Make Your Own Fabric Softener Crystals

Fabric Softener Crystals

Are you a fan of fabric softener crystals like Purex but not a fan of the price??  Try making your own!

Yesterday as I was doing laundry I noticed I was almost out of my homemade laundry detergent. Since I am going to be gone for 4 days this week, I didn’t want to give the hubster any excuses for not doing laundry while I’m gone (I could just hear it now, “Honey, there was no laundry detergent! I COULDN’T do laundry!”) so I decided to mix up a batch.

I had all the ingredients on hand for my powdered laundry detergent recipe except for the Purex Crystals, so I just left it out. I decided instead to try some scented Epsom salt as a substitute. I’d recently read that you could use coarse sea salt as a substitute for fabric softener crystals…but since Epsom salt is much cheaper (and I just happened to have a huge bag of it!), I decided to try it.

The nice thing about making your own?  You can make it any scent you like!

All you need is:

  • Epsom salt
  • essential oil(s) of your choice

Fabric Softener Crystals

Start with 10 drops of essential oil per 1 cup of Epsom salt (you can add more for a stronger scent if you prefer). For my personal “signature scent” I decided to use lavender and lemon…one of my favorite combinations!

Fabric Softener Crystals

I decided to start with 4 cups of Epsom salt and added 20 drops of lavender and 20 drops of lemon. You can make as much or as little as you want…it’s simple to make more!

Fabric Softener Crystals

Give the salt a quick stir to distribute the oils and you’re ready to go!

Fabric Softener Crystals

I first tried my new “crystals” on a load of towels (1/4 cup per load added in the same time as the laundry detergent) and while the scent was more subtle than the Purex…it was definitely noticeable. Which I think is probably a good thing since I’m guessing Purex has some powerful scent chemicals in it.

I did a few more loads of clothes after the towels and each load had a nice, subtle scent and was just as soft and static-free as the laundry I’ve been doing since I started down the homemade laundry detergent road….over a year and a half ago. :-)

Just another option to consider for your homemade laundry products arsenal.  Let me know if you give it at try! :-)



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  1. says

    I’ve given up on fabric softener since using dryer balls, which I read about here. My only addition to the dryer is a small lavender sachet, to give a nice fresh scent. My towels are still fluffy, no static, and my clothes are drying quicker.

    I couldn’t be happier!!!

    Thanks. :)

    • amy says

      I use a powder detergent that I make. I just put the scoop IN the drum before adding clothes. I have had no issue – and my laundry is clean…. and we have 4 lil kids – so it def gets dirty :)

        • Angie says

          I made a big batch of homemade dry detergent for the first time a month ago and it works great in my HE washer! I put it directly in the drum also, I noticed it gets sticky if I put it in the divider. I LOVE this stuff…works better than store bought. :)

        • Patti White says

          Kay, I put mine in the drum because I’m not sure about the soap flakes, I grate my soap and the flakes are larger. I think that’s the concern with most homemade dry detergent.

        • Jenny says

          DO NOT USE homemade laundry detergent in your HE front loading washer!!!! I made my first batch of homemade detergent about 6 years ago and used it very happily in my front loader (a Bosch) for almost 2 years at which point the washer began to have a squeaky squeal during its cycle. A repair man said that the reason for using HE detergent is NOT ONLY for low sudsing but ALSO for some lubricating qualities that the ball bearings need and without that the whole motor could seize. I quickly switched back to Tide HE and the squeaking is still there but has not gotten any worse. I use homemade products at every opportunity possible but will no longer use it for washing my clothes. Please be warned!!

          • Chris says

            I have used Jillee’s homemade powdered washing detergent for about a year (family of 7, so we do several loads of clothes and towels daily). I also asked the Maytag man about using it in my HE front loading washer (one day he was here repairing the dryer). He said the ingredients are IDEAL for the HE washers and have nothing to do with lubricating theparts such as ball bearings….that is a separate compartment of the washer that should never come into contact with ANY detergent. However, all washers should have a “tune up” from time to time, just like your car.

