No matter how many years it is since I moved away from home, I still haven't quite gotten the knack of doing my laundry as well as mom does. Despite checking the labels and adjusting temperatures accordingly, I rarely manage to avoid either shrinking or changing the color of something.
Another thing I haven't mastered, potentially the most annoying thing, is the softness of my laundry after it has been washed. I have tried multiple store-bought fabric softeners, but those bed sheets still aren't quite as inviting as they are when I stay at my parents' house.
I finally got around to asking my mom what her secret is, and she told me she makes her own fabric softener! That isn't something I had ever thought to do, but if it gives me results like hers, then I am willing to give anything a go. There are more different types of DIY fabric softeners out there than I imagined, so one of these is bound to work wonders.
Fabulous DIY Fabric Softeners
1. Rosemary and Mint Fabric Softener
This three-ingredient Rosemary and Mint Fabric Softener can be whipped up in a matter of minutes. With that considered, making your own fabric softener can, in fact, be faster than going to the store to buy a new bottle.
Rosemary and mint is a perfect scent combination for laundry, in my opinion. It is fresh while still being subtle enough not to act like perfume. With six cups of water, this recipe would make a fair few bottles of fabric softener, and since you only need two tablespoons in each wash, it will last ages and be incredibly cost efficient.
2. Wool Dryer Balls
I must admit I had never heard of Wool Dryer Balls before doing some research into DIY ways of ensuring that my laundry comes out as soft as can be.
Something I love about these dryer balls is that you can choose to make them scented by adding a few drops of essential oil. It would be fun to make many different, brightly colored dryer balls, according to the DIY they work best if you use multiple at once, but if you decide to do this be sure to check that the colors from the wool don't run. To avoid the risk of this, wash your wool balls separately before adding them to a dryer with clothes.
3. Baking Soda
This homemade fabric softening method is the easiest you will find, as it merely requires one ingredient; Baking Soda. If you want a scentless fabric softener, and one that won't harm sensitive skin, this is also a perfect solution for you.
Baking soda works as a fabric softener because it helps to balance the pH levels in the washer, ensuring that it is neither too acidic nor too alkaline. It's better for the environment than chemical filled fabric softeners and has many other uses around the house, so you will never regret investing in a box.
4. Essential Oil Fabric Conditioner
If like me, you spend hours in the supermarket aisle trying to choose which scent of fabric softener to buy, then this will be perfect for you. By making your own Essential Oil Fabric Softener, you have entirely free reign over what heavenly scent your laundry will have.
When using essential oils to make anything from soaps to room sprays, I love to play around with the scents, combining different ones until I find something I like. This DIY works out at a minuscule $0.27 per wash, far less than most fabric softeners you would find on the market.
5. Reusable Dryer Sheets
If you have old dish rags and fabric softener, homemade or not, in the house then you can make these Reusable Dryer Sheets without even having to nip to the store. What is even more remarkable is you can use them at least thirty to forty times each, that's months worth of laundry. For this reason, they would be perfect for families with young kids who may be doing laundry more often than not.
All you have to do is soak the dish rags in fabric softener, let them dry then pop them in with your clothes for the softest load of laundry you've ever done.
6. Fabric Softener Spray
This Fabric Softener Spray only contains two ingredients, white vinegar, and eucalyptus essential oil. I love the smell of eucalyptus and wouldn't mind my laundry to have the same, fresh scent. It's perfect for deodorizing, making it an excellent choice if you're washing clothes.
I like the idea of having fabric softener in a spray bottle, but I haven't come across it before. It would be easier to use than a liquid solution. Luckily the DIY mentions that you have to be careful to not overdo it as your laundry will have a lasting vinegar smell. Otherwise, I would have been in for a bit of a shock.
7. Hair Conditioner Fabric Softener
I would never have thought to use hair conditioner as a base for fabric softener, but then again it makes my hair silky smooth so why not my clothes?
You can buy some terrific smelling hair products, so I imagine you could make this Hair Conditioner Fabric Softener, and consequently your laundry, smell the way you want it. My natural instinct would be to combine the ingredients by shaking the bottle but every DIY I have seen advises you not to do that, so I will be sure not to.
8. Fabric Softener Crystals
Here is another way to ensure softer laundry with a few ingredients you most likely have in the cupboard already. These Fabric Softener Crystals are merely kosher salt scented with essential oils and a great way to keep your clothes soft using all natural ingredients.
I have the same problem as the author of this recipe, hard water removing any traces of softness from my clothes, and am hoping this will do the trick. All the suggested scents sound delightful, like jasmine or lavender, and I like the idea of switching to a more citrusy scent for spring and summer.
9. Fabric Softener Sponges
Because these Fabric Softener Sponges claim to be ‘never-ending' I just have to give them a go, and you should too. You can use any scented fabric softener you like for this DIY and even add additional essential oils to tweak the scent.
If you start to think the sponges aren't working their best, all you need to do is top them up again. They're more eco-friendly than a store-bought solution, especially if you use homemade fabric softener to make them, down to the fact that they can be reused so many times.
I will never again have the dilemma of standing in front of a shelf of fabric softeners in the store and trying to pick which will make my laundry come out feeling like a cloud. Every one of these DIY fabric softener ideas is hugely inexpensive, some potentially free if you already have the ingredients in your home.
I will start by giving the Fabric Softener Crystals a try because of my issue with hard water, also because I can choose whichever essential oil scent I like. After, I might go for the Hair Conditioner Fabric Softener to see if my conditioner can have the same effect on my clothes as it does my hair.
Do you currently make any of your own household products yourself? What is your secret to super soft laundry?