Dolly's Homemade Fabric Softener

2 Materials
5 Minutes

What can you make with a little bit of hot water, white vinegar and hair conditioner? Join me today as I show you.
I use my wool dryer balls for most of my laundry as a fabric softener. They work so well, but, I need a fabric softener for use with my hand washables.  I don't dry those.  This is a quick and inexpensive fabric softener for those times when you don't have or use the store bought. 

What You Need:
Hot Water
White Vinegar I used White House
Hair Conditioner the inexpensive kind found at the dollar store. I used Suave Naturals in Waterfall Mist scent. It is the closest to the Downy, I think.

*A quick note:
You don't need the hair conditioner and could use for scent an essential oil of your choice.  I just happen to have quite a supply of these hair conditions purchased when they were all the rage in making fabric softeners and don't want to waste them.

* Actually you don't need a scent, I just hate the smell of vinegar even though it disappears with time.

I made the small mix today because that is all I need for now.
It only takes a minute to heat some water and mix these three ingredients to make a quick fabric softener.
I've included a printable mixture card. You can make several sizes to suit your laundry needs. Most of you know that I use wool dryer balls for most of my laundry, but there are times when you need a liquid softener. I use this on my hand washables that can't be put into the dryer.
You can make larger batches the choice is yours.
I made the small batch today because it is convenient for me, and stores easily.
**The small batch fits into a 1 quart container or canning jar with lid.  There is enough room for shaking a little before use as well.
***You can cut the hair conditioner in half as well and it still will give a lighter softening.

Use 1/8 - 1/4 cup per load
depending on the size of the load.
Please join me over at Hibiscus House for lots of cleaning mixtures that work!

Suggested materials:

  • Vinegar  (Grocery)
  • Hair Conditioner  (Dollar General)

Top Hometalk Projects

16 Ways to Showcase Your Herb Garden
16 Ways to Showcase Your Herb Garden
17 Faux Brick Ideas For Your Home
31 Amazing Furniture Flips You Have to See to Believe
18 Fun Ways To Add Glitter To Your Home Decor
23 DIY Wall Clocks That'll Transform Your Whole Room
30 Creative Painting Techniques & Ideas You MUST See!
21 Totally Terrific Things You Can Do With Doilies
18 Adorable Bird Feeders You'll Want To Make Right Now
30 Unusual & Helpful Gardening Tips You'll Want To Know
30 Essential Hacks For Cleaning Around Your Home
23 DIY Wall Clocks That'll Transform Your Whole Room
15 Quick and Easy Gift Ideas Using Buttons
14 DIY Hacks to Stay Clean While Camping
30 Fun Ways To Keep Your Home Organized
Dolly Sarrio

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 of 6 questions
  • Lynn
    on Jun 1, 2017

    I love the idea of making your own fabric softener. Can you tell me where to buy the plastic lids for the mason jars?
    • Cathy Waterstradt
      on Feb 9, 2019

      Cant you just reuse if you have one anyways. A fabric softener container with the spout on it from the store. I think they r so much easier to use for me anyways. Just sit on the washer and open the soap dispenser drawer and fill. If you have the front loader that is. Thanks for sharing the recipe. I sure will be trying this today. Surely would save a lot of money in the long run for me. Thanks again.

  • Jdb22511941
    on Jun 2, 2017

    How do you get built up soap and fabric softener out of dishtowels? I have a water saver washing machine and use fabric softner sheets. Overtime I think it builds up. I like the idea you posted and do want to try it.
  • Deb26848737
    on Jul 5, 2017

    Just curious...I've used a similar recipe for awhile, but it just calls for water, not hot. Any reason this needs specifically hot water?
    • Lisa Sinclair
      on Oct 21, 2018

      I think the hot water is just to break down the hair conditioner so that it mixes better.

Join the conversation

3 of 56 comments
  • Lisa House
    on Apr 12, 2018

    I use just vinegar and have never smelled it on my clean laundry, but I find it doesn't soften my towels well enough (I do use wool dryer balls).

  • TexasNana
    on Jun 4, 2019

    Thank you! So simple, I'll save a bundle of money!

Your comment...