            Oh, and put the detergent, etc, into the drum because it can get sticky before it is completely dissolved. Warmer water also can help with dissolving. Living in Florida, our COLD water is always warm enough…LOL

            LOVE LOVE LOVE the detergent and now will love it more when I switch from the Purex crystals to the Epsom Salt/Essential Oils.

            THANK YOU!!!! from our big, messy, atheltic/dance family!

            • Jessica says

              I asked about using it in my Electrolux HE washer and they said it was fine and wouldn’t hurt anything. I have been using it for over a year (doing 2-3 loads of laundry each day) and haven’t had any problems at all! I love the stuff and can’t wait to try the crystals!

            • Stacy says

              I too have been told the exact same thing. I just made a batch of Laundry soap and was dreading buying softener, now after reading this I have the stuff on hand so I just added it to my batch. Can’t wait to try it. Think I’ll do the bedding just to try it.

            • crazywoman/Billie says

              I was thinking the same thing,,,,,, The water & detergent should never come in contact with the ball bearings!!!
              I can’t figure out where some of these guys come up with some of that stuff!! Sometimes wonder if they just like messing with women’s heads. Tell them something like that, then go away laughing.

          • Arjahi says

            Jenny, you must have misunderstood your repairman. Soap and water SHOULD NOT be entering the motor area. Your motor would have stopped and I am guessing shorted out. This soap is great for HE’s and septic systems. Tide is one of the worst for septic.

            • BarbM says

              I was told at one of the quilt and sewing expos not to use Tide on quilts. I am not sure why but I haven’t used it since hearing that. If it is so bad for quilts it must not be that great for the rest of my clothes. I also switched to the homemade detergent. Mine I have been mixing purex crystals in with it and I will use the epson salt method instead!

          • Laura C. says

            Jenny… I think your repairman was “pulling your leg” about your detergent causing that noise. Laundry detergent does not come in contact with any parts of the motor. I am not a mechanic, but my logic tells me there is a problem in your washer. Have you looked at the Bosch website for a troubleshooting guide? Or look in your owner’s manual. Also, send a note to Bosch about it, tell them what the repair guy told you. I think that repairman just didn’t want to do the repair. Hope you get that noise fixed soon.

          • Kristin Lieb says

            I’m so sorry that happened to you! So strange he would say that! I can’t imagine that any type of detergent would be able to get into the ball bearings and motor, sounds like you may have a defective machine if it can. I’d def. contact the manufacturer about that. Please let us know what they say :)

          • Susan says

            Just a quick note to you. I have had a Bosch for 5 years. We keep getting it repaired! I will never buy one again! The repairmen are different every time they could but one thing they tell us is exactly the same…Do not use liquid detergent in your machine. Best to use powdered! Trust me when I tell you its the washer not the detergent! Hope that helps you go back to making your own detergent again. :)

            • says

              I have a Siemen Brand front loader. Siemen also manufactures Bosch. The plastic that houses the machine is falling apart, literally. I called a repairman to take a look at it and he said that it happens all the time. The machine runs well, but what good will that do if the entire outside cracks apart. It contact Siemen and was told that it is a “high end” machine. People who purchase “high end” washers generally don’t keep them very long and so they don’t have to be durable. I couldn’t believe my ears. Expensive machines are designed to wear out sooner because rich people expect that. Well, I am not rich. I just wanted a good machine. It is not yet seven years old. LOL. Love the liquid laundry detergent. Made two batches of “Mom’s Magical Laundry Detergent” and gave them to my adult kids as a stocking stuffer. I use it and have found that it works just a well as store-bought, if not better. Can’t wait to make crystals as softener. Is it possible to make softener liquid? Enjoy this website.

          • Michelle says

            Jenny, sorry to hear this but your repair man is wrong. The water and detergent say inside the drum. This never even gets close to the motor or bearings. I have the Maytag and have had no issues.

