How To “Sweeten” Your Homemade Laundry Detergent

The Laundry Chronicles

I have written a LOT about make homemade laundry detergent.

Here is a rundown of all the posts I have done that chronicle my laundry detergent journey:

It has definitely been an educational process! But one of the things I haven’t talked about much is how to get that “fresh and clean” laundry smell that the expensive name brand detergents offer…but for a fraction of the price!

Almost from the beginning (over a year ago now)…I’ve been using Downy Unstopables Fresh Scent Booster for when I want to add a nice scent to the my homemade laundry detergent.

I realize there are other ways to add scent to the wash…namely adding your favorite Essential Oils. Don’t get me wrong…I LOVE my essential oils! I actually have quite a collection now! But I personally find it hard to use these precious oils for sweetening the wash water. They’re just too valuable to me for that, and in my experience with them, you have to use a fair amount for it to make a difference in the scent of the soap.

So I continue to use Downy Unstopables. There are two scents available: Fresh and Lush.

Downy Unstopables

My personal favorite is FRESH because of it’s clean and breezy scent….but I have also used LUSH which has a relaxing lavender smell. Not only do they SMELL wonderful (no really, they do!)…you only need a very small amount in each load of clothes in order to get that nice scent!  Honestly, if I use more than a teaspoon in a load…it’s too strong for me. I like a very subtle scent. Each bottle lasts me a LONG time because I don’t actually end up using the product in every load of wash…which is another PLUS in my book! You can decide if you want to use it in the dirty work clothes or just your more delicates. ;-)

OR….if you don’t want to bother with adding something to each wash load…I have also experimented with adding the product to my homemade stuff. When I am adding the HOT WATER to my Super Fast and Easy Laundry Detergent I add some of the Downy Unstopables too. I probably use about 2 to 3 tablespoons per one gallon of laundry detergent I make. It works great and eliminates a separate step…which I’m definitely in favor of. :-)

Homemade Laundry Detergent

If you are interested in trying out the Downy Unstopables to “sweeten” your homemade laundry detergent, the P&G eStore has a deal for readers of my blog.

Now through August 31st, 2012 get 10% ALL items at the P&G eStore and get FREE shipping on orders over $25. If you purchase this item or any others through any of the links on this post, I will earn a commission from P&G.

And right now is an especially good time to check out the store because P&G is a big Olympic sponsor and there are a lot of great Olympic-themed bundles and deals right now to take advantage of.

I would love to know if you decide to try this out.

Also, I bet you could think of lots MORE uses for this stuff too! (Stinky shoes perhaps?? A musty storage closet??)

Please feel free to share! :-)

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  1. P Jones says

    I tried 4 times and P&G is not taking the 10% off. Please let someone know there is a problem.


    • WendyB says

      As soon as I clicked on the link, a pop-up in the new window said 10% off for new customers. I’ve never been to the online P&G store, so I guess I’d qualify. If you’ve been to the site before, maybe it’s recognizing your IP address or cookies and doesn’t think you’re a new customer?

      • WendyB says

        I closed the window, then went back through the link again. The pop-up with the 10% off code didn’t come back up. So I’m guessing you may have visited the site before and it remembers you. :-( On the up side, There are $2 off coupons you can apply to the Downy Unstoppables. (Wishing I had written down that 10% off code right about now…)

    • says

      P Jones….when I first clicked on the link at window popped up with the 10% off coupon code: QXA-LEI-KY3-ISA. The next time I clicked on the site it didn’t come up. So I cleared my cookies in my browser, clicked on it again, and it came up. Hope this helps! :-)

      • P Jones says


        You rock, I’ll try to complete checkout and let you know if it works


        P. Jones

  2. says

    When I make my homemade laundry detergent, I use the “grate the soap” type of recipe. So, when I am melting the soap on the stove, I add my UnStoppables then. They melt quickly with the soap and it’s super easy to mix the scent equally throughout the entire batch. For the non-grate recipe, you could melt some UnStoppables and add to the finished batch. I love that, with this method, you can control the strength of the scent…and it doesn’t take much of the UnStoppables to get great smelling laundry!

