Last week I shared with you my recipe for making your own powdered laundry detergent and a few of you asked about homemade fabric softener.
There are a number of different recipes floating around, but my favorite is straight old vinegar. I know what you’re thinking…vinegar? Gross! Won’t that make my clothes stink? Nope, the vinegar completely washes out & leaves your clothes smelling clean. You’ll never go back to traditional fabric softener after you try it – plus vinegar is cheap! A gallon at my local Smart & Final runs about $2 bucks.
Vinegar is excellent for removing soap residue from your clothes and is also a natural softener & whitener. It will make your towels more absorbent, eliminates static cling and is a great alternative for people with skin allergies.
Recipe #1: Vinegar Fabric Softener
I’ve been using this recipe for several months & have had excellent results.
- 1 Gallon White Distilled Vinegar
- Optional: 25 -30 drops of Essential Oil for fragrance
Fill a Downy Ball as you regularly would or add 1/4 cup to the rinse cycle. If you like your clothes to have a lingering fragrance like traditional fabric softener, add essential oil to the gallon of vinegar. Be sure to mark your jug so you don’t accidentally grab it for another purpose.
Recipe #2: Vinegar & Baking Soda Fabric Softener
Technically the ingredients below chemically neutralize each other but folks with hard water seem to swear by this recipe so it might be worth a shot if you are in a similar situation.
- 1 cup White Distilled Vinegar
- 1 cup Baking Soda
- 2 cups Hot Water
- Optional: Essential Oil for fragrance
In a bucket, stir together the hot water and baking soda until mixed (it won’t completely dissolve). Slowly begin to add the vinegar (it will bubble up like a science volcano project) until well mixed. Pour into a storage container & shake before each use. Fill a Downy Ball with the mixture as normal or use 1/4 cup in the rinse cycle.
Recipe #3: Vinegar & Hair Conditioner Fabric Softener
The conditioner in this recipe will leave a slight fragrance after you take your clothes out of the dryer. Save your expensive conditioner for your hair, cheap-o brands like Suave will work just fine.
- 3 cups White Distilled Vinegar
- 2 cups Hair Conditioner (this works out to about the size of a full bottle of Suave)
- 6 cups Hot Water
Mix ingredients together and pour into a storage container. Use about 1/4 cup per load in the rinse cycle or in a Downy Ball.
- Do NOT substitute Apple Cider Vinegar for any of these recipes. You’ll end up with dingy clothes.
- Do NOT use your homemade fabric softener on loads using bleach. Mixing bleach with vinegar can produce toxic fumes. Vinegar is a natural whitener so you really don’t need bleach anyway!
Do you use homemade fabric softener? I’d love to hear about your experience with it in the comments below!