          • Ana Berger says

            I had a Bosch front loader for about 5 years also. It is always breaking down! My mother had the same issue. I finally got rid of it! It’s the faulty manufacturing, not the soap. I love my Kenmore now!

          • Terry says

            If you think about what your repair man told you, it doesn’t make sense. The laundry detergent does not go through the motor, the ball bearings, etc.., LOL. Plus, you still have the squeak! And, almost all homemade laundry detergents are low sudsing. I make one that doesn’t have ANY sudsing at all and works beautifully.
            Seriously, though….think about that……detergent does NOT mix with the motor and ball bearings, LOL.
            Please don’t get mad…..I’m really trying to make light of the situation. I really found that a bit funny……what he told you. Detergent just doesn’t touch the motor and ball bearings. It’s not a lubricant.

          • pam says

            Sorry to say that is a fart.. Your repair man just wanted money… I have been using homemade laundry soap in mine… I had to have a repair because I was using Tide… They said using homemade is nothing more then the powered stuff just you know what your putting in it.. because they have the same stuff in it already that were putting in it plus other crap… JUST FYI

        • Shala says

          I recently spent $160 repairing my HE washer. The cause? Using the detergent drawer for those fragrant crystals. Amy is right. Placing it directly in the drum works much better. I guess they don’t desolve well enough and clogged it up.

    • Diana says

      Now I have not tried this but have used the downy crystals and I know that they say to put that directly in the drum for HE. When I use them I put it there and detergent in the drawer. Hope that helps!

    • Jeni Rose says

      I have a top loader HE machine and have been using Purex Crystals in my homemade laundry soap since September. I have a friend who has a front leader HE machine and also uses it with no issues.

    • Jo says

      I have an he machine and I have used powders since I bought it. I use 1 tablespoon per load. When I first bought my machine the sales lady convinced me to buy a bucket of their detergent. It was $85 (Canadian)! Crazy! It lasted about 9 months but I knew there had to be a better price. So I started buying name brand from Wal Mart. Then I found this website. I have been making Jillee’s recipe for powdere soap. Awesome! I put one tablespoon right in the drum. I didn’t have the Purex crystals so I just left them out. It costs me about $20 to make. I made it in October and I’m about 1/2 way through…we have a lot of laundry here! I am interest to try this Epsom salt idea.

    • TRIXIE says

      I have an HE machine that top loads and there is only one spot for the soap to go in. I started by just putting the powder in the drum but it doesn’t seem like enough water gets to my clothes to melt it all and I had little spots on my clothes. Then I read where another reader also had a top loading machine and she put the powder in the dispenser with no problems. I started pouring my powder in the dispenser and have had great success with it. I’ve been doing it for several months now (maybe a year – who knows) and my clothes are clean and smell great.

      • Carrie says

        I have a front loading HE machine. I put the powdered detergent in the dispenser with no problems. My question is- I know that traditional fabric softeners can make towels and diapers less absorbent, does the same thing happen with the epsom salts?

          • Chris says

            Jillee and Carrie, from what I have been told about the traditional frabic softners, there is a wax substance that is used in them and that is what makes any thing that is washed/dried with them less absorbent.

            With the traditional types of fabric softner when used in the dryer will also clog up the lint screen filter(which you normally can’t see), which can cause your dryer to burn up faster and could literally be a fire issue. What any one who uses dryer sheets needs to do is to take the lint screen to a facet and run water over it, if water bubbles on it then the screen is clogged. If that is the case, it will need to be washed to clean this off. The way to do that is put a little dish soap on the screen, get an old tooth brush that is fairly soft and lightly scrub the screen with it, then run hot water over it, making sure it is passing through the screen.

            I had a appliance repairman tell me this is the number one cause of a dryer burning up or catching on fire. About once a month I take mine out and make sure water will pass through it. If it is the least bit sluggish about passing through, I clean it. Another plus is that you will use less electric as long as the filter is clean and not clogged. But I don’t think the recipe with the epsom salt will cause any issue since there is no wax substance in it.

