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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 2021-06-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Carrie Kenney

Thursday 8th of July 2021

Epsom salt actually makes water harder. Use kosher salt instead and mixing baking soda and vinegar together pretty much makes it like useing plain water. I use vinegar, water, glycerin and essential oils for fabric softener.


Thursday 7th of January 2021

Alright... so I read up on what epson salt does in laundry and it makes hard water harder...causes soap to be less effective, fades colors and causes fabric to feel rough and scratchy. So scratch that idea.


Thursday 7th of January 2021

With the comments on vinegar and baking soda I wonder what it would be like to make a vinegar and Epson salt mix for the fabric softener but add baking soda to the homemade laundry soap. I use a downy fabric softer ball that releases with the rinse cycle (I always forget to go back and add anything for the rinse cycle hahaha). It would self release and react with the remaining detergent I would think. I mostly care that it treats the smells that linger from my stinky teenagers. My wool dryer balls seem to handle getting my clothes pretty soft.


Thursday 7th of January 2021

I sliced a small hole in one of my dryer balls and I use an essential oil dropper and insert the essential oil inside the dryer ball. I use a cinnamon/vanilla mix or a lemon grass/lemon mix or a chamomile/vanilla mix. Leaves my clothes smelling lovely without any risk of residue.

Carlo Volti

Tuesday 20th of October 2020

Basically, so-called fabric softener (and fabric conditioner) do two things that make the clothes seem softer. First, they neutralize the detergent (that's why in self serve laundromats whenever someone puts too much soap into a front loader and causes a suds lock, the clerk pours diluted fabric softener into the machine to counteract the excess soap), making it easier to wash it all out of the clothes. Second, they reduced the chemicals in the water that make it hard; hard water doesn't allow the detergent to clean the clothes well, and, even worse, it traps the detergent in the clothes, making them stiff and crunchy. Soft water will allow the detergent to completely wash out of the clothes.