My All Natural Fabric Softener Solution

The essential oil revolution has brought out numerous claims. Some are completely legitimate, some are just sales tools and others are straight out lies.

Don’t get me wrong, I have a large variety of essential oils in my stash ready for many types of solutions.

One solution that has always struck me as questionable, at best, was the “a few drops of lavender oil on a washcloth is a perfect replacement for an all-natural fabric softener.”

My major question was: “How?” I wasn’t aware of softening properties of lavender.

Lavender Uses

These are the typical uses for lavender that I’ve heard over and over again (some of which I’ve used):

1. Calming
Rub 2-3 drops of lavender oil in your cupped palms, then use the inhalation method to draw the scent all the way into your amygdala gland (the emotional warehouse) in your brain to calm the mind. Then, rub on the feet, temples, wrists (or anywhere) for an immediate calming effect on the body. Great for use in crowded areas like planes or subways to carve out your own personal oasis.
2. Sleep aid
Again, use the cupping and inhalation method. Then, rub a drop of Lavender oil on your palms and smooth on your pillow to help you sleep.
3. Injuries/Wounds
 
Put a drop of Lavender oil to aid with the following:
  • Bee sting
  • Insect bite
  • Minor burn
  • Cuts
  • Eczema
  • Dermatitis
  • Nausea or motion sickness
  • Nosebleeds
  • Dry/Chapped Skin
  • Chapped or sunburned lips
  • Hay fever
  • Dandruff/Cradle cap
  • Cold sores

It just didn’t make sense. I could see how the lavender scent could compete with the fabric softening scent, but actually giving you softer clothes? This was not my solution for all-natural fabric softener.

I reached to several of the sites that made the claim, just asking them for clarification, but I never heard back.

Potential Fabric Softener Issues

Then I started to do research on traditional fabric softeners and I found something in particular that was disturbing. Fabric softeners may:

  • Stain your clothes
  • Seal in previous stains
  • Prevent laundry detergent and bleach from removing stains

The above would explain why my clothes had just started looking dingier since I started using them regularly (about three years ago). So I was in search of a real solution.

For the last few months, I’ve done these steps and have been very happy with the results.

1. In the wash, I add a cup of vinegar in addition to my regular laundry detergent to the load. Especially when you have someone that wets the bed, it’s essential to have something that completely removes the smell. When you’re washing soiled clothes or bedding, an extra cup will cut that smell out.

2. Then, in the dryer, I add two dryer balls with a few lavender essential oil drops. I do appreciate the smell of lavender, but the balls do the softening work.

The start-up cost for this solution was:

Costco-sized Vinegar:  $3.69
Lavender Essential Oil: $12.99
Wool Dryer balls: $12.95

Total: $30, but after 4 months, I have only needed to purchase new vinegar. I still have 3/4 of the bottle of essential oil and of course the dryer balls are in great shape!

I’ve been cleaning my laundry this way since May and everyone in the house has been happy.

Do you use any natural solutions for your laundry? I’d love to hear them.

33 comments on “My All Natural Fabric Softener Solution”

  1. Amy Jones says:

    So interesting!! I didn’t know you could wash clothes with vinegar, I want tot try it!

  2. I have never thought to add vinegar nor Lavender oil to my wash. I’m going to purchase both and give them a try. My clothes look icky.

  3. This is a great post. Lavander is so good, I love it!

  4. Aeriane says:

    Nice! We were using lavender in my home when i was kid but somehow i forgot about this! Thx

  5. I love the idea of making a fabric softener!! I had no idea that the process is so easy to do.

  6. victoria says:

    I like the Natural Fabric, Glad you share this with us

  7. Elizabeth O. says:

    I would love to use natural solutions instead of the ones that we have in stores. It’s better especially if you there are people in the family who has sensitive skin. I love lavender, it’s calming and it smells amazing!

  8. Fabric softeners aren’t always great, it can sometimes trigger nasal allergies and it’s not really pretty when that happens. I think making your own homemade solution is great!

  9. CourtneyLynne says:

    Ooooo this sounds like one great fabic softener!!!! Loving that it’s natural!

  10. I’m just starting to get into essentials oils. The more I read about their benefits and uses, the more excited I am to put them to use in my home.

  11. Chei says:

    oh this is amazing! i better try this. 😀

  12. Nicole Etolen says:

    I am so surprised about the vinegar. I want to try it, I hope my son won’t smell it.

  13. Echo says:

    Very cool! I am seriously looking into using essential oils in my new home and this is one way I would like to.

  14. Kathy says:

    This is a great idea. I love the idea of using lavender. It’s such a calming scent.

  15. I love, love, love lavender! I use it in everything from my bath water to my laundry. Thanks for the tips 🙂

  16. I need to invest in the dryer balls. I don’t really care for lavender so I would have to use a different essential oil.

    I am going to try adding vinegar to my laundry. We have super hard water so I know it will help with that too.

  17. I love this post. I am using wool dryer balls, but hadn’t thought to use essential oils with them. Thanks!

  18. Rosey says:

    Vinegar is good for so many things, isn’t it!! I haven’t put it in the washer yet, but I may.

  19. I love the smell of Lavender. I need to try this concoction.

  20. This is a great post! Lavender is so good, I will check it out and maybe try it next week! Thank you for sharing it!

  21. Kendra says:

    I had not clue that lavender is a better alternative for a fabric softener! Thanks for the info!

  22. This is a great alternative. Much better for us, our environment and our budget.

  23. Sarah Bailey says:

    I have always wanted to switch to an all natural fabric softener. I will have to give this one a shot and see how it works for me.

  24. amer says:

    I love lavender and all it uses. Good idea adding lavender to clothes for some calming effect.

  25. katrina gehman says:

    i love essential oils, i have almost 200 including blends. i use lavender all the time, and makes laundry smell so good

  26. Nicole Escat says:

    I haven’t tried using vinegar or lavender. I will try this for sure, thanks for the saving tips!

  27. I need to try this. I quit using fabric softeners 5 years ago because of the chemicals.

  28. Berlin says:

    Learning new things everything. And it seems Lavender oil is so important and practical.

  29. Glenda says:

    This sounds like my type of product because I suffer from seasonal allergies. I trend to stick with all natural fabric softener solution and soaps.

  30. Bernadette Callahan says:

    I have used vinegar before, seems to help with deodorizing clothes pretty good. I use essential oils all over but have not put them into the laundry yet. I do have a washcloth cut into 4 pieces that I throw some on and throw into the dryer. I love lemon and using lavender on the sheets/blankets.

  31. May Palacpac says:

    Sounds like a great solution. I’m familiar with the first two benefits of lavander – but not about injury. I should consider getting myself a bottle for the house and perhaps try out your softening mixture as well.

    1. April Noelle says:

      That would be great! 🙂 I use it all of the time.

  32. kathy kenny ngo says:

    Very Interesting article. I would love to try this tips soon. Thank you so much.

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