Our family hasn’t used conventional fabric softeners in a few years. We found out that fabric softeners and dryer sheets leave a residue on your clothes and that’s what makes them “feel” softer. Other families stop using chemical fabric softeners due to skin irritation or breathing sensitivities. Whatever your reason for seeking a natural alternative, it’s good to know that you can still get your clothes fluffy, soft, and smelling fresh without toxic chemicals.
Our laundry routine changed when we began cloth diapering. You have to be very careful not to use detergents that will leave behind any build-up or residue. That build-up can lead to serious stink! Even though we no longer cloth diaper, we’ve been glad to not have that continual expense of buying dryer sheets and fabric softeners in our home supply budget.
Here’s the washing routine that we use to get our clothes fresh and clean with natural ingredients in a regular load of laundry in our HE washer:
New to essential oils? Learn more about how we use them and why you should use them as well.
Natural DIY Fabric Softener
- 1/4 cup Dr. Bronner’s Organic Lavender Pure Castile Soap
- 5 drops Lavender essential oil
- 5 drops Bergamot essential oil
- 1/2 cup baking soda
- 1/3 cup white vinegar
- Add soap and essential oils to normal washing machine soap dispenser.
- Sprinkle 1/2 cup baking soda over the clothes in the washer.
- Pour 1/3 cup of vinegar into the fabric softener dispenser (or add during final rinse).
- Wash color loads and towels on cool water as normal.
- Dry laundry and enjoy freshly scented, soft laundry with no harsh chemicals!
That’s it. It’s an easy routine for us and it keeps our clothes clean and soft without adding harsh or dangerous chemicals.
A Couple of Extra Laundry Tips:
- DO NOT add the vinegar to the beginning of the washing cycle. It will react badly with the Castile soap and you will not like the results. Find out the details about this reaction here.
- For a load of whites, we would add 1/2 cup hydrogen peroxide to the normal place assigned for adding bleach. Then we wash on hot water setting.
- And, of course, if you’re having big, stinky trouble with your laundry you should try this simple laundry trick that really works.
- Try some of these other tips to remove additives from your home cleaning routine!