DIY Ridiculously Easy Eco-Friendly Fabric Softener


One of the easiest small steps to start getting rid of toxic chemicals in your home is to get rid of mainstream laundry detergent and fabric softener. Think about it – your clothes are in constant contact with your body. You lay on your sheets at night breathing in all the chemicals that are in your bedding. Your children are even more susceptible to all the toxic chemicals in detergents. Here are just a couple of posts explaining the toxins in store-bought fabric softeners.

The Toxic Danger of Fabric Softener and Dryer Sheets

8 Toxins Lurking in Your Fabric Softener

Check out this easy recipe for laundry detergent. Once you have gotten that batch made, it’s time to start thinking about changing up your fabric softener.

This recipe is so easy that it almost seems silly to write it down, but it is also so effective that I just can’t help but share. First of all, this recipe came straight from Crunchy Betty’s post, Ditch the Dryer Sheets. I have tried several different fabric softener options, but this one works the best for me. I have tried using vinegar in the rinse cycle of the washing machine, but this method works a little better to prevent static cling. By spraying the clothes, you use very little but still ensure that your vinegar reaches the whole load of clothes.


Glass Spray Bottle – If you are going to use essential oils in your homemade products, you need to store them in glass containers. The good news is that it is super easy to re-use bottles. My favorite glass bottles to re-purpose are Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar bottles ( Bragg Organic Vinegar Apple Cider, 32 Ounce (3 Pack)).

I bought a few spray bottles at the local dollar store and tossed the plastic bottles but use the spray tops. The glass Bragg  bottles hold 4 cups, but you can easily make a smaller portion.


4 cups Distilled White Vinegar

White vinegar is the number one item that I use in every room of my house. I used it as my primary cleaner everywhere! I just buy the cheap, large jugs of white vinegar for household cleaners. Not only is white vinegar antibacterial, but it is also an excellent fabric softener.

Vinegar is great for getting any remaining dirt and residue off clothes, softening material and preventing static cling. You can actually do this softener with nothing other than vinegar.


2 tbsp Eucalyptus Essential Oil (Optional)

Eucalyptus essential oil is antiviral and antibacterial so it is a nice addition to vinegar. I like it more than other essential oils as an addition in cleaning. I have also used tea tree oil in my softener, but I liked the eucalyptus better.




Add essential oil to vinegar and shake well. It’s really that easy!

Squirt approximately 10 times onto clothes that you have just placed in the dryer. Be sure to dry clothes completely to get rid of the vinegar smell. Your clothes will come out of the dryer smelling fresh without static.



If you have made the mistake of using liquid fabric softener in an HE washing machine, you’ll appreciate this new method. If you own an HE washing machine, hopefully you already know about the need to clean out the front of the machine often. Here’s a post that explains that well.

I had no clue when I moved into my condo that I needed to be cleaning out the HE washing machine after each use. Once my laundry closet started to smell like something died in there, I realized what was going on with the sludge in my washer door. If you have an HE washer and use liquid fabric softener, you will end up with softener gathered in the door area – gross! I use my new “fabric softener” to spray out and clean my HE washer door area.



How to Make Felted Wool Dryer Balls - I haven’t made these yet, but they sound awesome!

8 Natural Alternatives to Fabric Softener & Dryer Sheets

Apartment Therapy – 5 Homemade Natural Fabric Softeners

Are Soft Clothes Really Worth It?

Greener Laundry – Fabric Softener vs Dryer Sheets


How about you? Do you make your own fabric softener? Let me know in the comments any tips or special ingredients you use in your homemade fabric softener!

Fabric Softener

* All information is for educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

About Toni South

I am a mom who has become a fanatic about handmade bath and beauty products after much research into the toxic chemicals that I was surrounding myself with. I am striving to educate others as I learn myself. I'm an experimenter, learner and teacher!

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  1. Clean House - Toss the Toxins and Make Your Own Household Cleaner - Toni SouthToni South - February 19, 2013

    [...] of laundry detergent, I made my own. I used all my dryer sheets before switching to simple vinegar fabric softener. I am still using regular store-bought dishwashing detergent (because I bought it in bulk a long, [...]

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