Thursday, February 16, 2012

Rebecca’s Rosemary Mint Fabric Softener

rosemary mint fabric softener

Have you ever told someone that you make your own (fill in the blank) and they look at you like you’ve lost your mind?

Don’t worry, it happens to me all the time. :-) Even amongst family!

Take my sister Rebecca for example. Even though she’s one of the biggest “fans” of One Good Thing By Jillee…I don’t think she’s ever actually TRIED any of the homemade laundry and cleaning products I have posted about.

That is UNTIL NOW!

This is what she posted on her Facebook page a couple of days ago (I’m hoping she doesn’t mind me sharing):

I confess to being a laundry product snob…I love Caldrea, its green, scented w/ essential oils and pricey. But I love it! Today I ran out of my softener *pout*. A serious situation to be facing on the weekend, Amazon can’t me more until Tues! So, I followed my sisters example (One Good Thing by Jillee), and made her favored DIY fabric softener: Vinegar, water and Rosemary Mint Sauve conditioner. Thats it! 3 ingredients. Holy Caldrea…I love it!! Clothes smelled great and felt even better. I am a believer, goodbye Caldrea…Ive got this now :)

Woo hoo…another “believer” is born! ;-) PLUS…she came up with a new scent for homemade fabric softener to try! Rosemary Mint! As much of a fan as I am of my Lavender scented stuff….the Rosemary Mint idea intrigued me!

rosemary mint fabric softener

So, since I was about to run out of my fabric softener I decided to make one batch of each…and now I have a WHOLE LOTTA fabric softener! lol. But I have to tell you….if you are fond of Rosemary and Mint…you will want to try this!

Here is the recipe from the original post:

Homemade Fabric Softener

Ingredients:
6 cups water
3 cups white vinegar
2 cups Suave Rosemary Mint Conditioner

Directions:
1. Mix water, vinegar, and hair conditioner in a 1 gallon container; stir. Do not shake it; it will cause foaming.
2. Use the same amount you normally use in a rinse cycle or spritz it on a wash cloth and throw in dryer.

rosemary mint fabric softener
rosemary mint fabric softener

As a matter of fact…I decided more of my “doubting” friends needed to try it too….so I poured some of it into large mason jars and attached a “recipe” card telling them how they can make it!

rosemary mint fabric softener

To all my “doubting” friends….you have been warned.  Beware of visitors bearing mason jars! YOU might just be the next BELIEVER! :-)




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143 thoughts on “Rebecca’s Rosemary Mint Fabric Softener

  1. Milli

    Oh Jill you are a lifesaver! I'm so tight-budgeted right now but I simply cannot sacrifice fabric conditioners from my grocery list and now I can!

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    Reply
  2. Momma Trish

    I have read that if you soak a washcloth in the fabric softener, wring it out and then let it air dry, you can throw that bad boy in the wash up to 40 times!! I have yet to try it, but I'm going to.

    Reply
    1. Tracy

      I don’t know if you’ve tried that yet or not but it works AND makes the whole house smell good while you air dry. Mine only lasts about 15 loads but still!

      Reply
      1. Tabitha

        Tracy- have you had any trouble with it coming off on your clothes? I had a friend who said they did that and had blue spots on their clothes afterwards.

        Reply
        1. Elizabeth

          I started using the what my daughter calls “wash cloth dryer sheets” a few months ago and I LOVE them, I dry mine outside just to make it go a little quicker but my house still smells so nice ! Mine probably last anywhere from 15-20 loads … and I have not had any bleeding onto my clothes from them, maybe hers weren’t all the way dry ?

          Reply
  3. Anonymous

    35 years ago when money was tight I couldn't afford extras I did the washcloth trick (I came up with it on my own, taking a cue from dryer sheets). I used a dry washcloth put a little fsbric on it and never washed it. It eventually became saturated enough that I didn't have to add softner every time. Gonna try this recipe. Love saving money.

    Reply
  4. Anonymous

    I am wondering about sensitive skin. My newborn son and my toddler daughter have super sensitive skin!! It's crazy. Does anyone have a suggestion on what kind of conditioner to use? And if I don't use conditioner and I use essential oils do I use 2 cups of the oil??? So confused!!! HELP!

    *MommyOf2Buckeyes – Columbus,OH*

    Reply
    1. Lauren

      I don’t know for sure, but I would say 2 c of essential oil is WAAAAY too much, especially for sensitive skin. I’d look for an unscented or “sensitive skin” conditioner to try. Maybe Dove or Aveeno or something (Or generics thereof).

      Reply
      1. Alissa

        You can use just white vinegar in your rinse cycle. It doesn’t smell as good but it’s what I use for my newborns before I’m willing to use other softener. I have front loading washer with a softener tray and I add 1/4 to a 1/2 a cup per load.

