DIY Projects

DIY Fabric Softener & Dryer Sheets

Updated November 10, 2015

DIY Fabric Softener and Dryer Sheets
DIY Fabric Softener & Dryer Sheets


Fabric softeners are conditioners that make fabrics softer and prevent static cling. These products are sold in the form of crystals, liquid and dryer sheets. When added to the washing machines, for example, these softeners can make your clothes soft without the use of fabric softener. This saves money and time. Usually conditioners of this type are designed to be used with water – two parts of water and one part of softener. This is necessary as the use of softeners in concentrated form will cause spotting on the fabrics. Here you will learn about DIY Fabric Softeners and Dryer Sheets that you can make at home that will save you both time and money.

As far as dry softeners are concerned, they are available in the form of dryer sheets. They are added to soften the fabric. They also help prevent static electricity.

In this article we are going to show you how you can make your own natural fabric softener. If you are asking why you need that, take a look at the following reasons:

#1 According to a recent study, quite a number of the commercial cleaning products emit 100 and more VOCs (volatile organic compounds). VOCs are known to be extremely risky, some of them are even defined as toxic. Among the products there are disinfectants, laundry detergents, hand sanitizers, all-purpose cleaners, dryer sheets, fabric softeners, air-fresheners, soaps, deodorants and many other!

#2 What’s even more surprising is that even products that are defined as “natural” and “green” contain the same amount of chemicals.

So now that you are familiar with these facts, we believe you are more inclined to make a DIY fabric softener. Let’s get started!

Vinegar is versatile. It works in almost every situation in the household. It can be used to clean stains and dirt, remove soap scum and limestone, as well as in cooking. Apart from this, it is also a natural softener. When added to the fabric softener dispenser in the washing machine, it can work just as fine as commercial softeners, only it is non-harmful and inexpensive. A good idea is to add a few drops of essential oil to the vinegar. There is a variety of oils in stores. Some can remove stains from clothing, others – bad odors. What’s more, some essential oils such as lavender have a calming effect. Peppermint can deal with bad odors.


Homemade Fabric Softener with Vinegar


When you mix these two ingredients, make sure you shake them and you can use the solution. For full loads, add ¼ cup of the solution. Otherwise, use ½ cup.

Another reason why you should use natural fabric softeners is that they have antibacterial properties. They will not only soften your clothes, they will also disinfect them.


How to make Homemade Dryer Sheets

As it turns out, commercial dryer sheets contain chemicals too. So how to prepare your own natural dryer sheets?

  • Cut a cotton cloth into small squares.
  • Add 3 to 5 drops of oil onto the cloth.
  • The next time you load the washing machine, throw the cotton cloth in the dryer.You can experiment with various essential oils. Just pick up the one that you like the most. After a few uses, it is probably a good idea to wash the cloth and add some more drops of oil onto the cloth.

Using natural cleansers and softeners instead of commercial products is always wiser. We recommend that you do the same if you still haven’t gone green. This way you will enjoy a cleaner and healthier home.

If you don’t want to use do Terra Essential Oils to make your own DIY Fabric Softener & Dryer Sheets I found a few other essential oils that will work just the same.

Author Bio: Jane Mires works as a manager of Top Domestic Cleaners and she loves to write for home improvement and cleaning.


  • Michelle
    February 16, 2014 at 1:53 pm

    Hi There!

    Love how you explained everything. Makes so much sense to make your own.
    Question for you though….will just pouring the vinegar straight with essential oil in dispenser cause staining? Also, can the vinegar with essential oil in dispenser be used in HE machines?

    Thanks for sharing!

    • Christy
      April 14, 2014 at 3:30 pm

      Hi Michelle the vinegar will not stain your clothes at all I often pour some in with my laundry to freshen up my clothes every few washes and have never had any trouble vinegar is great for so many things. For the Essential Oils if you buy pure oils they should not stain your clothes I use doTERRA oils I have yet to try them in my washing machine with my laundry but and have not had any problems with staining I use them in deodorant which gets on my shirts and do not have any staining I did have my son spill a mixture of coconut oil and lavender oil on my bedspread once and it took a few washes to get it out but it was not a permanent stain. I hope that helps good luck on your adventure with Essential Oils.

  • Tracy Bohm
    April 14, 2014 at 11:49 am

    Hi, there! I really appreciate you posting how to make homemade products as I have four young boys ages 12-2!
    I have one that has a lot allergy problems and besides that I just want to get away from these harsh chemicals! I do have a question about the fabric sheets, can you explain how to make those for me? I see you use vinegar and EO’s is that it?? Do you just soak them in that for a bit and then can use? Please clarify for me, thank you : )

  • Michelle
    December 6, 2014 at 3:36 pm

    I tried your recipe for dryer sheets and had no luck. 🙁 Just EOs on a cotton cloth? Am I missing something? Thanks!

  • Lisa Clough
    June 4, 2016 at 9:30 am

    These are great ideas, but I’m not understanding how essential oil on a cloth will help with static. It’ll make it smell juce, but what about the static?

    • GMarie
      May 7, 2022 at 12:22 am

      Purchase wool dryer balls and young living essential oils. They don’t have any synthetics in their oils. All pure and natural from plants on their farms and distilled. A few drops on the wool dryer balls will also help with static. I will use either lavender, purification, sometimes lemon, or cypress or lemongrass. Been doing this for 7 years now. I used to use vinegar in my HE washer but it destroyed sime of the components. Needless to say hubby wasn’t happy so I found an alternative.


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