It's time to collectively ditch toxic conventional fabric softeners and dryer sheets! Fabric softeners are often packaged in plastic, and dryer sheets are single-use (anything you use once, and then toss in the trash). Both of these can contain synthetic fragrances, phthalates (used two disperse the scent), horrifying preservatives and colorants, and quaternary ammonium compounds (which make your clothes feel soft). If we use toxic laundry detergents, fabric softeners, and dryer sheets, those chemicals get absorbed by our skin when we put our "clean" clothes on. These chemicals also enter into the waste stream and pollute our precious earth. Thank goodness there is a non-toxic and plastic-free alternative that takes less than 3 minutes to make! My recipe is affordable, safe for the body and the planet.
I have access to bulk (package-free) food, so I buy sea salt by bringing my own glass jar or cloth bag instead of using a provided paper or plastic one. If we don't have access to bulk foods, then we can opt for sea salt that is packaged in paperboard/cardboard instead of plastic. Essentials oils are packaged in glass; however, the majority have plastic tops. This waste is currently unavoidable unless you make your own essential oils. Essential oils are one of the items I still buy in packaging - check on my post about what I recycle!
2 cups sea salt
1 teaspoon essential oil (optional)*
*lavender, lemongrass, ylang ylang, peppermint, lemon, and sweet orange all lend a subtle and fresh scent to laundry once it's dried (my favorite essential oil combo for this recipe so far is ylang ylang, lavender, and a dash of sweet orange).
1. Combine the salt and essential oil in a glass jar. 2. Stir in the essential oil until it's incorporated into the salt. 3. Put the lid on the jar and give it a shake to ensure the essential oil is evenly distributed throughout. I let the essential oils soak into the salt for about 24 hours before first use.
Use 1/4 scoop per load. I add the fabric softener to the water basin when it's filling up. Use 1/2 cup if you have extremely hard water. Please experiment with the measurement, ranging from 1/4 cup to 1 cup to fit your desired outcome. I have really hard water, so I tend to use 1/2 cup, especially when washing sheets. This laundry softener perfectly compliments my homemade laundry detergent!
A bit about the ingredients:
Sea Salt: Salt helps to soften water, and when we have softer water we need less soap to clean our clothes! Soft water also means less wear and tear on our household plumbing, saving us money over time. Just like soft water replenishes our skin and hair, leaving us feeling smooth and soft, it also has a similar effect on our clothes!
Essential Oils: Essential oils not only have wonderful properties that make them essential for homemade cleaning solutions, but they also smell amazing!