Forget the very expensive fabric softeners that are on the market. You can make your own lavender scented fabric softener crystals that work better and costs a fraction of the store-bought stuff.
Why make your own?
Commercial fabric softener is way overpriced for what you get and for what is going to used to simply make clothing feel softer. The softener crystals are much less expensive to make, but this is only part of the reason to make your own.
The mass-produced fabric softener contains substances known to cause cancer and other ailments. When you use the fabric softener purchased at the store, you are putting those chemicals next to your skin in what amounts to a time-release formula.
If that isn’t bad enough, the chemicals are proven harmful to the environment and they last long enough to leach into the water, causing harm to wildlife.
The homemade fabric softener crystals are completely natural, biodegradable, and non-toxic. The ingredients are normally easy to come by and they are inexpensive. Also, being dry rather than a liquid, it isn’t as messy and is easy to store. That sounds like a pretty good combination, doesn’t it?
Making fabric softener crystals
The wonderful homemade fabric softener crystals have only two ingredients, which means that this is quite easy to mix up. The only ingredients are magnesium sulfate (Epsom salt) and lavender essential oil. If you want it to cost even less, you can make your own lavender essential oil.
Simply put 30 drops of lavender essential oil in a pint container of Epsom salts and stir it up well, then cap it. The fabric softener is immediately ready for use.
Using the softener crystals
To use, add 2 tablespoons of the softener crystals to the rinse cycle of a medium-sized load of clothes. As a tip, if you want to reduce static cling as well, also add 2 tablespoons of distilled vinegar to the rinse cycle. The Epsom salt causes the fabric to ‘fluff’ out and the vinegar helps prevent static electric charges from building, while also killing bacteria that would give clothing a disagreeable odor. In fact, vinegar is a good deodorizer, but it doesn’t cancel the terrific lavender scent.
Making lavender essential oil
It is really simple to make lavender essential oil. Chop fresh lavender and put it in a small jar with a tight-fitting lid. Heat unscented food-quality oil until it is hot but not boiling, and pour the oil over the top of the lavender. The oil should just cover the lavender. I prefer using regular olive oil for this, but since this isn’t going to be consumed, any cooking oil will work.
Cap the jar and let it sit for 1-2 weeks, giving the jar a good shake 2-3 times a day. Then just strain the oil out using cheesecloth or a coffee filter. You will be left with essential oil of lavender without even needing to invest in an essential oil still.
Epsom salt is all natural and it breaks down easily in the environment. In so doing, it also releases both magnesium and sulfur, which plants can use for growth. The lavender and the oil are also natural. The combination is environmentally friendly, yet it leaves clothing very soft and scented with the delicate aroma of lavender. If vinegar is also used, the clothing usually doesn’t have the problem of static cling, either.
This non-toxic crystal fabric softener is a fantastic money saver, particularly if you make your own essential oil. The best part, of course, is that it really works.
That’s awesome! Thanks for sharing. 🙂
I truly hope that it will save people money. This is easy to make, it works well, and it is cheap.
Saving money is o.k. but I am more in to using natural and non harming and nature friendly products. 🙂
This is an awesome idea, and I love lavender!
That doesn’t surprise me, simply because lavender is one of the most favored scents. When I cook with lavender, it is usually in desserts and that is mostly because of the aroma, not because of the flavor.
Naturally I have a question. If you don’t want the scent would the salts still soften the clothes?
The answer is yes. The scent doesn’t do anything to soften them. For that reason, a person could do it unscented or they could add their favorite essential oil.
I’m definitely going to do this, though I’ll probably wait for my lavender to bloom so I can make my own oil. I never thought about making essential oil before. I haven’t used any conditioner in the laundry for years due to health and environmental concerns.
Hey did you know that in Middle English the word ‘lavender’ meant ‘washerwoman’? 🙂
No, I didn’t know that, though I can certainly understand how the name is appropriate. Lavender has long been used in sachets to keep clothing smelling fresh, in wash water, and even as s hair rinse. As an aside, one long time ‘cure’ for people who have a hard time falling to sleep is to slip a sachet of lavender blossoms under the pillow cases so the scent can be smelled when the person’s head is on the pillow. The scent has a calming effect that can let people fall to sleep.
I’ve used it in just this way, against melancholy, and it does seem to work!
Some years ago, our lavender bed happened to be under our bedroom window. When it was blooming, the scent filled the room.
Sounds like a great thing to do. I have read about this before but have never tried it. Thanks for the reminder.
It is incredibly simple to make and is well worth trying it to see how well it works for you.