How to Make a Natural Fabric Softener

If you want to enjoy a natural aroma on your sheets, towels, and clothes, you can't miss this recipe for the following homemade fabric softener.
How to Make a Natural Fabric Softener

Last update: 29 August, 2020

When you wash your clothes, towels, and sheets, you want them to be soft to the touch and easy to handle. This way, not only will you find them more pleasant to use, but we also make them look good (smooth and without wrinkles), without making too much of an effort. For this reason, below we’ll tell you how to make a fabric softener with 2 very commonly used and eco-friendly ingredients. Let’s take a look!

Why use a natural fabric softener on your clothes?

There are times when you can’t find our favorite fabric softener in the supermarket and there are times when you just simply want to change it in order to enjoy a different scent or a much fluffier, softer, and more pleasant texture. In both of these cases, you can try making your own fabric softeners at home.

The fabric softener we’re going to share with you below is good for leaving white and light-colored garments soft and stain-free. Making it with natural ingredients, this could be a good alternative for those who have allergies.

Unlike other softeners, this organic product is great for the washing machine because it helps remove lime from water, along with soap residue and mold.

It doesn’t contain fragrances or harmful substances

Artificial scents aren’t always pleasant in detergents. Sometimes they’re so strong that they can give you a headache or make you sneeze. For this reason, homemade recipes, with natural aromas are a good option, at least to change it up from time to time.

A woman sniffing fresh white laundry.

Steps for making a natural fabric softener

This natural softener utilizes basic ingredients, like baking soda and white vinegar, which are widely known as great natural cleaning solutions. 


  • 2 c. of water
  • 1/2 c. of vinegar
  • 1/3 c. of baking soda
  • 6 drops of the essential oil of your choice


  • Firstly, dilute the cup of white vinegar with the 2 parts of water, and pour it into a container.
  • Then carefully add the baking soda. Try not to spill anything.
  • Keep in mind that this is going to create an effervescent effect, which will only increase if you add all the baking soda at once.
  • After that, mix with a spoon and make sure that everything is dissolved. Then add the drops of your favorite essential oil to give it a special fragrance.
  • Finally, add the softener to your wash, and run through the normal wash cycle.
  • Then spread out your garments and let them air dry for a while.
  • For an extremely nice finishing touch, before they’re completely dry, grab your clothes and throw them in the dryer.

Things to keep in mind about your natural fabric softener

Some clean towls in a basket.

  • Always keep in mind that the baking soda could bleach the clothes. Therefore, only use this fabric softener to wash light and white garments. Never black or dark-colored clothing.
  • Before adding the essential oil to the fabric softener, you must make sure to dilute it well in water. Otherwise, you could expose yourself to irritation and discomfort on the skin. Also, your clothes might be left with a strange feeling texture, almost dirty or heavy.
  • The most recommended scents are lavender and eucalyptus. Although there are those who opt for citrus or rose.
  • To get rid of stains from white clothing, just leave it soaking in a bucket of hot water with bay leaves.
  • If you want your product to be thicker, as an option you could add a bit (2 tablespoons) of hair conditioner to the mixture.
  • If you have stains around the armpits or neck, then soak the garment in the softener and baking soda for 30 minutes prior to your normal wash.  You could also apply white vinegar to the affected area. Then just wash the garment alone, as usual.
  • To set colors in dyed clothing, add one cup of vinegar to the last rinse cycle. In this case, we wouldn’t recommend using a fabric softener.
A few clean towels next to fabric softener.

Use it in small amounts

In general, we don’t recommend to add large amounts of fabric softener to clothes, whether homemade or commercial. Not only because it makes the garments “stiff” to the touch, but because after a short time it can give them the impression of being very dirty. Therefore, ideally, add the “just right” amount to the wash cycle.

Even if you are washing a large load, remember to avoid excesses. This is preferable to having to wash clothes two more times just to make them clean. This will leave them with a good scent and texture.

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