It is my ultimate goal to make, from scratch, any and every cleaning product that I use. And so far I’m almost there! I make all my kitchen and bathroom cleansers from various combinations of baking soda, vinegar, lemon juice, borax, washing soda, and castile soap.
I already make my own laundry soap, but one thing I hadn’t yet found a recipe for, was fabric softener. And although I don’t use a ton of the stuff, it sure is nice to have around for bath towels and baby blankies and such. Plus, for those folks who live in areas with hard water, fabric softener is a must at all times.
I recently set about researching homemade alternatives to store bought softeners, and what I discovered is that there’s 3 main options. Below, I’ve outlined each one, with its pros and cons. Remember that you can add essential oils to any of these recipes. And finally, don’t forget the old tennis ball (or 3) trick! Just throw them in the dryer for a good old-fashioned softening solution.
1) The simplest of all the results is a single-ingredient “recipe”, and it’s one word I know very well: vinegar. Vinegar is cheap and non-toxic, effective and antimicrobial. It naturally softens and as a bonus, it helps to remove soap residue. Finally, vinegar aids in static reduction during drying. Just add it to the rinse cycle and you’re good to go. It doesn’t get much easier than that!
2) The second recipe is only a bit more complex, and employs my other very favorite DIY cleaning companion, baking soda. Baking soda is another natural softener, plus it helps to clean and deodorize clothes. Just add 6 cups of vinegar to 1 cup of baking soda, mix, and then use ½-1 cup during the rinse cycle.