To this day, one of my favorite DIY products I’ve shared since I started this blog all those years ago is homemade laundry detergent. It’s easy to make, gentle on both clothes and skin, and has saved me “loads” of money over the years. But when it comes to laundry products you can make at home, detergent is just the tip of the iceberg!
I’ve experimented with dozens of other DIY laundry products, but none of them have gone through as many iterations, revisions, and tests as homemade fabric softeners! I’ve tried dozens of different liquid softeners, softening crystals, dryer sheets, and other varieties of fabric softeners, and I’ve finally managed to narrow my collection down to the five that I believe represent the “best of the best!”
It never hurts to have options when it comes to keeping your laundry soft and snuggly, so I thought I’d share those five homemade fabric softeners with you today. So without further ado, here are my five best homemade fabric softeners!
The 5 Best Homemade Fabric Softeners
Fabric softener crystals are easy to use and add a nice, fresh scent to laundry, but they can be pretty pricey to buy at the store! In my DIY version, Epsom salt serves as the delivery system for naturally fragrant essential oils.
It’s a great way to infuse your laundry with a scent you love while avoiding synthetic fragrances that can aggravate allergies and irritate sensitive skin.
Looking for a more traditional liquid fabric softener option? I’ve got you covered. This one only uses three ingredients, one of which gives it a powerful advantage over store-bought liquid fabric softeners.
Store-bought fabric softeners coat fabrics in a thin layer of chemical softeners, and over time, it can build up into a stubborn layer of water-resistant residue that can prevent your laundry from getting truly clean. The addition of vinegar in my DIY version actually breaks up that stubborn residue while helping to soften your clothes. It can also soften hard water and reduce static too!
For me personally, it’s hard to beat the convenience of dryer sheets. And luckily those of us who prefer them to other types of fabric softeners, you can easily turn any liquid fabric softener (including #2 and #5 in this list) into a set of your very own reusable dryer sheets!
And not only do they do a great job of keeping laundry soft, but they help cut down on waste too. You can make them out of any kind of rag you have on hand, like old dishcloths, ripped up bed sheets, or even cut-up t-shirts.
There are a number of different ways to soften fabrics, but people rarely think about the ones that work by physical means. The best option in this category (at least in my humble opinion) is a set of wool dryer balls.
Dryer balls manually soften fabrics as they tumble around your dryer, and they also open up air pockets that improve airflow and reduce overall drying time. I like them so much that I have my very own set of dryer balls that are available in my online shop, but it’s easy enough to make your own if you want to go the homemade route.
And last, but certainly not least, is a simple liquid fabric softener recipe that’s perfect for those who want something that smells nice! This one gets both its clean, herbaceous scent and its softening qualities from hair conditioner, of all things, and it couldn’t be easier to make.
What’s your favorite type of fabric softener?