Sunday, October 22, 2017

Homemade Fabric Softener

Homemade Fabric Softener? Why not! I started making my own DIY Laundry Soap about five years ago and I haven't looked back since then.  Making your own laundry supplies is so much cheaper than the store bought variety.  For instance, I made this big batch of softener for less than $3.  You can't go wrong there!
ALERT! Shameless plug ahead!

Being the card maker that I am, I couldn't help but dress up my mason jar that sits on the counter in the laundry room.  I just make a new tag when I change scents.

Want to see the cards I make?  See my Etsy Shop HERE.
The way to easily dispense your softener is to save, rinse and use your giant creamer container(red cap above), that's what I do .  You will only need three (3) ingredients to make your own fabric softener and you probably already have two of them in your home right now.

 Homemade Fabric Softener Recipe:

  • 6 cups HOT water - I used hot tap water, but you can microwave it too
  • 2 cups or 15 oz. Hair Conditioner (I found it for .78 at WalMart)
  • 3 cups white vinegar
Mix your water and conditioner together first.  I used a "big" bowl and added my 6 cups of water first.
Next, add your entire bottle (or 2 cups) of conditioner to the hot water. I should have used a larger bowl yall!
I transferred the mixture to a larger bowl in small increments and whisked it until it was smooth.  That's what I get for trying to use pretty dishes for the photo shoot! lol! BTW, I love my Pioneer Woman Measuring Cup.

Lastly, add your three (3) cups of vinegar, mix well and then transfer to your storage container(s).  The vinegar is the actual softening agent in this mixture, the conditioner is just for the scent mostly.
We have HE (High Efficiency) machines and this along with my homemade wash soap works awesome in them.  The dispenser tray in my washer shows a max fill line for the softener (about 1/4 cup), but if you're just adding to your wash load, use 2-6 tablespoons per load.

NOTE: You can also substitute the hair conditioner for 10-15 drops of essential oils of your choosing.  If you need a good source for oils, please scroll back to the top of our blog and click on the doTERRA tab.  Let me know if I can help you in any way.

Want to see more of my cleaning tips for using vinegar? Just click on the links below.

Cleaning an HE Washer with Household Products

Remove Hard Water Buildup Naturally 

DIY Carpet Cleaning 

Cleaning Your Hairbrush the Easy Way 

Cleaning Your Oven

Cleaning Your Sink's Spray Nozzle


It doesn't have to be done all at once.  It is a slow process in the works! C-ya next time!

I'm Linking to:
These lovely and FUN parties!
Between Naps on the Porch
The Dedicated House  - (I was featured)

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79 comments:

  1. I haven't made this before, but I am intrigued. I love the price! Thanks for sharing at Celebrate it!

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  2. THX! Just made 1/6 of a batch I'm trying now. I put it in a small Dollar Tree plastic measuring container w/lidded spout for pouring. Will try dif scents.

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    1. Hi there! You're welcome and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

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    2. Let us know what you think 😊 I'm thinking about trying this too

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    3. Hi Sandy! I really love and so far, my machine loves it too!

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  3. Due to the small amount of water used in the new efficiency washer models, commercial fabric softeners leave residue on my dress slacks that will not come out so I've stopped using the liquid softeners. Do you know if this mixture will do the same?

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    1. Hi Paula, the mixture is very thin and not like store bought softeners which I stopped using years ago for the same reason as you. I have not had a problem with residue on my clothing at all. I hope that helps! :)

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    2. use less of the "conditioner" in your recipe - more vinegar and you can use scented oil for fragrance - vinegar is actually the active ingredient for softening. READ the post - she even says the conditioner is more for SCENT

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    3. Just a heads up. You don't need to use fabric softener at all. Just use vinegar. I prefer apple cider vinegar myself. If you feel the need to have your clothes scented spray a cloth with very diluted hair conditioner and toss it in your dryer. Add about a teaspoon of the conditioner to a half cup of water then wring it out well before adding to your dryer. I keep a spray bottle of diluted hair conditioner in my laundry cupboard & 3 pieces of Tshirt to spritz & add. Works better than any commercial fabric softener or even this mix. And, it's cheaper. You're just using a teaspoon of your hair conditioner rather than buying a bottle to use.

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    4. For fabric softener stains, use a bar of Ivory soap rubbing it on the stain and then rubbing the stained cloth together. You may need to do this a couple of times before it is all gone. I got this tip from the makers of Downy several years ago and it really works.

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    5. Thanks so much for the tip TJ!

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  4. Thanks thanks for the budget friendly options!!!

