You’ll Love this Easy Natural Laundry Booster and Softener Recipe

This two-ingredient natural laundry booster recipe and softener is nontoxic, natural, cheap and so easy to make! Let's get started.

Natural Laundry Booster and Softener Recipe using just two ingredients

Top 10 Cleaning and Laundry Recipes

This recipe is part of a 10-part series of natural cleaning and laundry recipes. You can find a list of all of the recipes here. This natural fabric stain remover recipe is also found in my book, Detox Your Home, which you can find on Amazon. It includes more than 80+ recipes, research and lists for natural products you can purchase all to help you go natural in your home!

Toxins in Laundry Boosters & Softeners

Artificial Fragrances

Laundry softeners almost all contain artificial fragrances, which are a class of more than 3,000 chemicals, some of which are carcinogenic and harmful, so it's impossible to know which of those 3,000 chemicals are in your softener!

More than 95% of all of the chemicals in fake fragrances are derived from petrochemicals, including benzene, aldehydes, phthalates, and a slew of other known toxins that are capable of causing cancer, birth defects, nervous-system disorders and allergies, some of which are cited on the EPA's hazardous waste list. – Maria Rodale, Huff Post

Phthalates are small particles of plastic that bind the fragrance molecules together. They are known for causing endocrine disruption (harm to your thyroid, pituitary gland, adrenals, and hormones such as estrogen and testosterone). They are small enough for us to breathe in while we are both wearing the clothes and while the clothes are being washed and dried.

Artificial fragrances do not remove odors and can leave you thinking your clothes are cleaner than they actually are. They also contain VOC's, or Volatile Organic Compounds. These VOC's, along with the formaldehyde and phthalates, are released into the air as the clothes are washing and drying, polluting the air in our homes, and then we breathe them in. 

Study – Scented Laundry Products Release Carcinogens

In a study published in the Air Quality, Atmosphere and Health journal, scented laundry products were tested in two different homes.

Their analysis found more than 25 “volatile” air pollutants – including the carcinogens acetaldehyde and benzene.

Benzene causes leukemia and other blood cancers, according to the American Cancer Society. Acetaldehyde has been shown to cause nasal and throat cancer in animal studies.

Here are some of the health affects of VOC's and artificial fragrances:

  • Eye, nose and throat irritation
  • Headaches, loss of coordination and nausea
  • Damage to liver, kidneys and central nervous system
  • Some can cause cancer in both animals and humans

Quaternary Ammonium Compounds

Quaternary ammonium compounds (quats) coat the clothes in a film to make them feel soft and wearable, but it comes at a price to our health. They can trigger asthma and may also be endocrine disruptors.

According to the EWG.org, to know if your softener contains quats, check for these ingredients and avoid them: distearyldimonium chloride, diethyl ester dimethyl ammonium chloride, variants of hydroxyethyl methyl ammonium methyl sulfate or the vague terms “biodegradable fabric softening agents” and “cationic surfactant.” 

Watch the Tutorial on YouTube!

Print

Natural Laundry Booster and Softener Recipe

Making your own natural laundry booster recipe and softener is so super easy! 

  • Author: Sara McFall
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Total Time: 5 mins

Ingredients

Scale

Instructions

Mix the two ingredients together. Break up any clumps in the Epsom salts with your hands. 

For HE washers, you need 2 tbsp. For non HE washers, use 1/4 cup. Pour the mixture into the washer drum itself and not into the laundry softener compartment. That's it!

Notes

Essentially the recipe is equal parts of both ingredients. I chose to use 6 cups of each because that is what fills a 1/2 gallon container and it takes a long time to use it up, perfect for this mom of four!

Would You Rather Buy than Make?

Here's a list of natural laundry softeners that have a toxicity rating of “A” on the EWG.org, which means that they're very safe. Click on the link to purchase on Amazon.

Get a Waterproof, Vinyl Label from my Etsy shop

You can get a beautiful recipe label for your natural laundry booster recipe jar! I designed and then had recipe labels professionally printed to make our lives easier! When you go to refill the bottle or jar, you don't have to look up the recipe again. It's printed on the label itself! These are waterproof, vinyl stickers that are high quality and do not pucker or come off even if they get wet.

22 Comments

  1. Just curious why you use Epsom salts? I’ve been making my own with a box of washing soda, box of baking soda, box of borax, 2 bars felsnaptha (Sp?), and a bar of zote. Your recipe is much simpler. What are your thoughts on the ingredients I’ve been using? This farm family of 12 makes a lot of really dirty laundry.
    Thank you for your thoughts.

    1. Hi there! So this is actually not a laundry detergent recipe – I think you might be referring to that? This is a laundry booster and softener recipe. So you’re correct, for a detergent recipe you’d need more ingredients.

  2. This may be a stupid question, but, here goes… I’ve only ever found epsom salt in like a rock salt form. Do you use a more powdered epsom salt, or the crystals form? Yours appears to be a powder.

    1. Hi Teresa! No question is dumb in my opinion. So, yes, mine is very fine. I have a link to the one I purchase on Amazon. Are you in the US? If so, then the link will work for you.

    1. I guess so – I’ve only used citric acid in the dishwasher, not the washing machine, so I don’t know it cleans clothes. Have you read that it cleans clothes?

  3. ? Mary
    Also I read it here: thegreenboutique.co.uk
    The subject: Citric Acid: HOW TO MAKE YOUR SOFTENER AND DISHWASHER RINSE-AID

  4. ? Mary
    I also read it here: thegreenboutique.co.uk
    The subject: HOW TO MAKE YOUR SOFTENER AND DISHWASHER RINSE-AID

    1. I am still confused. Does it go in at the same time as the washing detergent or later, when I would normally add the softener?

    1. Hi Linda! Amazon does print a ship all over the world, so you should be able to get it in the UK. My link here is to the US store, so you might need to log into your UK Amazon account and search for it instead. Thank you!

      1. The Epson salt coconut ? sent has coconut oil ,Jojoba oil fragrance. I also bought Rose pedals and lavender sentence Epson salts .It’s lots of fun .

  5. Hi,Sara,
    I am enjoying g your Clean ‘n Green cleaning recipes!
    I tried to get the link to your laundry stain remover,
    but an error came up.
    Please can you help?

  6. Hello, to my understanding Epsom salt is actually a water hardener because it’s Magnesium Sulfate (MgSO4). Not the same as salt which is Sodium Chloride (NaCl) which is indeed a water softener. More specifically Kosher Coarse ground salt is the purest without the additives that are in table salt.

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