Homemade Fabric Softener

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Homemade Fabric Softener is an easy DIY laundry softener that’s 1/3 the cost of a ready-made fabric softener. This fabric softener is super simple and budget-friendly.
Easy DIY Fabric Softener


Easy DIY Fabric Softener costs just pennies per load and requires three ingredients that you probably already in your home.
For this project, you will need:
  • hot water
  • white vinegar
  • Suave conditioner
  • OR omit the conditioner and add 8 drops of essential oil
  • large container

I recommend using a large mixing bowl with a handle and spout to combine the ingredients. If it’s microwave-safe that’s even better!

You also need a large jug. I saved an empty ready-made fabric softener bottle. Just remember you need one that holds 9 to 10 cups.

Yes, the Suave is conditional that you use for your hair. You can use whatever scent you want. I have not used another brand of conditioner because this is the cheapest one that I’ve seen.


Easy DIY Fabric Softener


  • 6 cups hot water – Add 6 cups of water to your microwave-safe bowl. Microwave 4 to 5 minutes or until boiling.
  • 1 cup white vinegar – Using an oven mitt, remove the water from the microwave and stir in 1 cup white vinegar.
  • 2 cups Suave conditioner – Next, add the conditioner. You’ll need to use a whisk to stir this to get it combined completely. If you prefer to use essential oil, omit this step and stir in 8 drops of your favorite essential oil scent.

Finally, carefully pour the liquid into your empty jug.


When you’re ready to use, make sure the top is secure and give it a good shake before you open it.

Most washing machines have a max-fill line so fill it to that. If your washing machine doesn’t, add 1/4 cup to the fabric softener dispenser tray.

*Vinegar will eventually breakdown elastic so use sparingly with clothing that has elastic waistbands.

Easy DIY Fabric Softener


Whether you’re using homemade or store-bought fabric softener, never use it on these items.

  • Clothing made with microfiber. An example of microfiber is polyester.
  • Athletic sportswear. This is all your hot gear, cold gear, bras, leggings, etc. Fabric softener coats the fibers inhibiting and/or preventing the wicking ability.
  • Towels. I know, we all want soft towels, but fabric softener keeps towels from soaking up water.
  • Flame retardant clothes. An example is children’s nightclothes. Fabric softener actually makes them more flammable!


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  1. I use this same mixture but I put it in a spray bottle. Put the wet laundry in the dryer and give it several spritzes; turn on the dryer. This will not leave a vinegar smell and it will not clog the lint screen like the commercial stuff does. I have used this successfully for many years.

  2. Hi Paula!

    How long have you been using this fabric softener? I have been looking for a good recipe, but haven't really found one easy enough for me. 🙂 The ease has to outweigh the cost savings, at least for me! 🙂

    Love your blog, glad I found you!

    Gayle | Grace for Gayle

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