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8 Homemade Fabric Softener Recipes

8 Homemade Fabric Softener Recipes

Homemade Fabric Softeners For Fluffy Soft Clothes

If you’re making your our homemade laundry detergent then you’ll definitely want to find a good diy homemade fabric softener recipe to go with it. I really like homemade fabric softeners. They don’t make your clothes feel the same as store bought fabric softener do when they come out of the dryer.

I think that’s a good thing.

Homemade fabric softeners won’t leave your clothes smelling like artificial scents or leave behind that strange chemical softness that dryer sheets do.

What homemade fabric softeners will do is make your clothes feel softer than they would if you dried them without some sort of softener and that’s enough for me!

Here are a few simple ways for how to make homemade fabric softeners that work great and get your clothes cuddly and smelling awesome in no time!

Dryer Fabric Softener

Homemade fabric softeners for the dryer are a little more familiar because you just put them into the dryer like store bought dryer sheets. I personally prefer dryer homemade fabric softeners for one simple reason.

I don’t have to remember to add something into the washing machine for the rinsing cycle. Simple and homemade is the name of the game and dryer fabric softeners are the way to go for me.

Wool Dryer Balls

Wool dryer balls are by far my favorite method for a good natural homemade fabric softener. I like wool dryer balls so much because you don’t need to scoop, spray, or pour any extra products into your laundry.

All you have to do is chuck a couple of wool dryer balls into your dryer, maybe splash a few drop of essential oils on them first, and you’re good to go. This means that you’re not spending the extra money on vinegar or baking soda, as with other homemade fabric softeners.

Wool dryer balls with last up to 1000 loads without having to spend a single dime more!  Check them out on Amazon, they’re great, I love them!

Vinegar and Essential Oil Dryer Spray

This vinegar fabric softener recipe from Crunchy Betty is really easy to make.  All you need for this recipe is a little vinegar, some essential oils, and a spray bottle.

This recipe helps get your laundry feeling softer (without that horrible chemical fake softness of commercial fabric softeners) and helps cut down on static too!

Washing Machine Fabric Softeners

Homemade fabric softeners for washing machines work by balancing the pH in the washing machine, this in turn helps your fabrics to feel more soft.

I’m not a huge fan of washing machine fabric softeners currently because it requires adding something extra into the washing machine during the rinsing cycle.

That takes a touch more attention than I’m willing to give my laundry right now.

Homemade Baking Soda Fabric Softener

This baking soda fabric softener recipe is a really simple method for softening clothing. All you need is a little baking soda added in during the rinse cycle and your good to go. It’s simple and it works great.  This was my go to method before I started using wool dryer balls.

Homemade Fabric Softener Crystals

These homemade natural fabric softener crystals from Happy Money Saver are a fabric softener alternative to store bought products like Purex Crystals. This recipe is just epsom salt and essentials oils.

It’s another great example of companies slapping a couple of cheap ingredients together and charge a premium for it, not to mention a bunch of extra chemicals for scenting and coloring.

Epsom Salt and Baking Soda

This homemade natural fabric softener from Everyday Roots is essentially the last two posts combined. Basically, if they’re good separately they’ve got to be great together!

Vinegar Fabric Softener

Vinegar fabric softener is another really great diy fabric softening solution.  All you need for this fabric softener is a little vinegar splashed into your washing machine during the rinse cycle and your clothes will come out soft and fluffy in the end.

Vinegar, Baking Soda, & Essential Oil Fabric Softener

This homemade fabric softener from Happy Money Saver is another great combo option.  It combines the power of both baking soda and vinegar into one super fabric softener.

Again, if they’re good on their own, they’ll be great together!

Vinegar and Hair Conditioner Fabric Softener

I’m not a huge fan of this fabric softener recipe from One Good Thing By Jillee.

I don’t like it because it requires adding hair conditioner into your laundry.  I get why the conditioner helps, but for me, this is getting closer to store bought fabric softening recipes than I would like.

However, if the other recipes on this list don’t quit cut it for you, give this one a shot, it might do the trick for you!  Click the link to read how to make homemade fabric softener with hair conditioner.

That’s it!  My whole great big list of homemade fabric softeners.  There are so many great options out there, one of them is bound to work for you.

At the end of the day though, I still know what fabric softener I’ll be using.

I love my wool dryer balls. Dryer balls strike the perfect balance between effectiveness and simplicity.  I’ll just splash a few drop of essential oils onto my dryer ball throw them into my dryer and call it good!

Thanks for reading!  If you know of any other diy fabric softener techniques please let me know in the comments.


Last update on 2022-11-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Friday 28th of April 2023

Another environmentally friendly washing idea is the alternatives to bleaching whites. This is a recipe I found on Pinterest. Before you make it, let me say one thing. If you want the whitest looking whites, using bluing, like Mrs. Stewart's Bluing. White shades lean toward yellow in the color spectrum. By adding bluing (about 2 drops or so to a quart of water), it makes your whites appear truly white. Bluing is an environmentally friendly way to really get outstanding whites. Caveat: never add the bluing directly into wash water - it MUST be diluted or it will stain clothes. I just recently discovered bluing and my sheets look amazing! Now to the bleach alternative. If you use this with the bluing in the rinse water, I would recommend not adding the lemon essential oil. It will negate what you are doing with the bluing. Instead, use dryer balls with lemon oil. You get the fragrance without the confusion in the wash. :-)

2 cups of 3% hydrogen peroxide 2/3 cup of washing soda 4 cups of warm water 10 drops of lemon essential oil Directions Pour the warm water into a bucket or sink. Add the washing soda, hydrogen peroxide, and lemon essential oil to the water. Use a spoon to combine the ingredients. Add any whites that need cleaned to the mixture and let them soak for 1 to 3 hours. When they’re done soaking, wash them in your washing machine as you normally would. Add the diluted bluing into the rinse water in your machine.


Friday 28th of April 2023

Vinegar is really not the best solution for a softener in your washing machine. It will actually cause your machine to lough off metal, ruining the machine in the long run. The better alternative is citric acid mixed with water. It does not hurt metal and will begin to reduce the sludge that builds up in your plumbing. It makes hard water soft for a better clean and your clothes smell fresh. My husband works on greasy equipment and his clothes are so much cleaner and there's no residue smell from that did not come out in the wash. It's wonderful!


Friday 23rd of September 2022

Great... appreciate the suggestions, etc. THANX


Thursday 6th of January 2022

I use a natural plant based conditioner and it is a great recipe! Thanks


Saturday 23rd of October 2021

the dryer balls don't last very long. only lasted a month for me