Suddenly, the (2 days away from warranty ending) dryer stopped drying.  We can’t ‘not’ wash clothes while we wait 2+ weeks for them to come and fix it.  So, I’ve gotta do laundry!  But, if there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s crunchy clothes!  So, to the web I go, looking for the perfect solution…  “How do you make homemade fabric softener?


Well, most of the recipes out there call for using vinegar or hair conditioner.  Ugh.  I ran out of vinegar some time ago and haven’t found any, since.  I am not using our good hair conditioner on the laundry.  And, I’ve got to be able to use what I already have at home.  So, time to just start giving things a try, right?!?!!!


I tried several things but determined that Grandmother Ina’s way was the best. Go figure! When I was little, my Grandmother would always add baking soda to the laundry. And, she almost always hung everything out to dry. But, just baking soda – it couldn’t be that simple – could it? Well, let’s give it a try and see…

Here we go – I gave two good shakes to the box of baking soda (about a quarter of a cup).  Now, I’m a lover of essential oils and have those pretty much everywhere in the house, lol.  So, I also added about 6 shakes of my Tangerine essential oil bottle (about 18 drops).  I made sure the mixture was diluted and well mixed in the water before I added my clothes.  Now, I used the Tangerine essential oil but you could easily replace that with others, like orange, lemon, citrus blend, lavender, mint, or thieves blend.  In addition to smelling fabulous, all of these oils have natural antibacterial properties.  The scent doesn’t last in your laundry like Bounce or Snuggle – but, it definitely smells nice and fresh.

So, the verdict was in – old school baking soda and essential oils definitely works!  Everything felt so much better!  Bu-Bye crunchy laundry!

Now – if you have a front loading washer or dispenser, you could easily make up a pre-mixed concoction by mixing the baking soda and essential oils with water.  Be sure to shake well – you want to be sure you dissolve all of the baking soda.  Then, add “softener mix,” as instructed for your machine.



For ONE load of wash:
1/4 cup Baking Soda
12-18 drops of (preferred) Essential Oils

Mix in the washer before adding laundry OR pre-mix and add to the dispenser.


For starters, the ingredients are all readily available – that makes me happy!  As a mom, this one is important – the baking soda does a fabulous job of washing out little boy stains and stinks – you’re welcome, ha!  The naturalist in me is happy about this next benefit – you’re not adding any chemicals to your laundry.  And, the essential oils lover gets excited, here – you energize the entire house with every single load of wash.  The smell perfectly compliments the beautiful Spring weather we are having, right now!

We have not used fabric softener for years.  For me, the dryer does a good job, as long as I pull everything out right away.  And, I use dryer balls to get rid of the static.  But, this is one super simple mix that I’ll continue using, even after I have the joy of using my dryer, again.


I’d love to know if you give this a try and what you think!  Which essential oil or oils did you use?  Or, if you have any other recipes you love, let me know – I love options!   🙂

Blessings and Happy Laundry Day to you!



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I’d love to hear your comments!  I mean, how else can we get to know each other and the kinds of things you want to see?  😉


  1. Great article and very helpful tips!
    Even if my dryer is working, with some beautiful days, may give it a try and save on the electricity.

    1. Hey! Yes, definitely give it a try. Fresh, outdoor dried linens and blankets just seems to bring some of that sunshine inside. 🙂

  2. Great Fabric Softener made with simple ingredients most folks have in their kitchen cabinet. This is also a good money saving tip. Since I cannot use commercial fabric softener because of the fragrance added to it, using baking soda an excellent alternative.

    1. Yes! We avoid the commercial fabric softeners, as well! So, this simple, yet convenient alternative has been wonderful! 🙂

    1. Yea!!! I can’t wait to hear how it works for ya! And, of course, you can try an essential oil. In the winter, I think I’ll do peppermint. 🙂

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