My Homemade Liquid Fabric Softener

So, I noticed that the bulk of my posts have been food recipes. Can’t tell I like to eat, can ya?  I love to eat, but we know that we don’t always get to do everything that we love. Sometimes we have to do things that we don’t like.

I don’t particularly like doing laundry.  I’m sure most will agree.  But, with five people in the house, 2 of them boys and one of them a grown boy who plays with cars for a living, there is no getting around doing laundry on a daily basis.

The one respite in performing this mundane task for me is the nice clean scent of my clothes, towels and sheets after being laundered. Yes, I admit it, I am a “clean laundry sniffer”. You know what I’m talking about…just like the woman hanging laundry out on the line in the commercials. Yep, that’s me.  Sniffing my laundry.

Well, as “scent-oriented” as I am, it means I can go through a good amount of liquid fabric softener. I’m not sure about you, but I very rarely find it on sale and the coupons help but it still comes out to a pretty large chunk of change.  I remembered that I made laundry soap a few years back and thought that maybe I could do the same with fabric softener.

I did what I normally do and pushed that beautiful white button with the pretty red P in the center.  Yep, Pinterest. I searched homemade fabric softener.  Oh boy!  Lots of pins. It took longer to search the pins for what I wanted to use than it took to wash a load of clothes. There are several different “formulas” out there from which to choose.

I have really hard water with high iron content so I’ve had a lot of trial and error with detergents, bleaches and softeners.  I learned after a lot of stained laundry that chlorine bleach actually sets iron stains.  It’s not fun to have orange marks/stains on your whites!!

I knew that I didn’t want to try one with the hair conditioner because of all the different chemicals they contain. I was unsure of what their reaction to my terrible water would be. Then, I found the one I thought was worth a try.

The recipe called for vinegar, baking soda and softener crystals (like Downy Unstoppables or Purex Crystals). Even though the softener crystals aren’t “dirt cheap”, this still makes a very inexpensive softener that smells great!  No, you don’t smell the vinegar at the end of the cycle. So, I made the recipe as written. This recipe is a great experiment to include the kids in the making.  I know this big kid loved it!  If you use the baking soda and vinegar recipe, be sure to mix them slowly!!

I made the first batch according to the recipe and used it. It was ok.  If seemed as if my water wasn’t getting all the baking soda out of the laundry, so I did some reading.  Well, that big fizzing fun that happens when mixing the vinegar and baking soda is actually them canceling each other out.  Hmmm.

I knew that vinegar is a great rinsing agent by itself, so I knew it would work, but being a “laundry sniffer”, I didn’t want to give up the scent.  Easy peasy!  Just make the same recipe without the baking soda.  And, so I did!  I love the scent and the variety of scents available. Even this crazy “laundry sniffer” likes a change every now and then. 😜

Here’s the recipe I use:


  • 6 cups of white vinegar
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1/2 cup fabric softener crystals


  1. Stir the fabric softener crystals into the cup of hot water.  I use a plastic, throwaway spoon.  You will notice that the color separates from the crystals. This is normal.
  2. After the crystals and water are mixed, pour the mixture into the vinegar and stir or shake together. I have an empty vinegar bottle that I use.
  3. Use between 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup in the rinse cycle.  I use 1/2 cup because of my “funky” water.

That’s it!  So easy and take it from this “laundry sniffer”, it smells great! ❤️


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