        • faith teems says

          Years ago when on the Tide website they said in the question and answer section that liquid detergent as well as fabric softeners have a certain amount of oil in them , that is why the dispensers and rubber rims get moldy…because the oil base stays damp a long time ( I did a lot of research BEFORE buying an HE washer because everyone I knew who had one had problems with the inside getting moldy! ). The Tide website said to use a powder detergent for HE machines, as there is no oil in them. Also , open the dispenser and open the door after washing to let them dry out between uses. :)

      • Jo says

        I have also put the homemade powder in the dispenser, with no problem. I just somehow decided to put it in the drum, after i read a lot of other people doing that. I noticed grease spots on my clothes with the first batch of laundry soap i made. I used Sunlight laundry soap (I’m in Canada and can’t find Fels Naptha, etc). I switched to Ivory soap and I have had no more spots at all. Works perfectly!

        • Leah Yates says

          I too have the children have their own baskets. They all have a wash day and there is no mixing of clothes. That way no one can complain that the other has their clothes and I know who has their clothes in the wash or dryer. I have 7 kids and this has worked for us for at least 5 years. And only one boy so the girls get possessive of their favorite clothes.

  2. Crystal says

    @Stacy, Usually the sachets have dried lavender buds in them that you squeeze a little before tossing them in the dryer and it will release a subtle scent but I also add a few drops of lavender oil to mine after 8-10 loads because after a while it loses its scent. I purchased mine at or if you have all of the things to make a few you could do that too!

    • Kimberly McGivney says

      I too have been using vinegar in my fabric softener spot in my HE washer. Our clothes have never felt and looked better! But I do love the Purex crystals, this is a MUST try now!

      • Lori says

        So, I use the vinegar too. Love it, as it helps the clothes come out less wrinkled. I think we’ll always have static cling, as we live in Eastern Washington which is a desert area (hard water and dry climate).

        So, first question: Should i use the salt crystals AND vinegar?

        I’ve been using a liquid recipe with Fels Naptha (have always used this for spot cleaning–the best! My grandma used it with her roller machine). My problem is my whites, after a year, are dingy grey. I always use hot water & bleach with them. The only thing that has helped is going back to Tide for the whites. I’ve researched and find it’s probably to do with the bluing.

        Second question: Any experience adding bluing to liquid detergent? I won’t do homemade if it’s not going to work on my clothes.

        Thanks for all you do!

        • Becky says

          Tide you say will whiten whites? I use to have nice whites but I have moved. I always have had well water but for some reason this water makes my whites nasty looking..I have never ever used Tide but will gladly try it if my whites would look nice again.

        • Wendy says

          Last year, I found out that hydrogen peroxide is the “original” bleach. I started using it, in my whites and colours. They have never looked better… The peroxide doesn’t eat your clothes the way bleach does…

    • says

      I do this, too. White distilled vinegar, usually 1/2 cup to a full cup depending on what I am washing and the size of the load. I also have dryer balls in the dryer, but only use the dryer for towels and bedding and linens… the rest is line dried.

  3. Angie Lincoln says

    Hi Jillee,

    I have a quick question??? Any idea what scents I can put together to create a “Gain” scent? I’m so addicted to the smell of original Gain! Oh yeah and can I use homemade detergent, homemade fab softener etc in a front loader washer that uses high efficiency detergent?
    Thanks so much!

