5 Best Homemade Fabric Softeners

Fabric softeners are additives used in the laundry for making clothing soft after washing by eliminating the static on them, removing wrinkles from clothing, and adding pleasant scents to them. 

You can get either get them from your local grocery store or you can make them by yourself.

DIY fabric softeners are great if you like to add a personalized and convenient choice of scent and feel to your clothing. You can even save some bucks from it. All it requires are a few ingredients you can find at home. 

Why Should I Use DIY Home-made Fabric Softeners?

Fabric softeners being what they are, contain many artificial chemicals like colorants, preservatives, and quats (quaternary ammonium compounds) which are not so good for people with allergies and compromised respiratory systems. 

Homemade fabric softeners on the other hand are awesome for your clothing. They give your laundry naturally good scents unlike the artificial scents given by commercial fabric softeners. They are eco-friendly, non-toxic, and also good for individuals with sensitive skin. 

Although fabric softeners are popular, they are not suitable for every type of clothing like towels, nightwear, and microfiber clothing because they reduce their absorbent quality while coating them. 

While fabric softeners make clothing soften to the touch, they also cause a build-up of softener residue in washing machines which can result in its breakdown. 

DIY Tips To Make A Fabric Softener At Home

There are different types of fabric softeners you can make by yourself at home. All you need are simple ingredients and the tips below to get your clothing softened in no time. 

  1. DIY Fabric Softener Made From Vinegar And Oil.

Vinegar is a useful additive for laundry and can be used for making homemade fabric softeners.

Its components make clothing soft, remove the softener residue from clothing, and eliminate static from clothing. Here’s how to make a fabric softener from it. 

Ingredients needed;

  • A gallon of vinegar
  • A bottle of essential oil
  • A clean bowl or bucket
  • A stirrer


  • Get a clean bowl or a little bucket for creating the mixture. 
  • Empty the gallon of vinegar into the bowl or bucket. It’s important to use white distilled vinegar because other types of vinegar like apple cider vinegar would result in stained clothing.
  • Add about 30-35 drops of essential oil to the vinegar in the bowl. Essential oils create nice scents on your clothing. You can use oils with your favorite scent.
  • Stir the mixture properly to ensure it’s properly combined.
  • Now you can add it to your washing machine or soaked clothing if it’s hand washed or you can package them into spray bottles and spray it on your clothing. 
  1. DIY Fabric Softeners Made From Vinegar And Hair Conditioner

Another recipe that you can try at home is vinegar with a hair conditioner. Simply follow the instructions below.

Ingredients needed:

  • A small bowl of warm water
  • 5 cups filled with distilled vinegar 
  • 200ml or hair conditioner 
  • A Stirrer


  • Fill a clean bowl with warm water.
  • Fill the water with the hair conditioner. Any lumps formed by the conditioner are removed by the hot water. It’s worth noting that if your hair conditioner has a strong scent, it might transfer to your clothes.
  • Stir in the vinegar until it’s evenly distributed in the mixture. 
  • After that, put it in the washer. The hair conditioner softens your laundry while the vinegar removes static.
  1. DIY Fabric Softener Made With Vinegar And Baking soda

Baking soda is a useful ingredient for DIY laundry. In this case, for creating a homemade fabric softener.

It removes the stiffness from clothing usually caused by hard water and acts with vinegar to soften laundry. You should follow the steps below to create the softener.

Ingredients needed:

  • A clean bowl of hot water
  • A stirrer
  • 200ml of distilled vinegar 
  • A cup of baking soda


  • Set the bowl of hot water on the table and add a cup of baking soda. 
  • Stir the mixture until the baking soda dissolves properly
  • Then add 200ml of vinegar and also stir. Be careful because a combination of both ingredients will cause a reaction similar to what you’ll see in carbonated drinks.
  • If you like, you can add a scent booster or essential oil to create a pleasant smell for your laundry.
  • You can use this homemade softener for your laundry.
  1. DIY Fabric Softener Made From Salt And Baking Soda.

You can create this dry fabric softener with Epsom salts or your normal table salts added to baking soda. To do this you require:

Ingredients needed:

  • A cup of Epsom or table salt.
  • A ¼ cup of baking soda.
  • A clean bowl.
  • A stirrer.
  • A bottle of essential oil. 


  • Set aside a clean bowl and pour a cup of Epsom or table salt. 
  • Next, add ¼ cup of baking soda to the mix.
  • Then, stir rapidly or shake the bowl to ensure it mixes properly. 
  • Add the dry fabric softener to your washing machine and leave it to work. 
  1. DIY Fabric Softener Sheets

Instead of using commercial fabric softener dryer sheets, you can create a personalized version for your laundry use.

You can try out this method with these ingredients

Ingredients needed:

  • A cotton fabric.
  • A pair of scissors.
  • A spray can.
  • A cup full of vinegar.


  • Using a pair of scissors, cut the cotton fabric into neatly squared sizes. You need to use cotton because of its breathable natural fiber. 
  • After cutting the fabric, fill a spray can with distilled vinegar. 
  • Spray the vinegar on the neatly cut cotton fabric and allow it to soak. Ensure you do not spray too much so that it does not become very wet. 
  • You can use this for your laundry in place of your dryer sheets. 

Helpful Precautions To Take Note Of

  • You should always ensure that your safety gloves are worn while you create your homemade fabric softener. 
  • Always use distilled white vinegar. Other types of vinegar are not so great because they might create stains in your laundry. 

How To Store your Home Made Fabric Softener

This is very important for your DIY fabric softener because maintenance is key to ensuring its effectiveness for a very long time.

Ensure you store the softener in glass bottles in a cool dry area that’s free from the reach of the sun’s rays. Make sure the area is at room temperature. 

Creating your homemade fabric softener is not rocket science and it’s very beneficial compared to the commercial types. 

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