Back in 2008, Dustin and I made a decision to change our eating habits.
I know, many of you have heard this story before, but hang with me…there’s a point to this story!
Our goal was to eat less processed food and enjoy more “real” food, a word that I learned from reading Michael Pollan’s books. This goal took us down many different roads: veganism, vegetarianism, and finally the discovery of something called pastured bacon (hallelujah!!). To be fully honest, at the time I thought our decision was one that would simply change our meals, nothing more. I never thought for one single second that our decision to eat real food (the stuff that actually comes from the ground or an animal, not altered substances) would change the way we clean, what we use on our skin, and even the way we do laundry.
Oh how I was wrong!
That one decision resulted in a total lifestyle change for our young family.
Today, our lifestyle is radically different than it was back in 2008. Our family is larger and noisier (hey kiddos!), our food is made with real ingredients, and we are more informed about the products we buy or make.
In fact, that decision seven years ago has so dramatically changed our lives for the better that I now write this little online space and call you an online friend. Together we share in the joy of making homemade (or better store-bought) products, creating recipes with real ingredients, and talking about simplifying this natural lifestyle.
Okay guys, you stuck around until the end of my story, so let’s get to the big news…
After years and years of learning how to simplify my home with natural cleaning products, I’m so excited to announce that I’ve been working on a new eBook. This book is the first in a DIY series to help you simplify natural living. In the book, I’m sharing cleaning recipes, lots of photos (I’m a visual person), tips and tricks for creating a clean and simple home using natural products, and how to determine what to buy versus make. The new book will be out November 27rd. I can’t wait to share this resource with you!
And if you’re reading this post after November 23rd, thanks for listening to me…the book is now out. A little Back To The Future for ya ;).
Today’s DIY recipe is an example of just one of the cleaning recipes in the new book: a homemade laundry softener. Just like every single recipe in the book, this recipe is easy to make and uses common household ingredients. In fact, the entire recipe calls for just two ingredients: salt and an essential oil. The final result is a natural laundry softener that also works to eliminate odors and freshen clothes. The whole process is a simple, yet effective one. The salt works to soften water and clothing or linens. The essential oil is used to provide extra cleaning power and a very light scent boost to stinky, dirty garments.
Two ingredients and two minutes, that’s it! You’ve got this!
Homemade Laundry Softener and Scent Booster
- 4-5 cups coarse sea salt or kosher, usually a 3lb box (I purchase the cheap boxes of salt from Costco and my grocery store--$2.00/box)
- 1-2 tsp lavender essential oil peppermint, lemon, or lemongrass.
- Pour the salt into a large storage container (make sure it's wide enough to mix or shake the salt with the essential oil--I use a bowl, then pour the final mixture into my container). Add the essential oil, then mix the salt and essential oil with a spoon or whisk (or shake the container). Seal the container. I usually let the mixture rest for 24 hours to allow the essential oil to infuse the salt.
- TO USE: Add 1/2-1 cup of salt to the washer per load. This will vary on your water so test out different amounts to see what works best for you. The salt may be added at the same time as the laundry soap. Add the salt directly to the washer basin with the clothes.
*Essential Oil Note: The essential oil will not add a strong scent to the garments once they’re dry, not like a commercial laundry softener and scent booster (think: Downy). The scent will be subtle and fresh. Due to the cost of essential oils, I use a cheaper yet still reputable brand like NOW for laundry purposes. NOW sells some oils, like lavender, in bulk bottles. The essential oil may also be skipped, if desired.
This recipe can easily be doubled or even tripled.
Will using salt as the basis for the laundry booster not cause the inside of your washing machine components to Rust
It shouldn’t make your washing machine rust. The salt isn’t sitting in the machine and you’re not using a massive amount–a very very small amount.
Hi Kristin, For the coarse salt, is it OK to use dishwasher salt?
Hey Alex, I’m not sure what dishwasher salt is. I would stick with a coarse sea salt or table salt if possible.
How much of the softener/scent do I need the add per load?
I have the same question…how much to use per load?M
Hey Marcia, I apologize, for some reason the “to use” went missing. I’ve updated the recipe. Add 1/2-1 cup of salt to the washer per load. This will vary on your water so test out different amounts to see what works best for you. The salt may be added at the same time as the laundry soap. Add the salt directly to the washer basin with the clothes.
Hey Laurie, I apologize for completely missing your comment. It’s been a while, but I wanted to come back and update with an answer: Add 1/2-1 cup of salt to the washer per load. This will vary on your water so test out different amounts to see what works best for you. The salt may be added at the same time as the laundry soap. Add the salt directly to the washer basin with the clothes.
Do you use the salt fabric softener with the vinegar or is it one or the other?
Hey Jane, It’s one or the other.