June 13, 2019

DIY Fabric Softener

Most conventional fabric softeners and dryer sheets are not only toxic but they also coat the fibers making clothes and towels harder to clean because they build up with fabric softener.  If you love your fabric softener and dryer sheets and love that scent that’s associated with clean laundry, you probably don’t want to make the switch to something natural if it’s unscented.  I’m right there with you – I want my laundry to smell clean and fresh. This simple DIY does just that – keeps your laundry smelling fresh and bonus, it also freshens your washing machine. I’ve known for quite a while that conventional laundry products had harmful chemicals and fragrances in them. When I started researching for my latest book, Clean Mama’s Guide to a Healthy Home, I was expecting to find more of the same information that I was already familiar with. What I found was worse than I was expecting. The most disturbing revelation? All the ingredients in laundry products are in constant contact with our skin. We can’t get away from it – it’s on our bodies, in our bedding, and in the air in our homes.

This is such a simple and inexpensive way to soften and freshen your laundry, it almost seems too simple. I encourage you to give it a try – I’m guessing its effectiveness will surprise you.

You’ll need:

  • white vinegar
  • container to store vinegar – I use a 16 ounce bottle with a pump to easily dispense it into the dispenser – find the bottle, pump, and label here in my shop.
  • funnel if you’d like

Add 1/4 cup of white vinegar to the fabric softener dispenser or one of those fabric softener balls.  I add vinegar to every load of laundry.  Not only does the smell completely dissipate but it also keeps your washing machine fresh.  I love this for sheets and towels – it will make your towels unexpectedly soft and fluffy.

QUESTIONS YOU MIGHT HAVE:

Will my clothes smell like a pickle? No, as long as you add it to the beginning of the cycle or in the fabric softener dispenser you won’t be able to detect even the faintest scent of vinegar.

Is vinegar safe in washing machines? Vinegar is a 2-3 on the pH scale which means that it is an acid but it’s not corrosive or toxic like bleach. Bleach is at the end of the alkaline scale which means that it’s highly corrosive. I have not found any evidence that vinegar isn’t 100% safe to use in washing machines. In fact, the appliance repairmen that have been at my house marvel at how clean my washing machine is – no gunk or build-up. When I tell them that I use vinegar to soften clothes and clean the washer, they say, ‘Keep using it!’

Why would you want to switch to vinegar as a fabric softener? Most conventional fabric softeners and dryer sheets are not only toxic (read more here from EWG.com), but they also coat fibers making clothes and towels harder to clean because they build up with fabric softener. That same fabric softener also builds up and coats the inner workings of your washing machine. If you love your fabric softener and dryer sheets and love that scent that’s associated with clean laundry, you probably don’t want to make the switch to something natural if it’s unscented.

Want to see my safe laundry routine? Head to this post where I share 4 simple swaps for all your laundry.

What do you think? Ready to try a different approach to softening your laundry?

Come see the Laundry Products in Clean Mama Home!

It’s Laundry Week!

  • Follow me on Instagram @cleanmama for a #laundryeverydaychallenge – I’m encouraging you to TRY doing a load of laundry every day for a week.
  • Here’s the challenge: do one load of laundry every day for a week from washer to folded and put away. Post your load of laundry on Instagram with the hashtag #laundryeverydaychallenge and tag me so I can share! Even if you think this sounds crazy, accept the challenge and see what happens in your home – it will surprise you!