Green Spring Cleaning: Day Three
DIY Homemade Fabric Softener
Swap out your fabric softener AND dryer sheets for this easy, natural, and cheap laundry softening method!
Try this DIY hack for safer fabric softening and fluffing.
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Maybe you’re like me and you have a love hate relationship with laundry. As in, you love having clean laundry to use (because who wants to smell bad and sleep on nasty sheets?), but you hate washing, drying, folding, and putting them away. If you’re anything like me, the laundry gets forgotten after one or every stage.
And then you have to repeat that stage. We all know that funk when we forget to switch the laundry out of the washer, right? Right? If you’ve never forgotten your laundry in the washer and opened it to the smell of mold hitting your face like a brick, I want you to contact me. We need to talk. You possess some magic skill I’ve never seen before, and I want in on your secret!
But for the rest of us, laundry can be a bit of a long process with repeat sessions.
I’m getting better at my system, but garsh darn it, it’s still not perfect.
What IS perfect, though, is the WAY I’ve decided to clean and fluff my laundry.
Many people are starting to realize that the majority of household cleaners and products just aren’t healthy. But did you know that even something as small as fragrance can cause serious health problems?
The fragrances that are most widely used in laundry sheets and softeners are a synthetic form. These unnatural fragrances cause hormone disruption, respiratory illnesses, and are even linked to cancer. According to some research studies, laundry rooms are the most toxic rooms in our homes!
Not only that…
The thing about laundry is it spends significant time on or near our bodies.
Pillow covers, sheets, shirts, underwear, baby blankets, couch covers (hey-o IKEA!). These all come in contact with your skin and stay there a while. So using toxic ingredients in our laundry practices means we are putting those ingredients on the largest organ of our body. Our skin absorbs 100% of what it comes in contact with. There is no filter on the skin itself for what is or isn’t absorbed. Once I realized this, I became very wary of how I was washing and drying the clothes and various laundry items I have.
Related post: my favorite DIY laundry detergent recipe
My family, every single member, has sensitive skin. When we use laundry products that are irritating to our bodies, it shows. But for some people it doesn’t. Some people don’t break out in a rash with laundry products…but that doesn’t mean it isn’t having an effect, and a negative one at that. It can be wreaking havoc on your hormones, adrenals, liver, lungs, etc.
So out with the toxic chemicals and in with the green, tree-hugging fabric softener!
Today’s swap is focused on softening our laundry, fluffing it, and making it smell nice. I AM a crunchy mama, but I don’t necessarily want to smell like one, if you know what I mean.
Even though fabric softener isn’t technically a cleaner, it is a household green swap I’m really passionate about. So I decided it would be part of the green clean series.
If you do want a great homemade laundry detergent (that even works super well for cloth diapers), head on over to my post about that HERE.
This laundry softening method uses simple ingredients.
Sea salt and lemon oil.
Why Sea Salt
This is an all natural mineral that has scrubbing power which rubs the material just enough to soften it, but not tear it apart or break it down. Kind of like a body scrub, right? Those little salt crystals also lift stains and grease, making the fabric softer.
Why Lemon Oil
Lemon essential oil is my favorite laundry scent. It adds an element of cleaning power because of the citric acid in it, and natural bleaching ability (don’t worry, it won’t bleach your colors!), but it also smells very fresh in laundry.
Optional: Wool Dryer Balls
My new favorite trick is to add wool balls to my laundry in the dryer. The action of the wool balls getting tossed around with your laundry gently beats ’em up, for lack of a better way to say it. This naturally softens laundry without breaking it down TOO much, because it’s beating your laundry up with a little ball of fluff. I add a few drops of lemon oil on them, toss those wool balls in with a load, and let them scent and fluff my laundry naturally.
- 4 cups of sea salt
- 30 drops of lemon essential oil
- Place sea salt in a large reusable container
- Add 30 drops of lemon essential oil
- Shake shake shake.
To use your ridiculously easy, natural, and non toxic fabric softener
Add ½ cup per load. Depending on your washer, you will either add it to the spot for fabric softener, or in with the clothes. It works for front loaders, top loaders, and HE machines.
Isn’t that crazy how simple softening our clothes can be?! Making your own fabric softener doesn’t need to be a huge ordeal. It’s. too. easy. But not at all less effective than store-bought, intricate concoctions. And it won’t kill you. So. Added bonus.
Want more green cleaning recipes? There’s more!