When it comes to laundry, it seems almost inevitable to use fabric softener , as this product tends to make our clothes soft , fluffy and super fragrant.

The commercial ones, however, are not only very polluting , but they don’t even have this delicate approach to our skin.

For this reason, today we will see together what fabric softener really does on laundry!

What happen

First of all, fabric softener does not really tend to nourish and hydrate the clothes so that they are increasingly softer, but rather creates an invisible patina that only gives the illusion of softness to the touch.

This patina, however, over time not only deteriorates our clothes, but does not even allow for optimal washing and rinsing.

In short, the fabrics end up becoming so soaked in detergent that they begin to wear out and lose their original color. Another aspect that must be considered is related to the strong scent released on our clothes by these products.

In reality, fabric softener contains so many chemical ingredients that they are specifically formulated to stay on the fibers as long as possible. Among these, we remember benzyl benzoate , which allows the good scent to remain for hours and days.

But this ingredient is an allergenic substance used in perfumes and could, therefore, sensitize the skin so much that it causes an allergic reaction.

Finally, let’s not forget to mention the environmental issue ; these chemical substances, in fact, are released into the air and into drains and therefore have a high impact on the environment so it would be better to avoid them for several reasons.

How to replace it

Since the function of the softener is pleasant on the clothes but those available on the market are products based on highly polluting surfactants, at this point we ask ourselves : do we necessarily have to give them up?

The answer is: no, no and no ! In fact, there are ecological alternatives capable of replacing commercial fabric softeners but giving the same softness effect to our clothes.

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Apple cider vinegar

The first ingredient I suggest is apple cider vinegar , which, unlike white alcohol or wine vinegar, has a less polluting impact because it develops less  acetic acid.

To make a fabric softener with apple cider vinegar , simply pour 10-15 drops of lavender essential oil into a 2- liter bottle of apple cider vinegar .

Then, pour this mixture into a bottle to recycle and during washing, pour  1 scoop of  this mixture into the detergent drawer and that  ‘s it!

Citric acid

For a more ecological approach, you can use citric acid , a biodegradable compound known for its being a  natural softener.

Then dissolve 150 grams of powdered citric acid  in a jug containing  1 liter of warm water . Then, add  15-20 drops of  lavender or mint essential oil and pour everything into an old bottle to recycle.

Finally, pour approximately  100 ml of this mixture into the tub at each wash. As if that wasn’t enough, citric acid will also be able to clean the washing machine of all the limescale!


A final alternative involves the use of chamomile, the drink we sip when we want to calm our nerves. You’ll be happy to know that, in reality, it also helps to relax the fibers of your fabrics and make them soft!

To make a  DIY chamomile fabric softener , you will need to infuse 4 sachets of chamomile in 1 liter of boiling water for a few minutes and add 20 drops of essential oil when the mixture has completely cooled.

At this point, pour everything into a  bottle to recycle  and pour a small glass of this softener into the washing machine. In addition to softening your clothes, the chamomile will have scented them so much that it will be a pleasure to wear them!

NB I remind you to use chamomile only as a fabric softener and not as a detergent because it has no cleaning properties.

DIY fabric softener recipes (VIDEO)

And if you want to know some recipes for making DIY fabric softeners , here is a video designed for you to guide you step by step!