favorite essential oils in with the vinegar. This DIY fabric softener recipe is completely customizable to fit your specific needs.
What is Fabric Softener?
Fabric softener is a liquid that is applied to your clothing during the rinse cycle. It can help to reduce static cling and soften your clothing to make them feel smooth against your skin. Adding fabric softener to a load of laundry is optional. Many mainstream fabric softeners you find in the stores contain chemicals, artificial colors and fragrances. A great natural substitute for fabric softener is distilled white vinegar.
Why Should I Add Vinegar to Laundry?
- Vinegar is a powerhouse cleaning agent when it comes to laundry.
- It helps to pretreat stains and boost the cleaning ability of laundry detergent.
- Removes extra detergent left in fabric and clothing items.
- Reduces static cling as well as pet hair that can often stick to clothing.
- Keeps colored clothing bright.
- Distilled white vinegar can help to remove coffee, tea and grass stains when pretreated before washing.
Why You’ll Love This Homemade Fabric Softener Recipe
- Saves money
- Creates soft clothes, fabrics, blankets and bedding
- Uses all-natural, non-toxic ingredients
- Quick and easy to create
- Made without skin irritating ingredients
DIY Fabric Softener
Made with just two simple ingredients, this natural fabric softener is easy to make, non toxic and helps to keep more money in your wallet.
8 cups distilled white vinegar
20 drops of your favorite essential oil, optional
How to Make Fabric Softener
To make the DIY fabric softener, fill a glass jar with 8 cups of distilled white vinegar. Add your favorite essential oil(s) such as orange, peppermint or lavender. Place a plastic lid on the jar and give it a good shake.
To use, pour 1/2 cup of fabric softener (depending on load size and how hard your water is) into the fabric softener dispenser of your washing machine. If your washing machine does not have a reservoir to pour in the fabric softener, you can add the liquid into your machine during the rinse cycle.
Will My Clothes Smell Like Vinegar?
No, if you add the correct amount of vinegar to your load of laundry, your clothing will come out odorless without any vinegar smell.
What Kind of Vinegar Do You Use for Fabric Softener?
Plain distilled white vinegar is the best choice for homemade fabric softener. Distilled white vinegar can also be used for natural cleaning recipes, home remedies and in dressing recipes.
Where Do I Put Vinegar in the Washing Machine?
Pour the vinegar into the fabric softener dispenser of your washing machine. In my top load Whirlpool washing machine, it is located in the center of the agitator.
Can You Use Vinegar on Colored Clothes?
Yes. Vinegar is not only safe to use on colored clothing, it can also help to brighten faded clothing.
Is it Better to Use Vinegar Instead of Fabric Softener?
While commercial fabric softeners do smell quite pleasant, unfortunately they contain a long list of synthetic ingredients. If you are looking to reduce toxins in your home and on your skin as well as save some money, a jar of vinegar and essential oils is a great fabric softener alternative.
Do You Have to Use Essential Oils in Fabric Softener?
No. Adding essential oils into your homemade liquid fabric softener is completely optional. Essential oils add a nice scent to the laundry and can provide extra cleaning power but using just a 1/2 cup of plain distilled vinegar will still do the trick.
- 8 cups distilled white vinegar
- 20 drops of your favorite essential oil, optional
- To make the DIY fabric softener, fill a glass jar with 8 cups of distilled white vinegar. Add your favorite essential oil(s) such as orange, peppermint or lavender. Place a plastic lid on the jar and give it a good shake.
- To use, pour 1/2 cup of fabric softener (depending on load size and how hard your water is) into the fabric softener dispenser of your washing machine. If your washing machine does not have a reservoir to pour in the fabric softener, you can add the liquid into your machine during the rinse cycle.