    • Jillee says

      I wish I knew Angie! The only thing I’ve ever been able to find about what scents are in Gain laundry detergent is this:
      “Top notes of citrus, orange blossom and peach with middle notes of lavender, jasmine, ylang ylang and lilac ending with a clean fresh accord including amber.”
      I think I’m going to have to experiment! :-)
      And yes! You can use homemade detergent in your HE washer. Loads of readers on this website have confirmed it. :-)

      • Jenny says

        DO NOT USE homemade laundry detergent in your HE front loading washer!!!! I made my first batch of homemade detergent about 6 years ago and used it very happily in my front loader (a Bosch) for almost 2 years at which point the washer began to have a squeaky squeal during its cycle. A repair man said that the reason for using HE detergent is NOT ONLY for low sudsing but ALSO for some lubricating qualities that the ball bearings need and without that the whole motor could seize. I quickly switched back to Tide HE and the squeaking is still there but has not gotten any worse. I use homemade products at every opportunity possible but will no longer use it for washing my clothes. Please be warned!!

        • art says

          Jenny, a few comment up you’ll find a quick explanation about detergent vs. HE washers.
          Basically there is no part of the machine that should ever be lubricated with anything as it goes about the area your laundry, water or detergent have anything to do with. If it was different, lubricates are usually oil- or silicone-based, so you’d notice spots on your laundry.
          The only thing is sudsing. Since traditional top-loaders fill with water to the top, any residue caused by suds is rinsed during rinse cycle.
          When the water level is lower and the suds go up, they will leave a little bit of detergent on the sides of inner basket. Even during rinsing the water level would not reach those parts suds touched before. Thats why, when there is more and more residue, mold developes causing… smell.
          Look, fill a bath halfway, mark the level of water, add some highly bubbling shower gel or anything and create lots of suds. Drain the water and refill the tub again to the level you marked before. It won’t rinse the residue above the line :)

          Jillie, as I try not to use any animal-tested product I didn’t have a chance to check how Unstopables nor any in-wash crystals work – but I’ll definitely give a try to your new formulation!
          BTW I recently moved to NYC from Poland – so sorry for my mistakes in English ;)
          I love your blog! I remember when I discovered here the idea of homemade laundry detergent – face of my boyfriend when I was literally cooking soap on the stove was priceless haha :)

        • pam says

          I have asked a few repair men.. I also have called the maker of my washer and dry unit.. So when they give you that line of bull that’s all it is… cause its the same stuff all ready in there ..

    • Jenney says

      Gain has fabric softener “pellets” that work just like the Purex crystals…they have the original scent in those. You may want to try using them instead of the Purex. I use homemade laundry detergent as well in my front loader, and I have the Gain “pellets” that smell like baby powder (to me at least…lol!). I can’t use a lot of the commercial liquid softeners, and I have found I am sensitive to the optical brighteners that are in commercial laundry soaps. That is what makes your clothes seem cleaner. I add fresh lemon juice to vinegar if I notice my whites are getting dingy, and I line dry every summer (I live in IA, so there’s no line drying in winter for me). When I use my dryer, I don’t time a lot of my loads-my dryer is the match to my HE, and along with set times (60, 40, and 20 minutes), I also have settings that correspond to the settings on my washer. I use those when I can (jeans always seem to not be damp-I have to time them) because those settings leave the clothes slightly (and I mean slightly) damp so if they are to be hung up, I have a spot for that in the laundry room. After the second load is in the dryer and nearly done, the first is completely dry. No buildup on my lint screen as to wax either…

  4. Angie Lincoln says

    I guess if I hadn’t been so excited about this new idea I would have read all the comments before posting my question about using inn HE front loaders! LOL
    Thanks everyone…..any ideas on the Gain scent ?

  5. Samantha says

    Hi!! WONDERFUL idea, & much healthier than store-bought fabric softener. I do have one question – do the epsom salts cause towels to be less absorbent (like store-bought, manufactured softeners do?) I like my towels absorbent, & have been using lavender-scented white vinegar as softener, which works great, & also helps get rid of detergent residue in the towels) Thanks for this & all your other GREAT ideas & “recipes”!!

    • Jillee says

      No, the Epsom salt won’t coat your towels like the store-bought fabric softeners do! But I also think using a vinegar rinse once in awhile is a good idea for towels to keep them fresh!