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  5. Replies
    1. Hi Lora, no ma'am it doesn't at all. Of course you will smell the vinegar while you're making it, but after that, not so much!

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  6. Does it smell vinegary? I’m intrigued... thank you

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    1. I use about a cup of ammonia to wash my towels with, what a difference in how clean they get and no ammonia smell at all so I'd imagine the vinegar would rinse out the same.

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    2. Hi Sandy! I've never heard of using ammonia in the wash, I've always used vinegar. Thanks so much for the tip!

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    3. K have used ammonia with my towels and I think they smell awful! Maybe I'm using to much? I just made this fabric softener, my hubs thinks I'm nuts, looking forward to trying it!

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    4. I have used ammonia in loads of smelly clothes and it gets out the smell and the clothes smell amazingly fresh. I have also put half ammonia and half water in a spray bottle and sprayed it around my house to get rid of odors, especially cigarette smoke. This works well with carpet and on fabric furniture. A very fine light spray. The ammonia smell only last a few minutes and the bad odors dissipate quickly. I would not mix ammonia and vinegar in the wash.

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    5. I've just tried it as didn't notice my stash cupboard has ran out of lenor. Absolutely no smell of vinegar, I added some essential oils. I thought the clothes would stink of vinegar too. Last time I saw the white socks so clean was when they were new so also helps with the cleaning.

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    6. Hi there! So glad its working for you too, I love it! Thanks for visiting and leaving a nice comment! :)

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  7. Why not use a partially empty vinegar bottle? No need to mix in a bowl...add conditioner and water, shake. Voilá!

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    1. Great idea Marj! I like it! Thank you!

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    2. Or save your last fabric softener bottle and reuse it.

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    3. Good idea Anne! Thanks so much!

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  8. I love saving money & am interested in trying this. Does 2 Tablespoons really scent the wash? It seems like a really small amount.

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  9. Does 2 Tablespoons really scent the wash? I like my clothes to come out smelling nice.

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    1. Hi there, it totally depends on how fragrant your conditioner is. The mixture you see here in my post, just has a very faint smell to it. :)

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    2. I put a couple of drops of essential oil (cinnamon or peppermint - depends on what clothes or my mood! ha) into my regular fab. softener...which I ALWAYS dilute a bit with vinegar and water when I bring it home from the store

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    3. Hi Susan! I want to try the essential oils now, so many people have mentioned it and it sounds great! Thank you!

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  10. Thanks,I'll try this with my favorite conditioner. Remember to be careful with your delicates because vinegar is an acid.

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    1. Hi Trudy! You're very welcome and yes I think that's why you dilute the vinegar down with water to keep acidity down!

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  11. How long will it last? Does it go bad?

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    1. Hi there! I'm not really sure because it doesn't last long enough in our home to find out, but I guess its performance could decrease over time if not properly stored...again I'm not real sure on that! :)

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  12. It seems that I am always getting free conditioner to try from my survey sites, but I don't use it much because it makes my hair too soft. I hate to throw it out and it smells so good too. This is a great way to save money and use the conditioner. I love it. I believe I will go make a batch right now!

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    1. Hi there! What a great way top use your samples! Enjoy!

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  13. Thank you for this and your other cleaning options! I been trying different things for past year as prices keep rising!! This softener is great and just enough to give the fresh scent...Love it and can't wait to try the rest!! Off to do coffee pot now. Thank you again and Happy Holidays to you and family that are coming ☺

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    1. Hi there! You're welcome and thanks so much! Happy holidays to you too!

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  14. Hi Paula, thank you for these cleaning option! Love your blog, & can't wait to do laundry and try this new softener !! Have Happy Holidays and now I'm off to do that coffee pot! Thank you

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    1. Hi there! Thanks so very much and I hope you like it as much as I do!

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  15. Good info. Glad I happened upon it. Thanks..Nancy C

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    1. Hi Nancy, thanks so very much, enjoy!

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  16. Awesome idea love your sense of humor. Love love the yall!!!

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    1. Aw, thank you so much Rena...its a Texas thing! lol!

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  17. Awesome idea! Love your sense of humor!! Loved loved the yall. I'd try to use pretty dishes too

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    1. Hi Rena! Thank you so much! When you're from Texas, you say yall a lot! lol!

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  18. I make a little less concentrated version of this to spray on clothes as a wrinkle release. I'm allergic to fabric conditioners and have found this to be a great way to control wrinkles and keep the clothes smelling fresh.

