Fabric softeners can be costly and contain a lot of unhealthy chemicals, which are a couple of the reasons I quit using them and started looking for natural ways to soften my laundry. White vinegar can be used as an inexpensive, eco-friendly alternative. Read on to learn my favorite tips and tricks about how to use vinegar as an all-natural fabric softener.
Why Vinegar Works to Soften Laundry – Even in Hard Water:
Vinegar naturally softens laundry by removing the soap and residue build-up. Vinegar contains small amounts of potassium and sodium, which softens hard water and can dissolve mineral build up.
Doesn’t vinegar smell, well, like vinegar?
At first, I thought vinegar was an odd choice for a fabric softener because of its strong smell. But I tried it anyway and found out there was no reason to worry – there’s no vinegar smell left behind once the laundry goes through the rinse cycle.
But I love it when my laundry smells like vanilla or lavender or something else delicious and fragrant.
Good news! You can easily add a natural fragrance to your vinegar fabric softener with your favorite essential oils. Simply add about 40 drops of essential oils to one gallon of white vinegar. (Suggestions: Lavender, Vanilla, Chamomile or Orange.)
How to use Vinegar as a Fabric Softener:
- Add half a cup of white vinegar to the laundry in your washing machine before the final rinse cycle.
- Add half a cup of white vinegar to your washing machine’s fabric softener dispenser before you start your laundry load. It will be automatically dispensed at the right time in the cycle.
Tip: Use white vinegar because dark-colored vinegars may stain laundry.
How do you soften your laundry? If you aren’t currently using vinegar as a fabric softener, why don’t you try it and come back and let me know how it goes? I’d love to hear your feedback.
This blog post is a part of my Cleaning with Vinegar series. Join me as I explore many of the ways you can use vinegar as a natural, eco-friendly cleaner in your home. Read my previous post about how to clean your toilet with vinegar. Feel free to comment with your favorite ways to clean with vinegar – and I just may try them myself!