How to Make a Homemade Natural Fabric Softener (4 Easy Recipes)

Making your own homemade fabric softeners with natural ingredients is a great way to cut down on costs while achieving the same results. If you know the perfect recipe to cook your own fabric softener then you will know how helpful it is to make them at home.

On the other hand, if you have no idea where to start or what ingredients to assemble, then this guide is just for you to help you with exactly that.

Manufacturing your own fabric softener can be super easy, and cost-effective and making it doesn’t even take up that much time. Other considerable reasons to concoct your own fabric softeners are that most of the fabric softeners which are available in stores are that they consist of varying numbers of chemicals, artificial colorants and preservatives.

For each recipe, I will try to give you a list of the natural ingredients that you will need and, the method of making them.

So read along to get some helpful ideas.

4 Recipes for Homemade Natural Fabric Softeners

Recipe 1: Hair Conditioner

Yes, you read that correctly, hair conditioners actually make really good natural fabric softeners. It is because of the softening properties that they work so well for this recipe. Now, these are the ingredients that you will need:

Ingredients for this recipe

  1. Hair conditioner (obviously), one cup
  2. Clean, hot water, five cups
  3. Distilled vinegar, three cups


Take a clean bowl and begin mixing the conditioner in the hot water. This will ensure that there are no clumps in the conditioner and that it is smooth and runny. Then add the distilled vinegar to this concoction. Pour this solution into the fabric softener department in your washing machine and start using it.

An additional tip for this method is that even if you think that using an expensive hair conditioner would be a better choice because that would mean better quality, then I would recommend that it is really not. Using a less-priced product from a regular convenience store or a pharmacy will give you the same results and you would be saving some bucks as well.

Recipe 2: Soap Nuts

Did you know that soap nuts or soap berries are actually really good alternatives for fabric softeners? They work great for washing clothes as well.

Ingredients for this recipe:

  1. Soapberries, two
  2. Water, about one cup
  3. A strainer
  4. A crusher/ grinder


Start by putting the soap berries in a grinder and crush them well. This will squeeze out the saponin property from them which works wonderfully to soften fabrics. Then boil the water and put the crushed berries in them. Continue to boil the berries in the water for straight thirty minutes. Afterward, allow this solution to reach room temperature and then have it strained.

This distilled solution is now your homemade laundry detergent as well as your natural fabric softener.

Recipe 3: Baking Soda and Distilled Vinegar

Owing to their amazing cleaning and fabric-softening properties, vinegar, and baking soda had to make this list of natural, homemade fabric softeners. This is how you can blend them together to make the perfect fabric softener.

Ingredients for this recipe:

  1. Distilled vinegar, five to six cups
  2. Baking soda, one cup
  3. Essential oil (you can use any of your favorite/ preferred brands for this recipe), ten to fifteen drops


Find a clean container and pour all of the vinegar into it. Then, add the drops of essential oil. For the choice of essential oils, I would suggest that you go for something that has a lively and fresh scent.

Next, add the cup of baking soda to this solution. Right after adding the baking soda, you will see that bubbles and foam have started to form and, you should wait for them, to settle and dissolve. Next, give this solution a few, short and slow stirs and mix well.  

Your homemade fabric softener is ready for use. You can pour this into the fabric softener compartment of your washing machine and use it in your next wash cycle.

Recipe 4: Woolen Dryer Balls and Essential Oils

Ingredients for this recipe:

  1. Woolen dryer balls
  2. Essential oils

Pretty simple, right?


Add the essential oils (for instance, lemon or lavender flavored ones) to the woolen dryer balls and wait for about half an hour for the dryer balls to entirely absorb the oils. You can now throw these into the dryer the next time you do your laundry.

Additional Ingredients for Natural Fabric Softener

Here are some other ingredients when mixed together do magic for your fabric. When mixed in varying combinations, they give your fabrics a refreshing fragrance and make them friendly for your skin.

And the best part is that all of these ingredients are natural, affordable and completely free of toxins.

  1. Citric acid – citric acid naturally softens your fabric and stops the build-up of bacteria.
  2. Calcium chloride – Calcium chloride acts as a substitute for fabric softeners, plus, it successfully removes stains and unpleasant smells from your clothes.
    A tip I can give you is you can always replace calcium chloride with sodium chloride which is found in our regular table salt.
  3. Distilled water
  4. Purified water
  5. Boiled tap water
  6. Cooled tap water
  7. Potassium sorbate
  8. Guar gum

You can make top-class fabric softeners by using all of these natural ingredients. Let me tell you how.


Mix distilled water with guar gum and stir well. You should wait until after the guar gum has entirely dissolved in the water. You will see that the solution will appear to be cloudy and clumpy. However, this will not be a problem once you add the citric acid.

Next, pour the citric acid into the solution. You do not need to do anything more than just give it a slow, good stir.

For the last step, all you need to do is just throw in all the ingredients together into this solution; starting with, potassium sorbate, calcium chloride or sodium chloride and essential oils. Make sure to stir well to evenly mix all the elements together.

You can pour this into a clean container to store it. Next time you do your laundry, you can pour this directly into the fabric softener compartment to use it.

Directions to use Fabric Softener

For your convenience, here is an extra guide to help you with using fabric softeners. Correct measurements and proper methods for using softeners will go a long way.

  1. Pour the fabric softener into a measuring cup.
  2. Fill the softener compartment with this homemade fabric softener. It is imperative for you to remember to never pour fabric softener directly into the drum. The compartment of your washing machine will automatically release the softener during the last rinsing.
    If you own a dated washing machine, then you can always manually add the fabric softener during the last cycle.
  3. After working with fabric softeners, never leave your hands unwashed, as there is a chance of you getting a reaction if you have very sensitive skin.

Closing Thoughts

Now that you are well equipped with the knowledge of how to make your own fabric softener using all-natural ingredients, your fabric will more fresh, more scented and soft than ever before.

I hope my article was able to help you.

Best of luck!

Read More Homemade Articles:

Detergents VS Fabric Softeners (Detail Information)

How Long Can a Washing Machine Sit Unused

Washing Clothes In Cold Water: Pros and Cons

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