        Reply
      2. Megs

        My skin is VERY particular, I find the more simple the soap/shampoo/conditioner, the better. Anything natural, without perfumes or dyes is generally safe (for me), vegan products are awesome because they have minimal components.

        Reply
  5. Sarah

    Anonymous, if you used 2 cups of essential oil you'd be spending a FORTUNE and they'd be able to smell your laundry a state away! I don't think you can just ELIMINATE the conditioner, though…you need to add something with lipids to the water/vinegar mix. I'm just not sure what. :/

    Reply
    1. Jamie

      I put about 20 drops of EO into a glass quart sz bottle of white vinegar and added a little rubbing alcohol (i think a tsp, don’t remember right now) to help mix everything well. I give the bottle a good swirl before pouring into the rinse cycle and add 1/2 cup. I haven’t noticed a scent after drying them, but they smell nice before going into the dryer. lol I might save my EOs and just start using the vinegar. Another idea I’m considering is pouring the mix onto a washcloth to throw in the dryer. I made the fabric softener from a recipe of Jillee’s sister, Camp Wander. Also she had a DIY for dryer balls that you make out of socks. I used 2 old pair of the white fluffy kind and made 2 balls. You put the EO on the inner sock and the scent lasts for a lot of loads. Not strong, but still there.

      Reply
  6. sailormom61

    OK, so what am I doing wrong?? I followed the directions to the t and of course it smells great before I use it but my clothes do not smell like Rosemary Mint or anything else at all. Also, the washcloth soaked in liquid fabric softener and dried before using works great for static cling and lasts a long time but again after the first few loads the awesome smell was gone.

    Reply
    1. Mrs.Moore

      Mine is the same way…do you have hard water? I think that’s why mine doesn’t smell after the wash. I did add extra conditioner to my batch to see if that helped. I’m going to send some to my sister in NC and see if she has the same problem.

      Reply
      1. Gabby

        I didn’t notice any smell after washing my clothes so I added some essential oils to the fabric softener and can tell a difference. It is subtle but I can still smell it after they come out of the dryer.

        Reply
  7. Anonymous

    I have a septic system and I can't see this hurting it at all. You'd use less conditioner with this doing multiple loads of wash, than conditioning your hair in one shampoo. This isn't anywhere as thick as conditioner by itself. It's diluted down and works great.

    Reply
  8. Kaitlin

    I guess my question is what is the point of hair conditioner? Plain old vinegar does the same job as the recipe and the rinse cycle gets rid of vinegar smell.

    Reply
    1. Heather

      I just put white vinegar in my Downey ball so it dispenses in the rinse cycle. No vinegar smell afterward and my clothes even look better because there is no weird residue from the chemicals in commercial fabric softeners. Hope this was helpful. :)

      Reply
  9. Kaitlin

    I have never actually tried it myself. But I have heard just use vinegar instead of fabric softener and the rinse cycle will get rid of the smell. I will ask the person that told me this when she puts in the vinegar. I just use the sheets and I am starting to get sick of them and looking for new ways.

    Reply
  10. Akhila

    I just saw a post on Fb about it from Mommy’s Kitchen love that blog. That is how I ended up here. Wow that is such an awesome idea. I want to try this today. I am going to get me some mason jars and the stuff i need and go to town. Thanks so much…I think this blog will be on followed:)

    Reply
  11. Kerry

    I also popped over from FB (Mommy’s Kitchen) posted about this. Just three ingredients – I can manage that! Looking forward to checking out the rest of your blog.

    Reply
  12. Christina

    I have been using this homemade softener for about a week now. I used the Suave everlasting sunshine. My favorite thing about it is that it removed the mildew smell from my front loading washer. I have used bleach and the products designed to clean front loading washers and still had a residual smell. I’m guessing the vinegar did the trick. The softener is a little runny but it works great. We’ll be making homemade laundry soap tomorrow.

    Reply
    1. Debbie

      Christina – leave the door to your washer open to avoid getting that moldy smell

      Going to make some of this up and perfect timing too as my Costco size Downey is just about empty)

      Reply
    2. Tara

      Wash your towels in one cup of vinegar and nothing else. It works wonders on your washer and your towels come out so fresh and fluffy! I don’t even use fabric softener on my towels anymore. You do also need to leave your door open on the front loading washer to avoid the smell. Good luck!

      Reply
      1. Tamika

        Its usually written on towel care labels to NOT use fabric softener, as it coats the towels and causes them to be water repellent instead of absorbant – that’s why with just vinegar you find your towels much fluffier!