      • Mommyof3 says

        Could you clarify…..this Epsom salt mix is not fabric softener its just a scent booster. So you will still need to use some sort of softening agent, if you prefer. Something for static too. I use vinegar in my HE front loader as a softener and foil balls for static. love your site and cant wait to make some of this great stuff.

  6. Suzanne says

    So… I just made some of your liquid fabric softener and soaked some old wash clothes and let them dry to throw in my dryer. If I add this to my wash, I wouldn’t have to use my dryer clothes??? I’m REAL new to all this DIY as I just resigned from my part-time job and am now a stay-at-home entrepreneur and have to save everywhere possible.

  7. Melissa H says

    Thank you! I have been using your homemade laundry detergent, for many months now and I love it! The only thing I don’t love is the static in my dryer during the winter. I made homemade dryer balls, which work really well, but it still leaves some static, especially on all the fleece we wear. I am so excited to try this idea!! Any recommendations on EOs not to use? Thanks!

  8. Jen K. says

    This is such a great idea! But I will say though, you probably won’t be able to recreate a gain scent without using a fragrance that isnt natural. You can only recreate scents that occur in nature with essential oils.

  9. TONI says

    I love the Purex and Downy crystals. I really love the smell of the Downy and mix them with the Purex becase the Purex is cheaper. I love your homemade liquid laundry soap. I have been melting the crystals and adding them to the soap. I use a lot less of the crystals that way. I also melt both crystals and add them to
    Vinegar and use that for rinse. Question I just got after reading this…….what benefit would the Epsom salts have as opposed to just putting EO’s in both soap and rinse? Instead of an AHA moment I feel as if this is a DUH moment for me……so just wondering about the benefits of the salts…..

  10. Staci says

    I love Purex crystals, but I’m pretty sure they don’t help to soften clothes- they’re just for added scent. I still use vinegar as fabric softener. I can’t wait to try this, Jillee- thank you!

  11. Karen says

    I am still having a heck of a time with static. I use my homemade powder detergent, and I fill the fabric softener dispenser with vinegar…I have a front loader…I’m using the wool balls in the dryer and I still have a ton of static. Any ideas???

  12. Michele says

    Does the epsom salt help with static? Also, just asking, since I am totally new to all this “make your own”, the salt won’t hurt septic tanks? Thanks for all your great homemade solutions – I have just started using your recipe for the liquid laundry soap.

  13. Anne Haley says

    I have been doing this for some time and love it. I also make a liquid version. I throw the dry salts in before adding my clothes and it works just fine. As an aside, when Purex originally came out with the crystals, they advertised them as a ‘fabric softener.’ I’m guessing enough complaints helped change that. The salts don’t replace my dryer balls, etc. but they do add my scent to our laundry, which we all love. Some folks don’t like scented laundry-my house requires scented laundry to “know it’s clean!” LOL!

      • Nancy Carpenter says

        Just to be on the safe side and make sure I am getting my soap mixture effective………I turn my fill up on xtra small and use hot water….add my detergent and other stuffs and let it agitate
        until it mixed. I then return my setting to cold and large and fill my tub with clothes. It is worth taking the minute to do this.

      • Jenna says

        I use cold water for almost all of my laundry without any problems. However, I take the amount I’m using for my load, add it to hot water and mix it up first. I use a mason jar to do this and fill it 2/3 full of water. I stir it around with a long handled spoon, make sure it is thoroughly mixed and then pour it in. I have never had any problems with it. The small amount of hot water added to an entire load of laundry does not raise the temperature. I usually wait until the water is about halfway filled before I add the soap mixture. No problems with colors running…just wonderful smelling clothes.

  14. Robin says

    I have been making my own dryer sheets using old baby wash cloths… But I am almost out of softener… I do have a large container of the salts… Guess I will need to decide what scent oils I want…

    I am guessing the salts will get the same results without the smell if I use them without the salts. I actually like the subtle decent my detergent leaves. Hmmm maybe I will try them plain first.

