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)
Dolly of Hibiscus House
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
3 of 7 questions
  • Jdb22511941 Jdb22511941 on Jun 02, 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 Deb26848737 on Jul 05, 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?

  • She48919776 She48919776 on May 19, 2021

    Does it fade the clothes at all ?

Join the conversation
2 of 60 comments
  • Emmawilliams1 Emmawilliams1 on Mar 13, 2021

    I always put a clean dry hand towel in with my dryer load..Clothes dry faster and come out soft...I have NEVER used fabric softner any form or

  • Dolly of Hibiscus House Dolly of Hibiscus House on Mar 15, 2021

    I wonder what the dry hand towel has in it that softens? I love the wool dryer balls it makes the laundry dry quicker. I'll give your idea a try. Thanks