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Homemade Fabric Softener

Homemade Fabric Softener

If you’ve run out of fabric softener and want to make up a batch on the fly, or you are looking to replace store bought completely, this recipe is a great replacement. Conditioner and vinegar are something we probably all have in our homes at all times so you will almost always have all ingredients on hand. I pulled a bottle of conditioner from my stockpile and didn’t even miss it. Choose any scent of conditioner you love, for me its lavender.

Homemade Fabric Softener Ingredients

  • 2 cups (15 oz), Hair Conditioner
  • 3 cups, Distilled White Vinegar
  • 6 cups, Hot Water
    It does not need to be boiling, but hotter than tap water. I heat mine in microwave for 2-3 minutes.

Homemade Fabric Softener Directions

  1. Pour hot water into your container, add your conditioner and stir, stir, stir.
  2. Add in vinegar and give it a few more turns with the spoon.
  3. Store in a lidded container with a measuring cup in your laundry area so its ready to go.

Cost Comparison

If you purchase a bottle of conditioner and vinegar, your still under $3 with lots of vinegar left over for your next several batches. You can use that vinegar in other things too. Not only does it work well as a fabric softener, here are some other benefits:

  • Lint repellant.
  • Dissolves alkalines.
  • Loosens some stains.
  • Brightens colors.
  • Helps remove buildup.
  • Reduces static cling.
  • Removes musky smells.

Don’t forget to save this on Pinterest for later!

Quick, easy and inexpensive 3-Ingredient Fabric Softener recipe!

Find MORE Household Cleaning Recipes HERE

Try this Homemade Liquid Laundry Detergent Recipe to round-out your list of homemade laundry products!

With just 5 ingredients, this liquid laundry detergent recipe makes 5 gallons of detergent! Best part: it's chemical-free!!
Try this homemade liquid laundry detergent recipe to save even more!


Homemade Fabric Softener

Make your own Fabric Softener with this recipe. One big batch cost around 50 cents and works great!

  • Author: Savings Lifestyle: Andrea


  • 2 cups (15 oz), Hair Conditioner
  • 3 cups, Distilled White Vinegar
  • 6 cups, Hot Water


  1. Pour hot water into your container, add your conditioner and stir, stir, stir.
  2. Add in vinegar and give it a few more turns with the spoon.
  3. Store in a lidded container with a measuring cup in your laundry area so its ready to go.

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About Andrea Deckard

Andrea Deckard is a personal finance expert and speaker. She lives by the following motto, "save on what you need so you can spend on what you want." She started Savings Lifestyle in 2008, and long-time readers remember the site as Mommy Snacks. Andrea is a go-to resource on frugal living for local news outlets such as WDTN, WGRR, and as well as national outlets like Good Morning America. She has also been featured in multiple national publications.


  1. Mandi on May 20, 2014 at 8:11 pm

    This is great to know! How much do you put in?

  2. Libby on May 22, 2014 at 12:05 am

    Currently I’m using fabric softener mixed with water – soaking sponge pieces in it – and putting in dryer with clothes (homemade dryer sheets).

    Will this work to do the same thing?

    Thanks for your help.

    • Savings Lifestyle: Andrea on May 22, 2014 at 9:51 am

      Libby, that works too!

    • Stella on January 30, 2017 at 12:23 pm

      If you are wanting a fabric softener with No chemicals, then diluting it with water does not get rid of the chemicals.
      You could mix Epsom salt with EO’S and put from 1/2 to 1 cup of it in your wash.
      Also a cup of White Vingar works very well and makes your towels fluffy.
      They is No smell.
      I also use 3 wool balls in my dryer keeps clothes don’t also.

      Chemicals don’t go away by diluting them, you need to take them out of use.

      • Dawn on March 17, 2017 at 8:12 am

        What does “EO’s” stand for and what are “wool balls”? Thank you kindly for your all natural / no chemical advice!!!

      • Dawn on March 17, 2017 at 8:13 am

        Also, what are the measurements of the Epson salt and EO?

  3. Erin on May 22, 2014 at 6:43 pm

    Hi. Thanks for the recipe! Can’t wait to try it.Was wondering how much you would add to a regular load of laundry? Thank you!

  4. Julie on August 11, 2014 at 9:16 am

    How Much Do You Use?

