Homemade Cleaners: Fabric Softener

Although I have a great recipe here for making your own detergent people always ask me about Fabric Softener which is equally expensive. Thanks to a reader, Lisa, I now have an answer.

Ingredients For Fabric Softener

  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 6 cups distilled white vinegar
  • 8 cups water
  • 10 -15 drops orange essential oils or 10 -15 drops lemon essential oils or 10 -15 drops essential oils, of choice

Directions For Fabric Softener

  1. You will need a one gallon container.
  2. First add the baking soda to the plastic container.
  3. Next add 1 cup of water to start with.
  4. Slowly add the vinegar to the bottle as the vinegar and baking soda will start to fizz.
  5. Then add the rest of the water swirling around & cover venting the top a few times.
  6. Last add the essential oil.
  7. Add 1 cup in your final rinse cycle for each load but give the bottle a good shake to stir up the essential oil if using.

1) I used a 2 Quart “kool aid” container – wide mouth opening, no lid. I cut the amount of water in half so that at the end you would have a more “concentrated” mixture and would only use 1/2 cup per load instead of 1 cup per load.

2) HUGE CAUTION is that you must add the vinegar very very slowly and do NOT cover it until it has had a chance to settle down. I didn’t cover and shake it at any point the first time. I just took a plastic/rubbermaid type serving spoon to stir it. The second time I felt more confident about what I was doing and got careless….HUGE MISTAKE! I covered the mixture and shook it thinking I would have enough time to “burp” it before there was a problem. Needless to say, it blew the top right off the bottle and shot baking soda/vinegar all over my kitchen (and me)!!

3) I didn’t add any essential oil to the first batch either because I didn’t have any and I tried all of my “new recipes” plain. I have since bought some small squeeze tubes of essential oil from Michael’s for $2.79/0.25 oz. It is a relatively small investment to experiment with different scents. I have a fabric softener dispenser on my washing machine, so I can just add a drop or 2 of the scent I want for that particlar load and not commit to a whole batch of 1 scent either.

Here are 7 more Homemade Cleaners.


  1. Yes! Finally someone writs about homemade fabric softener.

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