Homemade fabric softener – It makes sense to make a fabric softener yourself. Such a DIY fabric softener is an excellent alternative to conventional products – environmentally friendly, health-friendly, and cost-effective.
In the following, we will give you possible ingredients, recipes, and tips and tricks for production.
A related video about “DIY NATURAL FABRIC SOFTENER Vinegar + Baking Soda” here to watch.
Video Credit: Jordan Cornwell
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Homemade fabric softener – Making DIY fabric softener yourself!
Fabric softener makes the laundry cuddly and lets it smell wonderful. No wonder that several people like to use it.
But fabric softener is not necessary for the actual washing – and only unnecessarily burdens the environment and the wallet.
We will tell you how you can make an environmentally friendly fabric softener yourself!
1. Homemade fabric softener with vinegar
A good substitute for fabric softener is vinegar. It is used to kill germs even at low temperatures and, in areas with hard water, prevent too much lime from accumulating in the machine.
- It is best to use clear vinegar or vinegar essence. Both are available in every supermarket.
- Pour about 60 ml per wash cycle into the appropriate compartment of your washing machine or directly onto the laundry.
- The smell of vinegar disappears when the laundry is dried. If you still find it too unpleasant, you can also mix the vinegar with essential oil. You can find this, for example, in the pharmacy. Take a fragrance that you like and add about ten drops of it to one liter of vinegar.
White vinegar for colorful and black textiles
White household vinegar is particularly useful as a substitute for fabric softener. It disinfects the laundry. It also has a strong effect against limescale deposits and detergent residues in clothing and washing machines.
Besides, you avoid veils on your colored laundry or black textiles. And don’t worry: the vinegar smell disappears after drying at the latest. Also, the rubber seals or the stainless steel of your washing machine are not in danger.
Make the fabric softener yourself, pour 30 to 60 ml of the white household vinegar into the fabric softener compartment, or straight into the laundry drum. You can also add a few drops of essential oil.
2. Homemade fabric softener with citric acid
Citric acid is also very well suited as a substitute for fabric softener.
- For a mixture, you need an empty container, preferably a fabric softener bottle. Citric acid is best getting taken in the form of granules. It makes it easier to dose. You can find this in the drugstore, for example. You can also mix the essential oils of your choice.
- Load the container with cold water and add five tablespoons of citric acid and 20 drops of fragrance oil per liter. Mix everything well. Optionally you can add tea tree oil, which has an antibacterial effect. If the scent disappears after a while, add a few more drops of oil.
- Depending on the water hardness, add 50 to 100 ml to your laundry. Try different dosages to see what feels best for you.
Citric acid for light textiles
Since citric acid has a slightly bleaching effect, it is very suitable for light-colored laundry. For the use as a fabric softener, you have several possibilities:
- Add 1 to 2 teaspoons of citric acid powder to the fabric softener compartment. Narrow compartments can get clogged up, however.
- For one wash cycle, dissolve ½ tablespoons of citric acid in 100 ml of water and then put the mixture in the appropriate compartment.
- For storage, mix 1 liter of water with six tablespoons of citric acid. Add about 50 to 100 ml of this to the fabric softener compartment per wash cycle.
- You can make it organic if you put lemon or orange peel – fresh or dried – into a fabric bag or stocking and washing everything with it.
3. Homemade fabric softener with soda
Sodium bicarbonate, short for sodium hydrogen carbonate, used to be used in almost every household for every imaginable purpose:
For body care, like a detergent, as a drain cleaner, for cooking and, of course, to clean laundry.
- Put a heaped tablespoon directly onto the washing powder.
- If this is not enough, you can soak the laundry in soda for one night before washing. Combine a cup of bicarbonate of soda to four liters of water and cover the laundry entirely with it. Add more water if necessary.
Soda against unpleasant odors and bacteria
In the past, bicarbonate of soda had many uses in the household and rediscovered – whether as a drain cleaner or dishwashing detergent, for cooking, personal hygiene or for cleaning laundry.
It neutralizes unpleasant odors, has antibacterial and deodorizing properties, and ensures soft and clean textiles.
The application is straightforward: Add a heaped tablespoon to the detergent. Strong smelling clothes can also be soaked overnight in a mixture of four liters of water and a cup of baking soda.
What are the dangerous ingredients in conventional fabric softener products?
Fabric softeners ensure a soft and fresh smelling laundry. However, conventional products contain ingredients that are considered questionable. Although the so-called cationic surfactants used are now biodegradable, this does not apply to the fragrances and dyes had. Most of these substances cannot be getting filtered out of the wastewater, so they end up in the environment and damage it.
There are other reasons why fabric softeners are considered questionable:
- According to consumer protection, various ingredients can lead to allergic reactions, skin redness, and itching.
- Furthermore, dyes, preservatives, and Co. are getting suspected of being carcinogenic. Therefore they represent a risk to your health.
- Fabric softener sticks to the fibers so that bacteria can grow there more quickly.
- Besides, this film on the laundry makes it more difficult to clean. It means that you need more detergent for your laundry. Last but not least, microorganisms can be getting deposited in the washing machine due to residues.
- You will find dihydrogenated, tallowoylethyl, hydroxyethylmonium, and methosulfate under the ingredients in quite a few fabric softeners. Behind this, there is nothing but beef fat. Other animal fats are also getting used. This animal tallow leads to your clothes’ soft feel by wrapping itself like a film around the fibers of the fabrics. For many, this can be a disgusting factor, while for vegans, it is a no-go.
- If you frequently use fabric softeners for towels and tea towels, they can lose their absorbency – in principle, their most important function. Sportswear can also lose unique properties. They no longer absorb sweat optimally and dry less well. For these reasons, you should always clean your sportswear without fabric softener.
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