If you take a quick look at the back of your fabric softener bottle, you’ll probably find a list of toxic chemicals (perhaps some you can’t even pronounce) and that’s a big no-no when it comes to creating a greener household. According to the Organic Authority, these are some of the toxic chemicals found in a commercial fabric softener:
- Alpha Terpineol: can cause central nervous damage and respiratory problems
- Camphor: causes central nervous disorders, is easily absorbed through skin
- Chloroform: a carcinogenic neurotoxin preferred by Ted Bundy
- Benzyl Acetate: linked to pancreatic cancer
- Benyl Alcohol: respiratory tract irritant
- Ethanol: on the EPA’s ‘hazardous waste’ list, can cause central nervous system disorders
- Ethyl Acetate: a narcotic on the EPA’s ‘hazardous waste’ list
- Limonene: a known carcinogen that irritates eyes and skin
- Linalool: causes central nervous system disorders and depresses heart activity
There are numerous reports of allergic reactions to fabric softeners, in the form of asthma and rashes. Many of the ingredients are linked to reproductive problems, difficulty breathing, and cancer.
Want to eliminate toxic ingredients from your body and skin care products?
Go ahead and download my free guide on 7 harmful ingredients you need to start avoiding.
Thankfully, I recently discovered some natural ways to get my clothes feeling soft and smelling great! This two ingredient fabric softener simply utilizes the natural super-powers of distilled white vinegar and your choice of essential oils. It’s really so simple to make the switch to greener laundry solutions, and this method has proven to be very economical for my family, I brought 2lts of white vinegar from my local grocery store for just $1.59!
Why you’ll love this natural fabric softener:
- It doesn’t contain any nasty chemicals that you find in most commercial fabric softeners, which makes it safe and hypoallergenic.
- The acetic acid in distilled white vinegar helps get clothes even cleaner by striping away any residue left on clothes by soaps and detergents without harming the fabrics.
- Helps fluff up blankets and towels. Unlike commercial softeners, white vinegar doesn’t add a layer of surface coating, keeping your blankets and towels light and fluffy.
- You can customise it to your own personal preference. Whether you’re a fan of uplifting zingy citrus, or calming floral scents, you control the aroma.
- It helps prevent sticky lint and magnetic pet fur clinging.
- It’s great for washing new clothes to remove the commercial smell.
- Is beneficial to septic tanks. Is less harmful to waste water and the environment.
- Great for those trying to create a waste-free home as you buy less packaged products.
- And, of course, it’s cheap and cheerful!
Essential Oils for Laundry Use
Essential oils are great for fresh smelling, sanitized clothes. Some help you to relax and encourage a better night’s sleep, while others help you feel energized. Use one (or two) that you like the scent of. Here are some of my favourites, with their varying benefits:
- Lemon and Sweet Orange: is great at cleaning dirt and grime. I use this on hubby’s work clothes and my daughters grubby kindy clothes. It’s perfect for deodorizing as it adds a clean, fresh, uplifting scent.
- Lavender: is wonderfully calming and relaxing. Perfect for washing sheets, pillow cases and blankets. It can prevent the spread of illness and to support the immune system.
- Peppermint: has a super energizing aroma that’s crisp and fresh. I love to use this for towels, and bathroom mats to awaken the senses first thing in the morning. It also has antimicrobial, antibacterial, and antiviral properties.
- Tea Tree: is perfect for fighting against mold and mildew due to its anti fungal nature.
- Eucalyptus and Oregano: both are great for when someone in the household is sick as they will remove the germs from their bedding!
- Geranium: lovely for day-to-day clothing with it pleasant floral scent that makes you feel calm, balanced and uplifted.
The essential oils listed in this article are available for purchase at Eco Modern Essentials.Print
This fabric softener recipe is so simple to make as it uses just two ingredients.
1ltr of white distilled vinegar
10-20 drops of your chosen essential oils (Purchase HERE)
Step 1: Half fill a glass or stainless steel bottle that can hold 1ltr with white distilled vinegar.
Step 2: Add 10-20 drops of your chosen essential oil/s
Step 3: Fill the rest of the bottle with more white distilled vinegar to the top.
Step 4: Shake well and leave to sit for a couple of days before using.
I’ve successfully used white vinegar in my machine no problems, but check with your machine’s manufacturer to ensure that it won’t cause any damage, avoid using vinegar when washing silk, rayon, or acetate.
- Category: Green Cleaning
How To Make Your Natural Fabric Softener:
Half fill a glass or stainless steel bottle that can hold 1ltr with white distilled vinegar. Then add 10-20 drops of your chosen essential oil/s. Fill the rest of the bottle with more white distilled vinegar to the top. Shake well and leave to sit for a couple of days before using. Generally you can simply pour the mixture directly into your washer, best to do this when you hear your washing machine make the water draining sound as it does the final rinse. If you have a “fabric softener” compartment then you can add it there. Please avoid using this natural softener when washing silk, rayon, or acetate as the vinegar can damage those delicate fabrics.
TIP: To rid your washer of mildew growth and a moldy smells, periodically run a hot cycle with nothing more than two cups of distilled white vinegar to clean out the entire machine, and leave the lid ajar to air out.
Hey! Why not save this recipe to try later, as I’ve got another laundry posts that I think you’ll like:
How to Make Your Own Natural Laundry Powder