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Citrus Laundry Softener

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. 

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