Improving the scent of homemade laundry soap

While the laundry soap appears to clean well enough, I'd like to improve the scent it leaves on our clothes. I find them to have a stale odor, for lack of a better term. I have added a bit of lavender essential oil to the soap, but it's not doing the trick. Hard water in our area - not sure if that has an impact. Any suggestions for fresh smelling laundry without all the chemicals of store-bought?
  10 answers
  • Daniela N Daniela N on Jul 07, 2012
    any oil that you add to to detergent will build up in your washer and clothes over time.

  • 3po3 3po3 on Jul 07, 2012
    Adding some vinegar to the wash might help neutralize any stale odors you are getting. Meanwhile, it will get your clothes even cleaner.

  • Dee W Dee W on Jul 07, 2012
    I agree with Steve and it can be either white or apple cider vinegar. Use 1/4-1/2 c. per load depending on size.

  • CreativeBlather CreativeBlather on Jul 08, 2012
    I use the Dr. Bonner pure castile soap bars in mine and it has a great scent. My favorite is the lavender but there are other scents and even an unscented. I buy them at Kroger but you can get them lots of places. The original recipe I found for making homemade laundry soap suggested that bar soap. I also read tonight that you can add Downy Unstopables to improve the scent but I personally have not tried it.

  • Sandi M Sandi M on Jul 08, 2012
    I use Fels-Naptha bars. Once everything is mixed together, there is really no odor to the soap. I do use vinegar; I put it in the rinse dispenser. Still very stale smelling, and it's really turning me off from using it.

  • 3po3 3po3 on Jul 08, 2012
    Maybe it's time to give up and go back to storebought. I tried to make homemade hand soap at one point, and just had to give up when it was a mess that didn't work very well - and a lot of work to save a few pennies, too.

  • Dee W Dee W on Jul 09, 2012
    @Sandi- do you have a HE washer? When I bought mine I asked about soaps and was told NOT to use homemade in the washer.

  • Marieanne D Marieanne D on Jul 10, 2012
    Try Charlie's Soap Powder in place of the Fels-Naptha. I use it along with borax, washing soda, and an essential oil blend of cedarwood, sage, and palmarosa (just five drops each to four cups of the borax/soda/soap mixture.)

  • Sandi M Sandi M on Jul 11, 2012
    No, I have the old-fashioned type of top-loading machine. ;) Thanks so much for all the suggestions!

  • Dgreen Dgreen on Apr 28, 2016
    I add to the mix some Citrus or Lavender Essential Oil. I have also used Downy UN Stopables beads in whatever scent I like. DH likes the Essential Oil best.