        Reply
      2. Carol

        I was told that fabric softener coats the towels so I never use it and I am sure the conditioner would be just as bad. In my front load washer, the rinse cycle does not get rid of the vinegar smell if I use that alone.

        Since Jillee’s version is different, do any of you know if the Purex Crystals leave a residule like conditioner does?

        Reply
  13. Jen

    I love this recipe!!! So easy and works great in our front load! I just made my second batch with Suave Wild Cherry Blossom and with Suave on sale plus a coupon it’s so super cheap! Thanks for this recipe :-)

    Reply
  14. sharon

    Hi,

    Is it possible to substitute something other than vinegar? Vinegar causes a bad reaction on my skin & I smell it a lot more strongly than other people, so I’m not sure even with it “washed out” that I wouldn’t be able to smell it.

    Reply
    1. Nicole

      I don’t know about this because it’s for laundry, but I know with food you can usually substitute lemon juice in place of vinegar. Usually, it’s the acid you’re going for rather than specifically the vinegar.

      Reply
  15. shirley

    i made mine in a gallon size canister jar, like jillee’s. i happened to have some 4 x 4 inch scraps of fleece from some baby blankets i’d made and i just tossed them all in the jar. when i pull one out, i run it between my fingers to squeeze out the excess fabric softener and use it like a dryer sheet. works great! when it comes out of the dryer, i just put it back into the jar. by the way, i’ ve been using this for about a month for our family of two and have barely made a dent in it! it’s gonna last forever!!

    Reply
      1. Tiffany

        I soaked some sponges in the fabric softener, then let them dry. I’ve used them for about a week just like dryer sheets. I decided real quick that it was too messy to leave them wet. I also use the fabric softener in the downy ball. I don’t think the sponges add any more scent, but I haven’t had problems with static cling. After about a week, I re-soak them and let them dry again. I got the idea from hearing someone else do this with old rags/washcloths.

        Reply
  16. Kristen

    Love this idea! Am about to try making my own laundry soap (brilliant!) and I’ve switched over to dryer balls, but miss the fresh laundry smell I used to get back when I’d buy Downey in lavender vanilla… Any suggestions on what conditioner(s) I could use up to get a similar fragrance? (It was discontinued years ago.)
    Also love the idea of making dryer “sheets,” especially since that would stretch this budget-friendly product even further!

    Reply
    1. Jadie

      You could use an unscented conditioner, and add lavender oil and vanilla extract :), I make a solution of the two for home made febreze that works well and does not stain :)

      Reply
    1. MelJohn

      I was wondering the same thing about using shampoo for the laundry soap instead of dawn soap. The scent would be the same and maybe last longer on the clothes.

      Reply
  17. Tiffany

    I’ve seen your recipe on this site a few times, but never noticed how much homemade fabric softener to use per load (sorry if I missed it). I just made some and soaked some sponges in it to throw in the dryer. Because they were sopping wet, I wrung them out and quickly decided that this was just too messy to do every time. I like the idea of soaking a washcloth and letting it dry first. I might try that. For now, I need to go buy a Downy ball because I’ll never remember to put it in the rinse cycle on my own.
    p.s. I love your laundry and DIY blogs! I am going to try several recipes. Homemade laundry soap next!

    Reply
    1. Tiffany

      I just found where it says you used 1/2 cup in a load. That answered my question. BUT, I have another question. Is there a good non-toxic conditioner that can either be homemade or storebought that is inexpensive? By using green or organic conditioners, it makes the price of this recipe go WAY up. I think Burt’s Bees was the cheapest I found online and it’s over $7 for 12 ounces – which won’t even make up a whole recipe of this. I guess even if it’s not cheap, it’s an improvement over Downy since it’s natural. I don’t have a Whole Foods or Trader Joes near me, by the way.

      Reply
  18. Kerry

    I made this using the Suave coconut conditioner. The scent was not very strong and kind of odd with the vinegar. I bought some rosemary mint conditioner to try it again. Like some of the others, I have hard water and didn’t get much scent. I think if the next batch with rosemary mint doesn’t have a scent after it’s dried I’ll just switch to plain old vinegar.

    Reply
    1. lara

      I read somewhere once that if you have hard water and it causes a homemade cleaning product to not work properly or smell different to boil your water first then add it to your recipe… you could always use distilled/store bought water too. The gallons are usually less than a dollar. Just a thought. If I try this recipe I’m going to try it with bottled water. I know I have hard water… so just in case.

      Reply
    1. Angie

      I completely agree, Sanna. In fact, many conditioners, shampoos, lotions, etc. contain ingredients that may be harmful. Just try researching the ingredients on ONE of your products at home and you will see for yourself. That’s why I like making my own products. They are cheap, contain only a few ingredients, and I usually know where all the ingredients are coming from :)

      Reply
  19. Deana B.

