8 Clever Laundry Hacks That Share One Powerful Ingredient

essential oils for laundry

If there’s one thing I wish more people understood about essential oils, it’s how practical they can really be! Essential oils can play many useful roles in your everyday household tasks, from helping you cut through greasy messes in the living room to keeping insects out of your kitchen.

Essential oils can even come in handy when doing laundry and caring for clothing! To show you what I mean, today we’ll be exploring some of the very best laundry hacks I’ve shared over the years that feature essential oils.

I hope these tips prove as useful to you as they have been for me. And if you have them, please share your own essential oil laundry hacks with us in the comments at the end of this post! :-)

8 Brilliant Clothing & Laundry Hacks That Use Essential Oils

essential oils for laundry

1. Dryer Ball Booster

Dryer balls are a great alternative to conventional dryer sheets. In addition to keeping your clothes soft, they can also cut down on drying time to save you money in the long run. You can even add essential oils to them to infuse your favorite scent into your laundry!

Just add a couple of drops of your essential oil of choice to each dryer ball before putting them in with your clean clothes. Freshly Washed is perfect for this (but you can use whatever oil you like!)

You can learn more about dryer balls (including how to make your own) here.

essential oils for laundry

2. Quickly Refresh Clothes

You know those clothes that aren’t necessarily dirty, but aren’t exactly fresh either? There’s a quick and easy way to freshen them up so you can get another wear out of them before laundry day!

Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to a clean cotton washcloth, then toss it into your dryer along with the item you want to freshen. Start the Iron Dry or Damp Dry cycle, and in just a few minutes, your clothes will look and smell much fresher!

essential oils for laundry

3. Deodorize Smelly Shoes

Use lemon essential oil to help eliminate odor from a smelly pair of shoes. Just add a couple of drops of lemon oil to two cotton balls, then place one inside each shoe and leave them there overnight. Come morning, the shoes will smell much fresher!

essential oils for laundry

4. Ironing Aid

Incorporating essential oils into your ironing routine is a great way to eliminate wrinkles and infuse your clothes with a fresh scent! One way to do it is to add 1-2 drops of lavender oil or Freshly Washed to the water in your iron before you start ironing.

Another option is to use a homemade linen spray (see #5 below) and spritz it over your clothing as you iron. No matter which method you use, your clothes will look and smell great when you’re finished ironing them!

essential oils for laundry

5. DIY Linen Spray

When sheets, towels, and even clothing sit in a drawer or on a closet shelf long enough, they can take on a slightly stale or musty smell. In such cases, using a linen spray is a quick and easy way to refresh them and eliminate unwanted mustiness!

Learn how to make a simple homemade linen spray with essential oils here.

essential oils for laundry

6. DIY Moth Balls

Make your own moth balls to keep your closets smelling fresh and to deter insects at bay! Just add a few drops of eucalyptus essential oil to a cotton ball, then tuck it into the closet somewhere. (You may want to use more than one if you have a big closet.)

The eucalyptus oil will keep things smelling fresh, plus it will help deter moths and other critters that can lurk in musty closets. Replace your DIY moth balls with fresh ones as needed.

essential oils for laundry

7. DIY Fabric Softener Crystals

For naturally softer and fresher smelling fabrics, you can make your own all-natural fabric softener crystals with essential oils! These crystals are easy to use, effective, and are generally less messy than liquid fabric softeners.

Learn how to make your own fabric softener crystals here.

essential oils for laundry

8. Clean Your Washing Machine

Detergent residues and other grime can build up on the inside of your washing machine over time, resulting in poorer performance and efficiency. That’s why it’s so important to clean the inside of your washing machine regularly!

For front-loading washing machines, make sure to pay special attention to the door seals, which have lots of nooks and crannies that mold and mildew can hide in. Use my homemade mold and mildew cleaner with tea tree essential oil to keep mold and mildew at bay!

Do you have any favorite essential oil laundry hacks?

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Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee


Essential Oils

  • I don’t think I’d put anything extra in an iron that requests distilled water. I might mix oils with distilled water and a little alcohol and use in a spray bottle after shaking well.

  • I agree with other readers. I would not think using essential oils in irons & dryers would be a good idea, Would not be happy with oil residue left behind on clothes. Also lingering in next dryer loads where you may not want fragrance as well oil left in iron.

    I would think it is better to spray your articles separately.

    • Essential oils are not oil! I don’t know why they are called oil in the first place. If your essential oil contains oil, it has been diluted. A good way to check is to put a drop of essential “oil” onto a piece of paper and let it evaporate for a few hours. If there is no residue the essential oil is pure. If not, it is not pure, and the company has added oil to make it go further.

  • I would NEVER put essential oils in my iron along with the water. Essential oils leave a residue that will cling to the iron could eventually destroy it.

    • I have also read that. Also, you must let oils dry first in wool dryer balls- do not just apply and throw in dryer. A lot of info on web about best way to use essential oils safely.

  • Question – Won’t using essential oils on fabrics (i.e. on dryer balls, spraying directly on fabrics, etc.) result in oily spots?

  • I love dryer balls and I love essential oils. However, I make a fabric refresher spray and use it and spray it on my dryer balls. I use the spray on bed sheets, throw pillows and throws. I put equal parts isopropyl alcohol and water in a spray bottle and add the oil as needed. I particularly like lavender and I like ylang ylang oil. I keep a bottle in my laundry room and mist the wool dryer balls with each load

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