Sometimes a quick and simple tip that can make the mundane a little easier or make your life a little better makes a BIG difference. This is a new series here on the blog where I’ll be sharing simple tips, finds, and suggestions to make life a little easier. I’ll be sharing these tips regularly on the blog and on Instagram – make sure you’re following along!

This is a super simple (and inexpensive) swap you can do that will cut out chemicals in your home and on your clothes and it softens clothes at the same time. And if you’re questioning the effectiveness and the smell, it took me a little bit to be on board too, but after experimentation and tweaking, I am 100% team vinegar in the laundry room!

Here’s what you need to do:

Simply add 1/4 cup of white vinegar to the fabric softener dispenser or to a fabric softener ball. The white vinegar will act as a fabric softener AND it will keep your washing machine smelling fresh and clean!

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, but they also coat 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. Go to this post for 4 ways to naturally soften + freshen your laundry.

Why is this a good tip? White vinegar is readily available (I get it at Costco – see my favorites here), it’s food-grade, natural, it freshens your clothes, and keeps your towels fluffy. If you’re afraid that your laundry will smell like a pickle, I promise you that it won’t – the smell completely dissipates once the clothes are washed.

A couple of things that might make your laundry-softening a little more enjoyable:

  • I also use wool dryer balls in the dryer to soften and freshen clothes. You can see how I use them here.
  • Here’s the glass bottle I store my white vinegar in (it’s my spray bottle – it comes with a lid). I popped a plastic pump on it for easier dispensing.
  • Another benefit of using vinegar as a fabric softener is that it also keeps the washing machine from smelling.
  • my favorite laundry products are here on my Cleaning Favs page.
  • That darling Laundry Co sign is from Magnolia and the baskets are from HomeGoods.