Making homemade fabric softener is easy and will save you money on laundry supplies. It is also environmentally friendly, and non-allergenic.
Many conventional laundry soaps and dryer sheets contain questionable ingredients. For example, many conventional detergents might contain, 1,4-dioxane, quaternium-15, phosphates and synthetic fragrances.
If you do your research, you will find that many of these are known carcinogens and/or irritants to the skin. These chemicals are added to detergents to make them smell better, work better in hard water and prevent dirt from settling back on clothes during the wash cycle, among many other reasons.
Moving away from potentially harmful conventional fabric softeners and dryer sheets is important if you want to green your laundry habits, and making your own fabric softeners is just one way to do this. You make your own natural fabric softener liquids at home with some simple ingredients.
You may not know you already have a natural fabric softener in your kitchen cabinets. Vinegar can not only soften the items in your washing machine, it can help remove soap residue sometimes left behind plus can reduce the amount of static found on your clothing after removing them from the dryer. And it’s so easy to make:
1 cup baking soda
6 cups apple cider vinegar
8 cups water
10-12 drops essential oil of your choice
a plastic gallon jug with a lid
Combine all of the ingredients in the container and let them react. The mixture will fizz up, so stir it carefully until all the bubbles are gone. Wait a few minutes for it to go “flat” before closing the container because if you do it too early it may pop the lid off by reacting. Before you use this fabric softener shake the container well and add about 4 teaspoons to your laundry for one use.
Another great recipe is:
5 cups hot water
3 cups vinegar
1 cup hair conditioner
Mix hot water and conditioner together in medium bowl. (The hot water helps smooth any clumps from the conditioner). Mix in vinegar and pour in container of choice. Use the same amount as you would a store bought softener and add to the regular softener spot in your washer or during the rinse cycle.
Epsom salt softener
2 cups Epsom salt or coarse sea salt.
30 drops chamomile, lavender or your choice of essential oils.
½ cup baking soda
1 container with a lid
Mix the Epsom salt and essential oil in the container. Shake a few seconds to mix well. When finished, add the baking soda. Mix again and cover. It will keep for up to two months. Use 2-3 tablespoons of natural fabric softener before the rinse cycle. For larger loads, use up to a half a cup.
The best part about making your own laundry soap and fabric softener, besides the cost savings, is that you control the ingredients. If you have someone in your family with sensitive skin, they’ll appreciate you limiting the chemicals used to clean their clothing. Using natural ingredients can be just as effective as brand-name cleaners and you won’t have to worry about the chemical irritants.