Recipe: Homemade Fabric Softener

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I have been making my own fabric softener for quite some time, and I played around with several different recipes until I finally came up with the combination that worked best for me. I love the various scents you can use, and you really can use various essential oils depending on what you like.

homemade fabric softener

Making my own homemade fabric softener is a huge cost savings, and I find it to be more effective in controlling static than the store bought varieties.

I mix mine in a large empty container of a store-bought fabric softener. I find this method to be the easiest since you don’t have to do any stirring or mixing – just make sure the top is on tight and shake away.

For this recipe you will need:

  • 2 cups (a 16 ounce bottle) of hair conditioner, again, go with the smells you like.  Some bottles are only 15 ounces, this has worked fine for me, too.
  • 3 cups white vinegar
  • 6 cups boiling water
  • 15 drops of tea tree oil (because of its anti-microbial properties)
  • 10 drops of whatever essential oil you life *optional according to your scent desires, you can omit this step completely

Heat the water in a large pan. In the meantime, put all the other ingredients into the container you will be mixing in, which in my case is the fabric softener jug.

Once the water is boiling, remove from heat and add some to your “empty” conditioner bottle and give it a shake to ensure that you are getting every last drop of conditioner out of the bottle.

Frugal tip—add water (does not need to be boiling) to the last of a bottle of nearly anything to get every last drop out, things like spaghetti sauce, salsa, even salad dressing!

Add this mixture to your big mixing bottle or bucket, then at the remaining boiling water and shake. The boiling water is what breaks down the conditioner and allows for mixing. If it were not boiling, there would be clumps in most conditioners. Make sure to allow it to cool before putting the top on your bottle.

For the first few uses, I find that I need to give it a few good shakes before putting it in the washer. Beyond those first few times it has remained mixed for me.

Happy laundering!

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    1. I’ve been using it in mine for years without a problem. The washer repair guy told me to only use one teaspoon of anything whether soap or fabric softener.

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