What Can I Replace Fabric Softener With? (6 Safe Alternatives) Update 05/2022

There was a time when fabric softeners didn’t exist. People were saved a lot of chemical additives as a result, and they lived healthier lives. People are looking for chemical-free alternatives to fabric softeners after years of using them and reverting to a bygone era.

What can I replace fabric softener with? Simply air-dry your garments is one alternative. When you don’t have a yard and your apartment isn’t very big, this can be difficult. Another alternative is to use vinegar and soak a towel in it. After that, put the fabric in the dryer.

Those are just two of the many options available to you if you want to avoid using fabric softener. Continue reading our article to learn more about the rest. It contains all of the knowledge you need to return to a chemical-free lifestyle.

What Can I Use if I Don’t Have Fabric Softener?

If you run out of fabric softener, you can always use that multi-talented baking soda to make a suitable substitute. It only takes 1/2 a cup in the wash before throwing your clothing in to make your garments soft. Simply dissolve the baking soda first.

It is a chemical-free option that protects your family from a variety of ailments. Many fabric softeners contain chemicals that make your clothes soft and smell fresh, but that is not all they can do.

Some of these chemicals have been linked to cancer, respiratory ailments, and nervous system issues, to mention a few. Perhaps after reading this post, you will reconsider your clothing softening technique and instead go for natural alternatives.

Vinegar Instead of Fabric Softener


As previously said, this is a good substitute for fabric softener. It won’t take much vinegar to get the job done, and you’ll probably save some money in the long run. You won’t run out of vinegar because it comes in enormous quantities.

You can sprinkle a little vinegar on damp garments before tossing them into the dryer, and the vinegar should be gone by the end of the cycle. It’s not a good idea to use this fabric softener substitute if your garments have been bleached.

When bleach and vinegar are mixed, they produce a poisonous gas. Keep track of which clothes have been bleached and which have not, and then apply a separate method on the former.

Is White Vinegar a Good Fabric Softener?

It will solve your problem. Simply use 1/4 cup of vinegar and place it in the fabric dispenser or fabric ball. Allow the liquid to do its work. It also does more than soften garments.

It may both keep your washer smelling fresh and eliminate lint from dark garments. Some people recommend using 3/4 cup vinegar, but this is usually reserved for large loads.

Because vinegar is inexpensive, you can spend some of your laundry budget to purchase new clothes or a new washing machine. One disadvantage, according to one customer, is that when they used vinegar as a fabric softener, their clothes developed little holes.

You might or might not have the same outcome.

Will My Clothes Smell Like Vinegar?


This isn’t always the case. When clothing are removed from the dryer, most customers claim that they do not smell like vinegar. One lady said that her clothing did, but she may have used the wrong machine or used too much vinegar.

You should exercise caution while using vinegar since too much will dominate the water and remain in the garments. However, this could be a one-time occurrence. Vinegar also aids in the removal of soap residue.

Your garments should look and feel a lot better now that they have more power. When animal fur is softened with vinegar, it does not attach to the garments. When you use vinegar in your laundry, you get a variety of extra benefits.

How Much Vinegar

The size of your load will determine this. According to one source, you should use around 3/4 cup for heavy loads. Use roughly 1/4 cup for smaller loads. You should do a few tests initially to ensure that you are not adding too much at once.

One lady claimed to have soaked a tiny cloth in vinegar, but instead of washing it, she dried it. Her clothes smelled like vinegar, but not too strongly.

Her approach was to spritz a little on some damp clothing and then tumble dry them. Because not all clothes react to the additive in the same manner, this is a trial and error measurement. However, as previously stated, do not use vinegar in a wash load that contains bleach.

Detergent Instead of Fabric Softener


Fabric softener cannot be replaced with laundry detergent. Even the one that claims to include fabric softener in the detergent. Because the two items have different chemical properties, they work against one other when combined.

The two items are not interchangeable; laundry soap is used as a hair wash, while fabric softener is used as a hair conditioner. One will clean, while the other will condition and soften the hair.

Rarely do the two meet and collaborate to complete a fantastic single endeavor. If you wish to use laundry soap as a fabric softener, air-dry your garments and allow the air do the softening for you. Allow non-laundry soap fabric softener options to handle the softening of your clothes.

Baking Soda Instead of Fabric Softener

This kitchen item also works well as a fabric softener substitute. If you don’t make sure it dissolves completely in the water, you’ll end up with a white powdery stain when you’re done.

The amount needed is around 1/2 cup, and most people run it through the rinse cycle. Others have used it in the wash cycle to totally dissolve it before putting their clothing in. It’s up to you how you use it and how much washing you do in each load.

Furthermore, baking soda costs between 1 1/2 cents to 3 cents every load, whereas fabric softener can cost anywhere from 4 cents to 11 cents per load. Depending on how much vinegar you buy at once, it will cost you between 3 and 11 cents every load.

Dryer Balls Instead of Fabric Softener


You’ve just gained a new ally in your fight against toxins. Dryer balls are claimed to aid in the softening and fluffing of your garments. They also do it without the use of any chemicals.

Dryer balls are made of wool or plastic and work by keeping the clothing in your dryer wider apart. They may also have spikes in some varieties, which contribute to a fluffier appearance and feel.