  15. Carol says

    I am having static in my laundry. I use all “Jillee” products and am almost ready to buy off the shelf:( Any ideas what is going wrong? Static cling is very irritating and I dont want use good stuff only to spray coat woth chemicals. HELP!!! N

  16. CTY says

    I have been waiting for a DIY crystals. Experimented some, but with no real success; didn’t think about this. Today is linen washing day. WooHoo! I can whip a batch of this up: use a little for laundry & a little to soak my feet while waiting.
    Last weekish your post on Foot Soaks–someone said that the Dollar Tree sells scented (lavender maybe) Epsom Salts. The scent could always be “boosted” with more EOs if not strong enough.

  17. TRIXIE says

    I am totally a newbie when it comes to EO’s so I have a question for all you veterans out there. Let me preface by saying that I cannot stand either the scent of lavender or vanilla. Can someone recommend an EO with more of a floral or tropical scent? If I’m putting it in the laundry do I need to find it in a food grade or will any scented oil do? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Pretty please???? Thanks

    • Suzanne says

      I am an IPC with doTERRA Essential Oils and I used our Purify Cleansing Blend in my laundry detergent. It’s refreshing aroma is made up of the essential oils of lemon, lime, pine, citronella, melaleuca, and cilantro which are designed to eliminate odors and other contaminates naturally. It’s a very pleasant scent and none of the men in my home have complained :)

    • Tina Brown says

      I use the scents you use in making soaps in my DIY laundry detergent…I also add a little baking soda. They have a “Fresh Rain” scent at Hobby Lobby and if you use a 50% off coupon it is around $5. I make 5 gallons of liquid at a time and it only uses a third of the bottle. I’m sure you could use it in this, too. It smells nice and clean!!

    • says

      You might try lemon, grapefruit or orange oils. Ylang Ylang is a nice earthy floral as is Sandalwood–though they are a bit expensive. I like the scent of Thieves Oil which is rosemary, clove, eucalyptus, lemon and cinnamon. It has a nice spicy–almost Christmassy scent. It will also help to disinfect laundry. If you like Williams-Sonoma Stores, you might try their faux scent of Lemon, Rosemary, Clove (and I add orange because I just like it!) and some vanilla–or you can leave the vanilla out. You can find the exact recipe for the WS at CampWander (Jillee’s sister’s blog) here: Otherwise, just sniff the essential oils at the store to see which ones make you smile and start with those. :)

    • Tori says

      You would still want a good quality EO some cheaper ones can leave oil and grease stains but use what you are comfortable with. As far as fragrance i work for an incense manufacturing plant and smell the “normal” scents all day long and can sympathize with your desire for some other combinations
      Geranium and wisteria or even a honeysuckle make fabulous floral scents. For a warm winter fragrance you can try lemon, orange, clove, or even a lemongrass with rosemary. I havn’t personally tried them yet but have seen some new citrus bends coming out for EO’s just depends on your chosen brand

  18. Samantha says

    THANK YOU!! We received a free sample of the crystals in the mail last year and we really loved them, but even with coupons, they were just not in the budget still. Which has always disappointed my daughter, for a 10 year old, she loves that sheets are “fresh” the whole week! We just started using the homemade laundry detergent & absolutely love it and the cost! And with saving money on detergent, she asked if we could buy the crystals and only used them for the sheets and towels, which we agreed-better than buying toys or unnecessary stuff her peers are asking for. But as I opened my email this afternoon, it was an “ahhhhhh” moment when I read the subject line! I just showed my daughter and she is currently mixing a batch now. I love your blog and am very grateful for your insights and that you share such wonderful ideas! This has become my “one-stop” shop for ideas and ways to save money!

  19. Starla Norton says

    I have just recently started following you and love the idea of making my own laundry soap. Do you have an “he” recipie for my front load washer? Thanks for all the helpful tips and tricks you share!!