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    1. Hi Mary! That is a great idea, I'll have to remember that one. Thank you!

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  19. Im going to try that. I love my pioneer woman measuri g cup too. Use it all the time

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    1. Hi Susie! Oh good! I hope you like it as much as I do. I actually use almost all of my PW collection on a daily basis, I mean, they are pretty and practical all at the same time! :)

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  20. Will try that
    Love my pioneer woman measuring cup too. Use it all the time. Have a lot of her line.

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  21. Will try that
    Love my pioneer woman measuring cup too. Use it all the time. Have a lot of her line.

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  22. I do not have a front loader washer, but just a standard wash machine without a dispenser for soap or softener. I put soap in first, and softener into my rinse water. So just not sure which one I would put the softener in, wash cycle or rinse cycle and how much.

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    1. Hi there! This recipe is for homemade fabric softener so you would put it in your rinse cycle. Since you're just adding to your wash load, use 2 tablespoons per load.

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    2. So do you put it in the rinse load or wash load please? Sorry I'm confused!

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    3. Hi Jessica! The fabric softener goes in the rinse cycle.

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  23. Hi Stepahnie! Here is the link to my DIY Laundry Soap: http://ourcloverhouse.blogspot.com/2012/09/diy-laundry-detergent.html

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  24. I do think the conditioner does something. I was using vinegar and dryer balls and still had my Aussie fog hair all over my husband's black work shirts. I made this took the dryer balls out of yyhe dryer of course and there is hardly any hair!

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    1. Oh good! Thanks so much for letting me know Kathryn, I always love hearing how it works for others. :)

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  25. I squeeze a little hair conditioner in the wash with my detergent it helps the pet hair to come off. This would be a all in one for me then.

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  26. Hi Melissa! That is such a good tip to know, thank you for that! :)

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    1. Hi Gina! Yes, it works the same way the store bought softeners would, just cheaper. :)

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    1. You're very welcome Lynn, I hope you enjoy it as much as I do! :)

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  29. As usual, I'm a day late & a $1 short to the party. I appreciate the thoughts shared here.

    A couple of thoughts about the vinegar: I've been using vinegar in my rinse cycle for at least 25 years. It cuts any soap that doesn't quite rinse out completely.

    My puppy girl has been incontinent for several years so I have been using washable bed pads for her. I use straight vinegar to wash her pads with because of the urine smell that seems to (?)embed in them. And when I can, I line dry them. I also use straight vinegar when washing towels & washcloths and bedding - especially in the winter or if someone has been sick. My best guestimate about how much I use per large load is probably 2 cups.

    My husband used to work in the oil field. Talk about a nightmare to wash! I tried all of the tricks including a liquid laundry soap that did the job but is naptha based. Nasty is an understatement! Then I tried straight ammonia. Again, about 2 to 3 cups per large load. Anything that wouldn't come out wasn't going to come out without naptha. In the rinse cycle I used vinegar to cut the ammonia. I did not use my fabric softener dispenser though. I set a timer & poured about 1 cup of vinegar into the machine with the clothes.

    I realize the amounts of vinegar I use in my laundry is probably overkill but it seems to be one of my (?)OCD things. As far as the amount of ammonia goes, that is what worked for me.

    Thanks for letting me share. :-)

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    1. This is all very good know, thanks so much for sharing it! :)

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  30. Dont know how much truth there is to it, but my grandmother used to say that if u put vinegar in your wash cycle the first time u wash a new clothing item...it sets the color and it doesnt fade as fast....?? Coluld be an added bonus...cant wait to try this !! Thanks for sharing !

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    1. Hi there! I've heard the same thing, thanks so much for sharing! :)

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  31. Cannot wait to try this. Like using more natural products and I love saving money! I have seen VO5 conditioner in a few stores for 77 cents!! Wow. Thank You😀👍

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    1. Hi there! I hope you like it as much as I do! :)

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  32. I have been cutting my fabric conditioner with 1/2 conditioner to 1/2 white vinegar for years. It gets the soap residue out of the towels and makes them softer. By using this mixture in my fabric dispenser, I don't get that waxy built-up you have to clean from your dispenser.

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    1. Awesome! I’m glad you like it as much as I do. :)

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  33. I take no credit for this as l saw it on TV,but another thing that works as a fabric softener is a ball or two of aluminum foil added to the dryer when you put in your clothes. Removes static also. These will last for months depending on how many loads you do each week. I live alone, so l only do a few loads a week. If you do more, you may have to replace them more often.

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    1. Hi there! Great tip! Thank you so much for sharing! :)

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