The ones made of wool, on the other hand, assist absorb moisture that can damage clothing. You can add scent to your laundry by spraying a drop or two of essential oil on them. The dryer balls are simple to use and function similarly to fabric sheets. Toss them in the dryer and set them aside.

Wool Balls Instead of Fabric Softener

As previously said, wool balls are a great alternative to fabric softener. These balls don’t use any coatings or other chemical-free procedures like fabric softeners employ, so your clothes are chemical-free.

They’re also simple to use, and with some extra scent, you can give your family’s garments that unique touch that will have them bragging about your washing skills.

Purchase of these wool balls should not be prohibitively expensive. They cost roughly $9 per 6 pack on Amazon, however because these dryer balls are reusable, you may save money over time. Depending on the brand and how many you buy, Wal Mart provides them for a variety of costs.

You might be able to fluff up your garments and make them feel incredibly soft if you obtain the spiked ones.

Can I Use Zoflora Instead of Fabric Softener?


This substance is a disinfectant, however it appears to have a wide range of applications. It is used in a variety of situations where Zoflora would not ordinarily be used. A few drops in your iron will significantly improve the fragrance of your clothes.

They then use it to clean the outside of radiators, keyboards, and remote controls, among other things. It’s only natural that someone would substitute it for fabric softener, and they have.

They appear to be delighted with their outcomes, however it is important not to overuse this product. For many people, too much of a good thing doesn’t always work out. Use it sparingly and avoid mixing it with other chemical cleansers, for example.

Can I Use Hair Conditioner?

Yes, but make careful to dilute it first in water before applying it to your garments. To use, mix the ingredients in a spray bottle, then spray some on a washcloth and rub it in.

After that, you can throw the washcloth in the dryer with your damp items. You’ll need to wipe the cloth and re-spray it with hair conditioner after doing this three times with different loads.

You can also pour the liquid directly into your dryer drum and let it do the softening for you. This is a simple approach to save money, and you can do it with the cheap hair conditioners found on grocery shelves.

To soften your clothes, you don’t need to spend a lot of money on pricey hair conditioners.

Essential Oils Instead of Fabric Softener


Essential oils alone are ineffective as a fabric softener substitute. They don’t have any softening ingredients, thus they’re not a good substitute. Their main goal is to make homes and garments smell nicer, which will help you relax.

However, you may still get the job done by adding essential oils to a homemade fabric softener formula. 4 cups vinegar and 10 to 15 drops essential oils are all you need to produce a DIY fabric softener.

Those oil drops don’t have to be of the same scent. If you want to be distinctive, you can mix and combine.

Other Alternatives to Fabric Softener Sheets

We’ve already discussed a few fabric softener and dryer sheet alternatives, but those aren’t the only options you have. More chemical-free choices can help you get consistently soft clothing:

1. Epsom salt and baking soda – It doesn’t matter if you use them together or separately. When you combine them, you receive more softening power than if you use them separately.
2. Softener crystals – this is a chemical-free alternative that combines essential oils and Epsom salts. The primary disadvantage is that the dryer’s heat may damage the smell. Point 2
3. Aluminum foil – when scrunched up into a ball, it acts as a dryer ball, removing static cling.
4. Vegetable Glycerin – simply combine with water and use as any other liquid fabric softener. There is no fragrance added.

Is it Worth Using Fabric Softener?

This is an excellent question. Yes, it is worth using if you want your garments softened. However, there is another question that must be addressed first. Is it safe and healthful to use chemicals to soften your clothes?

If you answered no, you should look for another option that does not use chemicals. Hair conditioners contain chemicals as well, but they are not as harmful as those found in fabric softeners.

On this issue, you have an option. Fabric softener makes owning soft garments more simple and straightforward.

Is Fabric Softener Necessary?


Fabric softener is required if you want to eliminate static cling, make your garments fluffier, and help them stay softer when hang drying. However, if you want to live a healthy lifestyle, chemical-free options can help you achieve your goals.

Again, this is your choice, and you should consider the expenses of the alternatives to ensure that you are also saving money. Fabric softener is unnecessary if you consider the many alternatives provided in this article.

You can use good substitutes that operate just as well while avoiding dangerous chemicals.

What do You do With Fabric Softener?

Fabric softener is applied to your wash’s final rinse cycle. If you have a modern washing machine, it will automatically add it. This technology eliminates the hassle of keeping track of your washing cycle and its stage.

If you’re hand-washing your garments, you can add it in at the rinse step. When it comes to fabric softeners, the only thing you have to worry about is when to use them.

Towels, microfibers, athletics, fire retardant clothes, and water repellent fabrics are among the fibers you should avoid using it on.

How Can I Make my Clothes Smell Good Without Fabric Softener?

How-Can-I- Make-my-Clothes-Smell-Good-Without-Fabric-Softener

After the laundry is done, there are two options for getting your garments to smell great. The first is to use a hair conditioner with a smell. Its aroma should not be diluted by mixing it with water.

The use of essential oils is the second method. Now, while the dryer may harm some essential oil applications, it does not do so for all of them. Make some experiments to evaluate which one suits you and your outfits best.

Some Final Words

Fabric softener does an excellent job of softening your garments, but it is not your only option. Replace chemical-laden fabric softener with vinegar, hair conditioner, a dryer ball, and other alternatives if you wish to return to a healthier lifestyle.

You have a lot of options, and the substitutes work well without endangering your health.

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