    • Diane says

      Hey! How much do you add to your dry batch? I make mine with 1 cup Borax, 1 cup Washing Soda and 1 grated Ivory soap. I would LOVE to know how much of the Purex Crystals you add in order for it not to be too strong. Thanks!! :)

      • LJ says

        I use the grating recipe. And every six, I add half the bottle of crystals. I prefer mine smelling extra fresh for longer, but not too fragrant.

  3. Patricia Rawles says

    Has anyone came up with another use/way to recycle the Downy Unstoppables containers??

    • Brittany says

      I use the containers for the carpet powder! It makes a nice size batch that is easy to use. The wrapper is very easy to take off.

      • CTY says

        Clean it very well inside & let dry. The cap can be used to measure–the line in the cap is 2 TB. Use it to dispense anything–and doesn’t take up much space. Love the carpet deodorizer use. Holds my homemade dish washer detergent. Good for filling with grass seed and dispensing to the small bald spots in the yard. You can fill with “snow melt” and keep by the steps for quick re-treatment. Fill with Borax & sprinkle on weeds between the sidewalk cracks (Borax will kill all plants, so use it in isolation to other plants). Fill with Legos to keep in car for times when you are trapped in a grown up place & the kids need something to do (waiting rooms etc). Can also hold a variety of games in same container: pick up sticks, barrel of monkeys, jacks (do kids still play jacks?), marbles, cat’s cradle elastic band. Fill with confetti or rocks (for noise makers) for Homecoming games. Fill with water or sand for cheap free weights. Use as pretty balloon bouquet weights. Keep all your tent stakes together. Keep spoons, forks, knives for camping. DIY survival pack: fill with matches, light sticks,whistle, small flashlight, little hand sanitizer bottles, first aid items etc. Pretty soon you will be anxiously awaiting your next empty bottle. Use to keep you homemade dry detergent in.

    • says

      Because they use less water, HE front-load washers require soap that is less sudsy. The good news is, this homemade detergent is VERY low suds. So it is my PERSONAL opinion that you should be able to use this in HE washers with confidence.
      Also, there have been many, many HE washer owners who have commented on other posts that they use it and it works just fine.
      Hope this helps!

      • Ayshela says

        They also require much less soap, since they’re using less water. My Sister in law had to have hers replaced under warranty because a part actually failed because she didn’t know she had to reduce the soap to about a tablespoon per load. Just in case anyone else didn’t know… =)

      • Jeni Rose says

        I have a top-loading HE machine and I use the powdered version of homemade laundry detergent with no issues what-so-ever. I LOVE it!!

  4. Deb says

    The website link says the FreshUnstoppable is out of stock…………Hopefully they will get more in soon!

  5. Stephanie says

    I use the Purex version, only because its cheaper. It’s still a great product! I would have NEVER thought to add these to my laundry detergent! Great idea! Will definitely check the epage for the Downy deals!

    • Amy says

      I made one of the powdered versions of the laundry soap and used the purex crystals. I smelled all the other ones and really liked the Purex best. But I had also been previously using Purex laundry soap so I may have already trained myself to like that smell.

  6. Lisa says

    I use the Downy Unstopables in my liquid potpourri burner. It gives the entire house a wonderful scent all day with about 1/2 a teaspoon. I love this stuff. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it!

    • Erika says

      I just tried your idea with the Purex Crystals in Fresh Spring Water. I’m so happy!! I have been trying to figure out how to make my whole apartment smell like that without having to wash my slip covers every two weeks. Thank you so much for the awesome idea!

  7. Sarah Smith says

    Hi! I was just wondering about the chemicals in these UnStoppables. I’ve been making your laundry detergent and LOVE it, partly because I know all the ingredients. Would adding something like this defeat the purpose?