Using Vinegar as a Fabric Softener

March 23, 2011

Vinegar being poured into fabric softener compartment on a top load washerMaking your own fabric softener is so simple, just take a one gallon jug of white vinegar and add your own preference of essential oils. I add 40 drops of the oils to the vinegar and shake back and forth to mix up. During the washer's rinse cycle, add 1/4 cup and it will leave your wash smelling so nice and fresh. It lasts longer than traditional fabric softeners.


By Cassie from Paragould, AR

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March 24, 20110 found this helpful
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Hmm... I never thought to add essential oils. Vinegar also works in the wash cycle as an odor eliminator, and part of what vinegar does is help pull all soap residue out of the clothes. I think that may contribute to the softening.

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June 9, 2009

Add 1/2 cup of white vinegar to your wash. There will be no need to use fabric softener or fabric sheets. It makes your clothes soft.


It might take a few washings to get the built up fabric softener out of your cloths.

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January 18, 2012

I have seen on a few other sites that vinegar will break down the fabric if used in every wash load; is this true?

By Stephanie from MO


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January 19, 20120 found this helpful
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I've used it for years without a problem, but then again about the only fabrics I use are cottons (most clothing and towels), polyester and cotton blends (bed linens), and acrylics (jumpers, sweaters, jerseys).


Your results may vary due to different fabrics.

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January 20, 20120 found this helpful
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Hi Stephanie, Susan from Queensland Australia here.
We have a cleaning guru here that recommends that when doing your washing you need to use 1/8 of the recommended powder (or liquid) suggested on the box, 2 tablespoons of bi-carbonate of soda ( I think you call it baking soda) broadcast over the load and 2 tablespoons of white vinegar in the cup on top of the agitator. This produces the best wash and is also the method to use when washing new sheets, towel etc to get rid of the 'dressing' from the manufacturer (which is toxic).


Most Americans probably won't agree, but she hates and discourages the use of fabric softeners.That's what ruins your wash over time. Hope this helps and Cheers.

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

March 23, 2011

Don't waste money on fabric softener! Use white vinegar instead. White vinegar is the best fabric softener you can buy and it's so cheap.

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February 3, 2011

I'm really sick of having hard scratchy towels. I have never used softener on them as that's supposed to stop them from absorbing water.

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January 6, 2011

Using Vinegar as a Fabric Softener. I finally got around to trying white vinegar as a replacement for fabric softener. IT WORKS!

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September 5, 2006

If you want soft clothes out of the dryer, but hate the expense of a softener, just use a dash of vinegar. Just a quarter cup or a little more for a large load in the washer, does the trick.

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