6 ways to make your laundry smell great without the chemicals 10



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Chemicals are everywhere in our lives – in our kitchen, bathroom and especially our laundry. We pour bleach on our whites, powder all over our clothes and then top it off with fabric softener. And more often than not, even after doing all that, your clothes don’t smell all that fresh.

To avoid covering yourself head to toe in chemicals, have you considered using natural products instead? You can make these at home and they’ll be miles better for you and your family. Plus, they really work!

1. Lavender water

Simply put some lavender essential oil into a spray bottle filled with water and give your laundry a quick spritz before throwing it into the wash. If you don’t like lavender, rose smells great too.


2. Citrus oils

Citrus oils have such a delightful, fresh scent without the chemicals. Mix one cup bi-carb, one half cup borax and one cup of white vinegar with 20 drops of the citrus essential oil of your choice. Add this mixture to your laundry detergent and use as you normally would. Alternatively, tap in a few drops of oil when the cycle begins.


3. Wool balls

Another toxic-free alternative to supermarket tumble dryer sheets are 100% natural wool balls. Best of all, you can make them yourself and they last for years.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 ball of 100% wool yarn
  • Pantyhose (Stocking with runs in them are fine)


  1. Take the end of the yarn and wrap it around your middle and index finger 10 times. Remove it from your fingers and then wrap 2-3 times around the middle (it should look like a bow).
  2. Keep tightly wrapping the yarn around the start, working toward making a ball. Once your ball is about the size of a tennis ball, cut the yarn and tuck the ends into the sides of the ball. Repeat this process until you have created four
  3. Cut one leg off of the pantyhose.
  4. Place one ball into the bottom of the leg and tie a knot right above the ball and repeat until all the balls have been added and secured.
  5. Put the balls in the washing machine on the hottest setting.
  6. Then dry it thoroughly in the dryer at the highest heat setting.
  7. After the balls are completely dry, you can remove them from the pantyhose and they’re ready to use!
  8. Add 2-3 drops of essential oil per ball and this should last a few loads.

Source: doTERRA blog


4. Vinegar softener

Vinegar helps to soften clothes. Add during the rinse cycle along with a couple of drops of essential oil and you will have amazing-smelling laundry.


5. Dryer sheets

Dryer sheets are a great way to add that extra bit of fragrance to a drying cycle however they can smell quite musty or overwhelming if store-bought. You can make your own easily!

What you’ll need:

  • A small piece of cotton cloth, about 20cm x 20cm (Chux wipes work well)
  • Essential oil
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • Sealable container


  1. Mix the vinegar and essential oil in a small bowl.
  2. Pour the mixture over the cloths until they are dampened but not soaked. Keep in a securely closed container.
  3. To use, simply remove a sheet from the container, squeeze any excess liquid back into the jar, and toss into the dryer.

Note: when the clothes are dry, you can place that sheet back in the jar.


6. Homemade laundry detergent

Homemade natural laundry detergent is a great natural alternative to harsh detergents, and it’s a lot cheaper.
What you’ll need:
  • 1 bar of bar soap, grated
  • 2 cup of washing soda
  • 20 drops essential oil of your choice
  1. Grate the soap using a hand grater or food processor. The more fine the better.
  2. Carefully mix the soap with the washing soda, add essential oil and stir.
  3. Store in an air-tight glass jar and use 1-2 tablespoons per load!

Tell us, what do you use in your laundry? What chemicals have you swapped for all-natural?


Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. My laundry ALWAYS smells fresh & clean and is soft – I use vinegar instead of commercial softener in the machine

    4 REPLY
    • Yes white vinegar and about half a cup.An old Norweigian lady told me years ago.Just rinse any thing you have washed with some vinegar water and see what comes out of your clothes.Great for anybody with allergies.It keeps the threads of your material clean and soft.

  2. I have the woollen balls I bought not expensive. They help clothes tumble freer in dryer. In fact by time to buy wool use the hot water to make buying was cheaper:)

  3. Sunshine and natural breeze – cheap and effective.

  4. For the sweetest smelling laundry, leave it to nature. Hang the washing out in the sun and fresh air.!

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