Chemical Free DIY Fabric Softener - doTERRA Essential Oils - Dawn Goehring Desert Naturals

Chemical Free DIY Fabric Softener

make your own fabric softener that contains no harmful chemicals and uses ingredients you have in your kitchen

Everyone loves a warm, fresh-smelling pile of clean clothes, but sometimes the products we use in our laundry contain unnecessary chemicals and additives. This natural fabric softener DIY uses the power of vinegar and essential oils to give your clothes a crisp, clean scent using just two ingredients.

First, vinegar acts as a natural softening agent by dissolving hard water buildup without leaving residue behind. And don’t worry—although this ingredient has a strong scent of its own, you won’t even notice it once your clothes have dried.

You can choose any number of essential oils to add to this recipe depending on your preferred aroma. Lemon, Grapefruit, and Peppermint are great options if you’re looking for an invigorating boost, but here we have listed Lavender and Geranium oils due to their soothing, conditioning properties. Whatever you decide to use, your clothes will come out feeling softer and smelling nicer.

Using a fabric softener can leave your clothes softer, reduce wrinkles, and give your clothes a pleasant scent. Commercial fabric softeners make your fabrics softer by leaving behind a film, which is made up of potentially harmful chemicals. Skip the risk and the expense by making your own laundry softener. This is much easier than it sounds—to make our recipe, you only need two ingredients: white vinegar and essential oils.

White vinegar is the perfect fabric softener if you have sensitive skin and cannot tolerate the chemicals in regular fabric softener. It contains acetic acid, which removes leftover detergent and mineral deposits. The essential oils work to create an appealing aroma that is natural and safe for your whole household.

16 ounces white vinegar
3 drops Lemon oil
3 drops Lime oil
3 drops Grapefruit oil
Citrus peels (optional)


  1. Add citrus peels into 16 ounce glass bottle.
  2. Fill bottle halfway with vinegar.
  3. Add in essential oils and shake bottle well.
  4. Fill remainder with vinegar.
  5. Let sit for at least one week before use.

The application of this recipe will depend on your washer. You have three options: One, during the final rinse cycle, manually add the vinegar mixture (top loading washers only). Two, if your washer has one, add it to the fabric softener cup and it will dispense at the right time. Three, if your washer doesn’t have a fabric softener cup, add the mixture into a fabric softener ball and put it in with your clothes at the beginning.

Depending on the size of your load, you can use anywhere from two tablespoons up to ¼ cup at a time. If your water is harder, you may need to use more. A good rule of thumb? Your laundry should not smell like vinegar when done, if it does, you’ve used too much.


Check out the video below for a full tutorial that shows how to make this Citrus Laundry Softener with essential oils. 

Share with your friends!

Dawn Goehring

Holistic Living Mom with years of experience with essential oils. I have a doTERRA Essential Oil Specialist certification, and Aromatherapy with distinction diploma. Essential Oils enabled my son to live life again to his fullest after struggling to do basic activities like go to school and play soccer. Because his life was so drastically improved, a passion was ignited in me to learn as much as possible about essential oils, including how they are sourced, tested, and ultimately how they work in the body. I love to make my own all natural beauty products and rarely purchase cleaners or otc products from the store. doTERRA is the first essential oil brand I was ever introduced to and it has worked so well for us that I am now a loyal follower and educator.