What to Use Instead of Fabric Softener?

What to Use Instead of Fabric Softener
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You have been using fabric softeners for a long time and recently you’ve heard about the bad effects of fabric softeners on your clothes. Well, it’s true that fabric softeners can be bad for both your cloth and mostly for the environment.

Again, for some people, the reason is quite personal. For example, you can be allergic to fabric softeners or you may hate the smell of fabric softeners.

However, now your concern is what to use instead of fabric softener.

If you are looking for some eco-friendly alternatives then white vinegar, baking soda, wool dryer ball, or hair conditioner can be very effective options. Now, if you want something with a better scent, then lemon juice should be the best option for you. Aside from all these, you can try the salt, coconut wax, dryer sheets, etc.

It’s getting interesting right? Well, there are even more alternatives. Just keep reading the article and learn 12 effective alternatives of fabric softener. 

You can also read: Does Arm and Hammer Detergent have Bleach

12 Alternatives to Fabric Softener

So, if you want to avoid fabric softeners then there are lots of alternatives for you. Here I’ve got 12 alternatives for you. First, get ideas about them at a glance.

White vinegarEco-friendly and effective
Baking sodaEco-friendly and effective
Wool dryer ballReduce drying time
Homemade fabric softenersCost-effective
Hair conditionerProperly softens the cloth
Dry sheetsEasier to use
Laundry starchGood for softening
SaltGood for people with hot water
Coconut waxLess time-consuming
Lemon juiceEnhances fresh scent
AlumDissolves simply
Softening crystalsMore concentrated.

Now, let’s learn about them with proper details.

1. White Vinegar

The first and most common solution is white vinegar. Adding a cup of white vinegar to the rinse cycle can soften clothes and reduce static cling. Moreover, it can help remove soap residue left behind in the washing machine.

2. Baking Soda

Similar to vinegar, adding a half cup of baking soda to the rinse cycle will reduce static cling and soften the clothes. Moreover, it can also help neutralize odors.

Wool Dryer Balls

The next option is wool dryer balls which are also commonly used instead of fabric softeners. These balls are made of wool and can be tossed in the dryer with your laundry. They will help soften clothes as well as reduce static cling. They can also help reduce drying time.

Homemade Fabric Softener

If you prefer to use a more traditional fabric softener, you can try making your own at home using natural ingredients. Let’s see how to make homemade fabric softeners.

  • First, take vinegar and water and then mix them in a small container.
  • Add the essential oil, if using.
  • Now, pour the mixture into a clean, empty fabric softener bottle or any other container with a lid.
  • To use, add 1/2 cup of the fabric softener to the rinse cycle of your washing machine.

Hair Conditioner

Another solution near your hand is a hair conditioner. You can apply a small amount of hair conditioner to your clothes before washing and it can help soften them. To do it, simply rub a small amount into the fabric and wash as usual.

Fabric Softener Alternative

Dryer Sheets

You must have heard about dryer sheets which are also a great alternative. These sheets are made of fabric and can be used in the dryer to soften clothes and reduce static cling. Some people prefer using dryer sheets instead of liquid fabric softeners because they are less messy and easier to use.

Laundry Starch

The next alternative is laundry starch. Spraying clothes with laundry starch before ironing can help them stay crisp and wrinkle-free. Some people also find that starch helps to soften clothes.


You’ll be happy to know that you can even use salt as an alternative. Adding a half cup of salt to the rinse cycle can soften clothes and reduce static cling. This is a particularly good option for people with hard water. It’s because salt is a super stain remover and it can remove mineral deposits from clothing.

Soy or Coconut Wax

Another good substitute is soy or coconut wax. You can create natural fabric softeners by melting a small amount of soy or coconut wax and mixing it with a few drops of essential oils.

Now, simply rub the mixture into your clothes before washing and hang them to dry. This option may be more time-consuming than other alternatives, but it can be a good choice if you’re looking for a completely natural option.

Lemon Juice

Say thanks to lemon juice because it is also another good alternative. You can add a half cup of lemon juice to the rinse cycle and it’ll soften your clothes and add a fresh scent. This option is particularly good for people who prefer a natural, citrus scent.


With this alternative, you might not be closely familiar. However, alum is a naturally occurring mineral that can be used to soften clothes and reduce static cling. Simply dissolve a small amount in water and add it to the rinse cycle.

Softening Crystals

Here’s the final alternative – softening crystal. These crystals, which are made of materials like sodium silicate and potassium chloride, can be added to the rinse cycle to soften clothes. They can also help reduce static cling and are a more concentrated option than liquid fabric softeners.

Final Verdict

By now you’ve known what to use instead of fabric softener. However, before you use any of them you should consider a few facts. 

Here, no matter which option you choose, you should follow the care instructions on your clothes and avoid using too much of any product. Because this can leave a residue or cause other problems. So, always stay conscious.

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