  20. Gail says

    I’m certainly going to make my own the next time I make it up… I used the kind you suggested when I found your site a few months ago, and didn’t know I’d be SO ALLERGIC to it, and I used only one container.. I gave a lot to my daughter to use so I could get rid of it… I can barely breathe and had to make it up outside… I may go on and make some more and give daughter all I have left which is a LOT… Only plain from now on for me or lemon or orange which I’m not allergic to… I just love all the easy recipes you give us and one of my best is the homemade deodrant that I make without fragrance….

  21. Patti White says

    Yayyyyyy! I’ve been looking for the perfect homemade fabric softener, I’m not supposed to have vinegar so I needed an alternative to the vinegar/water/conditioner one. This one sounds perfect. One question though, why put it in the tub, couldn’t you put it in the fabric softener dispenser where it would be in the rinse cycle and do more good? I use the Purex crystals in my detergent, but they don’t make my towels soft and I miss that. I buy the tub of Epsom salt, so I have plenty of that, I wish I’d read this earlier today, I’m on my 6th load of clothes….lol

  22. Sandra says

    I have a question, could I just add some essential oil to a bottle of white vinegar for fragrance for my laundry? I use the vinegar in almost every load anyway, so figured if I could combine the two it would be great.

    • Jamie says

      Yes! I do it all the time. The scent is a little lighter but still scented. I buy the giant bottles of vinegar so I usually put some in smaller containers and add my EO’s so that I can use a few different scents….something more manly for the boys clothes and something more girly for me. :)

  23. Bell says

    I am also going to try this. I have a small pkg of lavender scented ES from The Dollar Tree. I purchased it for another purpose but did not use it so now I will use it this way. I use the Purex Crystals but I am almost out so I will try this before I decide to purchase it again. I have a front loader HE washer (no pedestal) and have had a problem with the dispenser draining on the softener/bleach side which was driving me crazy. Hubs did not understand my frustration simply because he doesn’t do the laundry. Well he finally agreed to re level the machine and unhook the water lines so the screens could be cleaned. In the meantime since I already had the dispenser drawer out and cleaned I decided I would look into the opening further to see if I could locate a clog or something. When I looked up I saw a bunch of little holes that were clogged up with gunk. I could not figure out if that part was removable so I spent a good hour with a toothbrush, pipe cleaner and a rag trying to clean out those holes. Then I ran the washer through a cycle with vinegar and then another cycle with ammonia. I have washed two loads since and both times the dispenser emptied properly but I still have my fingers crossed.

  24. Lily says

    Thanks again for reading my mind and supplying solutions for everyday quandries. I’ve been loath to use hair conditioner as fabric softener, the Purex crystals label no longer claims to be a fabric softener … just scent, and something about shaking the vinegar/bake soda/crystals combo just doesn’t seem right. I’m gonna buzz the Epsom salts (mine are largish) to facilitate dissolving in cold water, scent them, add to my batch of laundry powder I’m making today, and go forth to conquer laundry.

  25. Kathy says

    Sometimes, I realize I am still living in the dark ages. I’ve not heard of “Purex Crystals” How is this recipe for fabric softener used? Is it added to the final rinse cycle? thanks.

  26. says

    Just FYI, I did a search for Purex Crystals ingredients and found this, of course we don’t know the measurements of each ingredient:
    The ingredients in Purex Crystals are as follows – Sucrose (table sugar), Bentonite (clay), PEG Distearate (binding substance used in many products, including cosmetics), fragrance (?) and Sanolin Blue (commonly used dye).

    It doesn’t claim to be a fabric softener, it only claims to add a long lasting scent to your laundry.


  27. Maureen says

    I have been using the aluminum foil balls & even in below zero AK winter I have NO static, I love it. My favorite scent is lemon verbena. I put the dried herb in little sachets & toss in the dryer with the foil ball. No static & soft laundry with a lovely scent. No toxins or artificial anything, frugal & effective.


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