Making your own fabric softener is very easy to do. Two ingredients, a shake… and Bob’s your uncle.
When your house is on a septic system you start to pay more attention to what kind of stuff you pour down the drain. When I used to live in an apartment, I must admit that I didn’t think much about the cleaners that went down the sink or toilet. Out of sight out of mind.
Moving into a house with a septic system really smartens you up. All of a sudden you start to pay attention to the ingredients list on cleaners and if the toilet paper is septic safe or not. All the crap you pour down the drain doesn’t just magically get sorted at the nearby wastewater facility. It ends up in your back yard.
Here’s how we make our own fabric softener.
Recipe for homemade fabric softener:
3 cups of white distilled vinegar
12 drops of essential oil (Optional)
How to make homemade fabric softener
Clean out an old bottle or container that you would like to use to store your fabric softener in. I am using an old sauerkraut glass jar. The opening is a bit wide, which makes it a bit tough to pour from, but whatever works, right? Measure out 3 cups of white distilled vinegar and pour it into the container. Then put 12 drops of essential oil into the vinegar, pop the lid on and give it a quick shake. And that’s it. You now have made your own fabric softener and should give yourself a pat on the back.
How to use the homemade fabric softener
Once you have mixed up the vinegar and essential oil it is ready to be used. The beauty of this is that you can add it to the fabric softener dispenser in your washing machine and then you do not have to add it in the rinse cycle. I put in about 1/4 cup per load.
Can I use white distilled vinegar in my top loader?
If your machine is a top loader you can either add the vinegar during the rinse cycle. An easier option is to get yourself a fabric dispenser ball. That will save you from having to rushing to the machine and adding vinegar during the rinse cycle.
Will my clothes smell like vinegar?
I was a bit hesitant to use vinegar in my laundry as I was afraid our clothes would smell like pickled cukes. I am glad I gave it a try despite my hesitations. The vinegar smell disappears during the rinse cycle. Your clothes will just smell clean and freshly washed. If you choose to add an essential oil to the vinegar, your clothes with have a light trace of the scent.
Choice of essential oil
You can use any kind of essential oil that you like. I bought my essential oil at GNC and had a hard time deciding as there were so many options. I finally decided on lavender as I figured it would be closest thing to any fabric softener I was familiar with. Peppermint just didn’t sound like a good option as I don’t want my clothes to smell minty fresh. Amazon offers a wide variety of essential oils and even some pretty nifty variety packs if you, like me, have a hard time deciding which one to get. Click here to shop for essential oils on Amazon.com.
White Distilled vinegar – No substitutes
Just because its cheap doesn’t mean it doesn’t work. Don’t try using apple cider vinegar or that other fancy vinegar you got for Christmas three years ago and never used. Your clothes will end up smelling very funky and you could risk staining them. Use white distilled vinegar. Period.
Safe to use on septic
We have not had any septic problems using vinegar instead of fabric softener. I only use 1/4 cup or so in each load, so it is not a lot of vinegar that go through our septic system. I am no expert, but I think that it is safe to say that vinegar is better for the septic field than any of the commercial fabric softeners.
Don’t mix vinegar with bleach
Vinegar and bleach can, when mixed, create toxic fumes that can cause severe respiratory problems. Even though the two liquids is diluted by water in the washing machine, it is best to avoid any science experiments in your laundry room. Keep vinegar and bleach apart. So if you use bleach for a load of whites, do not use this vinegar mixture in that load.
So simple, but it works
So there you have it, a very easy way to make your own fabric softener. If you don’t want your clothes to have any scent at all then simply use white distilled vinegar on its own. If you would like a hint of a nice scent then put in a few drops of essential oil. I was a skeptic at first, but it works. Your laundry will smell nice and fresh and you will no longer need to spend money on expensive fabric softeners. I encourage you to give it a try and write in the comment section below no matter if you love it or hate it.