How To Make Your Own All Natural Fabric Softener + The Best Ways To Remove Static Cling

You can make your own natural fabric softener for just pennies! photo by on FlickrLet’s face it, Downey and other liquid fabric softeners are expensive!

Not to mention the fact that they’re made with harsh chemicals, as opposed to using only natural ingredients.

With so many of us doing our best to live greener these days, it makes sense to make your own (safer) household cleaners whenever possible. Homemade liquid fabric softener is no exception.

The fact is that our grandmothers knew all about the benefits of using natural fabric softeners, and there’s no reason that you can’t use some of those exact same natural fabric softeners yourself!

In addition to being more environmentally friendly, you’ll also be saving money. Many of these DIY natural fabric softeners cost just pennies to make, and they work just as well as the expensive name brand fabric softeners do.

Following are 5 home recipes to make your own natural fabric softener, plus 3 great tips for removing static cling in the dryer, and 4 ways to remove static cling on clothes as you’re wearing them!

By the way, it doesn’t take anything fancy. If you have just ONE of these items, then you can make your own homemade fabric softener:

  • vinegar
  • baking soda
  • borax

Experiment to find the recipe(s) you like best!…


Best Natural Fabric Softeners

It’s important to note that the reason you should experiment with the following natural fabric softener recipes is because everyone’s water is different. Some have extremely hard water. Some have extremely soft water. And there are various degrees of hardness in between. Plus, some people have more calcium and minerals in their water than others do. Due to these differences, no one single recipe for natural fabric softener is right for every person on the planet.

Experiment to find the one that’s best for you and the type of water you have at home.


1.  Add 1/2 cup of white vinegar to the rinse cycle.

This a the simplest DIY fabric softener ever! The best part: it will also remove all of the soap residue that is left on your clothes from the wash cycle. I personally use this one, and I haven’t bought regular fabric softener for years.


2.  Add 1/2 cup of baking soda to the wash cycle.

Simply pour the baking soda into the bottom of the washer’s tub before you put your clothes in. It will make your detergent work better, which in turn will make your clothes softer. Keep in mind, this particular fabric softener recipe won’t help to remove static cling though. Which is why you may want to combine this recipe with the dryer methods mentioned below. Bonus: while synthetic fabric softeners can interfere with fire-retardant finishes on children’s pajamas and bedding, baking soda can be used safely.


TIP: Do not combine baking soda or vinegar with bleach! It could cause a chemical reaction that will result in noxious fumes.


3.  Use vinegar and baking soda to get the best of both worlds!

Put 1/2 cup of baking soda in the wash tub before adding your clothes. Then put 1/2 cup of vinegar in the fabric softener compartment of the washing machine before you hit start. This will result in softer clothes with no static cling.

Here’s another recipe that combines baking soda and vinegar:

  • In a gallon size bucket, combine 1 cup of baking soda with 1 cup of water. (You don’t have to mix them together or try to dissolve the baking soda.)
  • Next, add 6 cups of white vinegar. (Don’t be alarmed at the extreme fizzing action, this chemical reaction is normal. Allow the mixture to fizz for 3 to 4 minutes.)
  • Then, add 6 cups of water and stir well.
  • If you like the idea of having a scented fabric softener, then add 10 to 15 drops of your favorite essential oil to the mixture.
  • Finally, clean out an empty liquid laundry container and fill it with your homemade fabric softer.
  • When you’re ready to do laundry, add 1/3 cup of your homemade fabric softener to the final rinse cycle. (Be sure to shake thoroughly before each use.)


4.  Add 1/2 cup of borax to the wash cycle.

Basically, Borax helps to soften the water — which in turn softens your clothes. Just be sure to add it to the tub of your washing machine before adding your clothes. You can find borax in the laundry section of just about any grocery store.


5.  Add hair conditioner, vinegar, and water to the rinse cycle.

Combine 2 cups of hair conditioner (try to use natural or organic), 3 cups of vinegar, and 6 cups of water. Keep this mixture in an old liquid laundry soap (or fabric softener) container.  Add it as you would normally add fabric softener to the rinse cycle when you’re washing clothes. TIP: This also works wonders to remove pet hair from your washer when you’re laundering pet toys, blankets, and bedding.





3 Natural Fabric Softeners & Static Cling Reducers For The Dryer


#1  Add 2 tennis balls or natural dryer balls to your clothes dryer.

These will not only help to soften your clothes, but they will also help to cut down on static cling. This video shows how to make your own all-natural dryer balls



#2  Spray a rag with vinegar until it is thoroughly damp to the touch. Then, toss the rag into the dryer with your clothes.

Think of it as a great way to make your own homemade dryer sheets! It’s inexpensive, plus you can recycle the rag over and over which is a definite plus.


#3  To stretch your fabric softener dollars even farther (whether you buy all-natural fabric softener or make your own), try this:

  • Empty 1 large bottle of fabric softener into a 5-gallon bucket.
  • Add 2 large bottles of water to the bucket. (use the same fabric softener bottle, so the ratio is correct)
  • Add a few all-purpose sponges (cut in half) to the mixture.
  • Stir the ingredients together.
  • The next time you add a load of clothes to the dryer, squeeze out 1 piece of sponge and add it to the load.
  • After the clothes are dry, drop the sponge back into the softener bucket to use again later.




4 Ways To Remove Static Cling On Something You’re Wearing

If you’ve got static cling with clothing that you’re wearing, try these tips…

1.  The metal hanger trick can be used on already-clean clothes that you’re wearing:

  • Put on the garment.
  • If it’s a skirt or dress, then simply reach up underneath it with a wire hanger and brush the inside of the garment with the metal hanger from top to bottom.
  • If it’s pants, then elongate the hanger and reach up inside each pant leg, brushing the metal hanger downward inside the pant legs.

2.  If you have static cling with a skirt or dress, put some lotion on your hands, then lightly rub your hands on your hose (or the underside of your dress or skirt).

3.  Rub the underside of the garment with a dryer sheet.

4.  Spray hairspray on your hose to eliminate static cling from a dress or skirt.


More Tips For Making Your Own Natural Fabric Softener




Some of my favorite things to write about are topics that have to do with living green, saving money, pregnancy, weddings, and dogs. When I'm not writing, I love to spend time with my husband, read, create 3D artwork and Native American beadwork.

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