    Thanks for sharing this one. As I was reading your original fabric softener post, I was thinking to myself I wonder if my Rosemary Mint conditioner would work, as that is what is in the house. And walla I saw at the bottom “you may like this” and there it was my conditioner in the fabric softener. Can’t wait to try it. Now I only need to find something to store it in before I can make it.

    Reply
  20. Jenni Middleton

    In my attempts to live chemical free, I’m so happy to have found your site. I’m going to try this with organic conditioner and maybe ground up some fresh rosemary to put in it. Just a pinch I think. I have been without softeners for awhile because of the chemical thing, not to mention the budget thing. Thanks

    Reply
  21. Angie Lincoln

    I have a question….can this and your homemade recipe for laundry detergent be used in a front loading washer? It says I’m supposed to use one with the he type.
    Thanks,

    Reply
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  24. MamaMcLean

    I made a batch of the fabric softener. It smells glorious in the container, but our clothes do NOT come out of the wash smelling anything like the fabric softener. Not that they smell bad, they just don’t smell like anything. I did not use the rosemary-mint, but I did use another very strong scented suave hair condition (I believe it’s called Mango Citrus or something similar). We have a top loading HE washer and there’s a place in the agitator for the fabric softener. I’ve been pouring it in the fabric softener cup in the agitator just like I used to do with the Downy fabric softener. Any thoughts on what I could be doing wrong or why the clothes don’t have even a hint of the scent of the fabric softener? Now that I think about it, the clothes don’t feel very soft, either. Any thoughts, suggestions, ideas, etc, are appreciated!

    Reply
    1. Lynn

      It may be too thin for your regular dispenser. Mine is and I have watched it run out before I added the clothes. I use a Downey ball instead. Vinegar is a natural deodorizer also, so it may be part of why they do not smell like the sent. I was using plain vinegar for a while but my husband wanted scented clothes again so I mixed it 50/50 with store bought fabric softener since they are so strong anyway. I am still not sure I notice a scent on my clothes after though.

      Reply
  25. Heather

    I’d like to give this a try, but have heard to never use vinegar with bleach(it can be lethal!). I would opt out of using it with my bleach loads, but have heard to even be careful after doing a bleach load. Anybody have any experience using bleach and then vinegar?

    Reply
  26. Tara

    Keep in mind that all the fragrance you are getting from Suave conditioners and fabric softeners are poison. Many people are highly allergic (some even deathly). As much as we all love to smell good, too much fragrance is a bad thing.

    Reply
  27. Melony

    I made the homemade Fabric softner, and it didn’t have a smell when clothes came out of the Dryer.
    I seen where you said to use Straight Vinegar and essential oil, How Much Vinegar and Essential oil? You said a few drops, but how many is a few to how much Vinegar?

    Reply
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      1. Sheila

        So does mixing vinegar and peroxide, releases toxic gases. You can use vinegar and peroxide alternately as a carpet spot remover but can’t mix them in the same bottle. This is from About.com and tells you what will happen.

        Some chemicals shouldn’t be mixed together. In fact, these chemicals shouldn’t even be stored near each other on the chance that an accident could occur and the chemicals could react. Be sure to keep incompatibilities in mind when reusing containers to store other chemicals. Here are some examples of mixtures to avoid:

        Acids with cyanide salts or cyanide solution. Generates highly toxic hydrogen cyanide gas.

        Acids with sulfide salts or sulfide solutions. Generates highly toxic hydrogen sulfide gas.

        Acids with bleach. Generates highly toxic chlorine gas. An example of this would be mixing bleach and vinegar.

        Ammonia with bleach. Releases toxic chloramine vapors.

        Oxidizing acids (e.g., nitric acid, perchloric acid) with combustible materials (e.g., paper, alchohols, other common solvents). May result in fire.

        Solid oxidizers (e.g., permanganates, iodates, nitrates) with combustible materials (e.g., paper, alchohols, other common solvents). May result in fire.

        Hydrides (e.g., sodium hydride) with water. May form flammable hydrogen gas.

        Phosphides (e.g., sodium phosphide) with water. May form highly toxic phosphine gas.

        Reply
  29. KellyT

    I just whipped up a batch of this using Mango Mandarin Suave and let me tell you…..YUMMMMMM! It smells so good I can’t wait to see how it works on the load I have in the wash. I was running out of softner and decided that I was going to give this recipe a go instead of getting more of the “store bought” stuff. I spent about 20 minutes in the hair care isle smelling the conditioners but it was well worth it LOL. Thanks for posting this recipe. I will be posting this as well on my “thethriftyhippie.wordpress.com” giving you credit of course ;)

    Reply

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