  5. samantha on August 31, 2014 at 12:00 pm

    How much do you use per load?

  6. Stephanie on January 12, 2015 at 1:35 pm

    How much do you use per load?

  7. Heather on January 24, 2015 at 3:12 pm

    Hi! how much do you suggest I put in per load?

  8. Heather on February 4, 2015 at 9:05 am

    How much do you recommend using per load of laundry

  9. Nellie on March 10, 2015 at 11:37 am

    I just made this and am wondering how much to use per load. Would it be the same amount as other fabric softer? Can’t wait to try this!

  10. Heather on June 28, 2015 at 4:49 pm

    Hi, How much do you use per large load?

  11. Laurissa on July 18, 2015 at 6:04 pm

    How much do I use? I have an HE washer will it still work?

  12. Judy on July 25, 2015 at 7:59 pm

    How much of this homemade fabric softener do you use per load of clothes?

  13. Peggy Williams on September 5, 2015 at 5:26 pm

    I’d love to make this.How much do you use for each load?

  14. Amanda on September 27, 2015 at 1:29 pm

    Thanks for this recipe. I just made some scented ocean spring. Did I miss where it tells how much liquid fabric softener to put in the washer?

  15. Samantha on October 7, 2015 at 2:01 pm

    Would this be a 1:1 with detergent?

  16. Susan on October 15, 2015 at 9:14 am

    How much of this fabric softener do you use per load?

  17. Vikki on November 6, 2015 at 9:46 pm

    How much do you use in each load?

  18. Joyce on November 24, 2015 at 5:44 pm

    Thanks for sharing….this works better than Downy!

  19. Mike on December 25, 2015 at 9:19 am

    how well does this work in HE washing machines?

  20. Candace on January 9, 2016 at 10:56 pm

    How do you get the fabric softener to turn purple? Does this have a scent?

  21. Lauren on January 30, 2016 at 12:34 pm

    Any conditioner? Or is there any you recommend?

  22. Deb on February 11, 2016 at 8:38 pm

    How much do you use in each load or how big of a measuring spoon? Thank you, Debra

  23. Linda on February 14, 2016 at 8:11 am

    How much do you use per load?

  24. Vicki on March 24, 2016 at 11:19 pm

    Love your tips and I’m looking forward to reading more.

  25. Selene on March 28, 2016 at 4:31 am

    How much fabric softner to you use in a front load machine? Thank you

  26. Lori on May 25, 2016 at 7:47 pm

    How much do you use per load?

  27. Rachel on June 22, 2016 at 2:27 pm

    How much fabric softener do I use per load? I usually do large loads.

  28. Karen on October 30, 2016 at 10:49 pm

    How much of the softener do I use for each load of laundry in my high efficiency washer?

  29. Shannon Moldenhauer on June 5, 2017 at 6:55 pm

    I made this for the first time to try out. But was so watery. I thought maybe it separated and shook it up, but was still the same. I guess I was thinking it would be thicker like other softeners.

  30. Brenda on June 20, 2017 at 3:19 pm

    How much do you recommend using in a large load?

  31. Crissy on March 6, 2018 at 12:18 am

    Is this combo for softener good for HE dryers as well??

  32. Mitzi on October 6, 2018 at 11:13 am

    How much do you use in your wash?

  33. Sheila on October 26, 2018 at 5:37 pm

    Will this recipe for the homemade fabric softener act like a commercial one as far as spotting?

  34. Susan Gillhespy on October 29, 2018 at 7:39 pm

    You say to put a measuring cup with it but not what size. I’m using a 1/4cup measure hope it’s the correct size!

  35. Alison on December 12, 2018 at 8:17 pm

    I was going to try this recipe. Do I use a full cup? You just say measuring cup.
    Thank you

  36. Ally rowland on January 19, 2019 at 2:49 pm

    Hi. Just made this. And first off thank you for the recipe. Will this thicken up after 24 hours? Thanks

  37. BettyAnn on February 20, 2019 at 7:50 pm

    How much do u use per load of laundry?

  38. Just Jazzy on March 22, 2019 at 2:47 pm

    I made this for years, love it!

  39. MaryLou Dennis on March 27, 2019 at 11:44 am

    I don’t see where it says how much to use in each wash load. 1/4 cup? 1/2 cup?

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