While fabric softener isn't always a pricey household expense, if you want to know the ingredients in yours you might want to consider making it at home. On top of that, by making DIY fabric softener, you're putting less trash in the landfills – whether you use liquid fabric softener or dryer sheets (and, yes, you can make DIY fabric softener dryer sheets too).
Listed below are three reasons to consider making your own dryer sheets, along with seven recipes you should try out. That's ten great ideas to make you want to start doing DIY from home for better clothing care.
WHY YOU SHOULD CONSIDER MAKING DIY FABRIC SOFTENER
There are many reasons people choose to make things themselves, rather than buying them at the store. It can save time and money – but there's even more to it than that. If you want to embrace a different way of living by creating more things yourself, here are some of the reasons to consider making DIY fabric softener.
1. BETTER FOR YOUR HEALTH
Making your softener, cleaners (for your clothes and yourself, a well as cleaners for your entire household), and other items for your home allows you to know for sure what's in what you're using. Instead of using something that is filled with chemicals and ingredients you've never heard of, you can make stuff from your home with your own chosen ingredients. Some of the recipes you'll find below entail using store bought items, but you can always choose to use ingredients that state they are organic.
2. BETTER FOR THE ENVIRONMENT
When you're using things like peroxide, essential oils, and baking soda, you are ensuring that you are using things that will not harm you or the environment. When you're using things like washing pods and plastic-based items them can leave residue in the soil and in the water, you’re damaging the environment.
3. BETTER FOR YOUR WALLET
Making your own fabric softener from home could save you some money, especially if you're making reusable dryer sheets. These are the most economical fabric softeners to consider, and they will save you some money that you can use for other things.
KEEP YOUR CLOTHES SOFT WITH THESE RECIPES
Here are a few different ideas for DIY Fabric Softeners. Whether you want softener crystals, a softener liquid, or you prefer sheets – these ideas give you a variety of types and scents to choose from.
NATURAL FABRIC SOFTENER CRYSTALS
Softener crystals are all the rage right now, maybe because that add an amazingly wonderful boost of scent to your clothing. This particular mix of fabric softener not only softens your clothes, but it can also help with cleaning them (so it's great to have on hand when you happen to run out of detergent). However, it's not a deep clean, so it's not the best for kids’ clothes or work clothes (aside from softening them, that is). If you're a fan of Purex, and other crystal-style fabric softeners, this recipe is ideal for you. It's far cheaper to make than buying the “real” thing.
Homemade fabric softener crystals are really easy to make and don't need many ingredients. All you need is some Epsom salts and essential oils of your choice. You can purchase fabric softener crystals, but Epsom salts make a great substitute, and they are far less expensive (you can get a good size bag of them at almost any dollar store for less than $5). Then, follow the following instructions.
Every one cup of Epsom salts you use in your mixture will need a minimum of ten drops of essential oil (use a dropper made for oil usage). The more drops you use, the stronger the scent of your softener. There are many combinations of scents you can use.
Here are some scent combination ideas:
You'll want to mix your Epsom salts and essential oils together, then spread the mixture out onto a cookie sheet (one you have specifically for crafting and DIY purposes). Let it dry for a few hours and then bottle it in a glass canning jar.
You'll get a far more subtle scent with the Epsom salts than you would with a bottle of scent crystals, but this is perfect for anyone that doesn't want the smell of their clothing to be overpowering.
PERFUMED FABRIC SOFTENER CRYSTALS
You can use the same recipe above and swap out the essential oils for your favorite perfume or cologne. This way, you never have to directly put on your cologne, but get a more subtle and tolerable scent – perfect if you work around (or live with) people that are affected by too much perfume.
NATURAL LIQUID FABRIC SOFTENER
Use your crystals made previously as a scent for this fabric softener. Simply mix a half cup of your crystals in 1 cup of warm water. Stir. Once they dissolve, you can stop stirring and do the next steps (leave the dissolved crystals to the side for now). In a larger container put in one cup of baking soda and slowly pour in six cups of white vinegar (warm vinegar will help the baking soda dissolve faster). Once these ingredients are combined you'll pour in the water and crystal mixture you already combined.
Put the lid on your large container and shake the mixture up. You'll need to re-shake it each use, as it will separate. Crystals and liquid softeners are used directly in the washing machine. A half a cup of this mixture is all you need for soft clothes with a fresh scent.
These particular ingredients all offer something your clothing needs. Vinegar can help remove stains and soap residue, and baking soda regulates the pH level of the water.
COMPLETELY HOMEMADE DRYER SHEETS
Use the liquid DIY fabric softener recipe above to make your own dryer sheets that are reusable. With this recipe, you'll never have to clog up landfills with dryer sheets again. In order to make them you'll need some rags or washcloths.
Soak the rags in your liquid softener, but make sure to wring them out before you toss one in the dryer with your clothing (they'll be pretty wet – wring them inside the container so you can keep using your fabric softener solution). In a pinch, you can reuse your store-bought dry sheets or coffee filters. The store-bought ones and coffee filters may only be a one or two-time use, but rags can last a long time. You should be able to use your soaked rags a dozen times before they need to be soaked again. You might even find that these dryer sheet work even better than the store-bought ones!
CHEATER HOMEMADE DRYER SHEETS
You can make reusable dryer sheets with your favorite store-bought liquid fabric softener as well. Just pour some in a container and toss your rags in it. You'll still want to wring them out – but this will still save you some money and keep some trash out of the landfills.
FELTED DRYER BALLS
If you want your clothing to dry faster and be soft and less static-filled, you can use a felted dryer ball made from wool. Using “balls” in the dryer also help to fluff your blankets and pillows.
You'll need some wool yarn to make these. Wrap the yarn around your fingers to make the base, then wrap it around itself. Keep repeating this until you have something resembling a tennis ball. Push the yarn through, with a knitting needle, to the other side to secure the ball and then place it in a cut-off pair of pantyhose, tying it in.
Make two of them for best results. They may wear out or fall apart over time, and then you can just make some more.
TENNIS DRYER BALLS
If you like the idea of fluffed blankets, you can get the same results with a pair of tennis balls. They do all the same things as the homemade balls (and they'll usually last longer). Grab some next time they're on sale!
START USING YOU DIY FABRIC SOFTENER
These are just a few of the ways you can take better care of your clothes while living more mindfully. If you find that one of these recipes works great for you, consider re-gifting the idea – a jar of DIY fabric softener could be the perfect DIY gift for a friend or family member that likes to be eco-friendly.