After switching to homemade lotion, laundry detergent, and deodorant I realized how much more sensitive I am to chemicals and fragrance. There are lots of items I simply avoid using because I haven’t learned how to make them myself (or I just don’t need them after all.) Fabric softener is one of those items–I used to use fabric softener regularly & I was quite fond of my Downy Ball.
I got the idea to give homemade fabric softener a try & the first thing I did was pick up a Downy Ball (even though it says to ONLY use Downy in it 🙂 ) I found a simple recipe that consists of hair conditioner, vinegar, and water (I also used essential oil.) Then it dawned on me that hair conditioner is not exactly chemical free… So I checked out more recipes and found a natural alternative made from epsom salt, baking soda, and essential oil. So now we have two options for homemade fabric softener–either way you control the scent of your softener based on your choice of conditioner and/or essential oil.
I am still working out which alternative to store-bought dryer sheets to try out first, but that is coming down the road. Fabric softener is not completely necessary but it definitely helps cut down on static and softens your laundry. This is a great compliment to homemade laundry soap!
Option #1: Hair Conditioner Fabric Softener
- 2 cups Hair Conditioner
- 3 cups White Vinegar
- 6 cups Water
- 15-30 drops Essential Oil (optional)
- Bring the water to a boil in a large pot
- Turn off the heat and add in the conditioner, vinegar, and essential oil
- Stir well
- Transfer to a container
- Add in your normal amount to your washer compartment or use a Downy Ball
Option #2: Epsom Salt Fabric Softener
- Combine the ingredients: I placed the ingredients in a quart mason jar
- Stir or combine well–you can stir or cover with a lid and shake well
- Use 2 Tbsp per load of wash–add in when you add your soap at the beginning of the wash cycle