Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Why You Need to STOP Making Laundry Fabric Softener Crystals with Epsom Salt (and What to Use Instead)

While I was waiting to buy a replacement dryer I had to line dry laundry in the bathroom. Our laundry was stiff, but the towels were more  absorbent because I didn’t have laundry softener coating my laundry and dryer making both of them less efficient- the same thing goes for sweat wicking workout gear.

A friend clued me in that my clothes felt stiff when I line dried them because I was using too much laundry detergent to wash them.  I easily fixed that by measuring the detergent for each load instead of eyeballing it and popping a couple of dryer balls to fluff everything up while it is in the new dryer.

Sometimes I still get static cling in the dryer during winter which is why I tried Purex Laundry Softener Crystals when they first came out. It worked well with the bonus of making my laundry smell pretty again after I switched to using DIY powdered laundry detergent.

Until it stopped working.

My laundry smelled pretty but it wasn’t soft anymore.

How to Make All Natural and Non Toxic Laundry Fabric Softener Crystals (like Purex) for Cheap



After comparing ingredient lists and a little digging, Purex removed the softening agents ( bentonite and sucrose) and changed the name to Purex Laundry Enhancer. I confirmed this with Popular Science’s review of the original formula “Detergent washes oil based softeners away as if they were dirt, but these sucrose-based crystals soak into fabrics and stick” (emphasis mine.)

According to the ingredients on the bottle old formula, the active ingredients are: Sodium chloride (salt,) Bentonite (an absorbent clay,) and sucrose (sugar) – three things I already have at home.
The rest of the ingredients are preservatives, artificial fragrances and colors which I can do without thankyouverymuch. My favorite essential oil makes a better substitute.

Caution
DO NOT use Epsom salt in your homemade laundry crystal recipe! Common salt or sodium chloride, (NaCl) is a water softener. Water softener systems remove magnesium, calcium, iron and other minerals from your water. Epsom salts are magnesium sulfate, (MgSO4.)  Epsom Salts increase the amount of magnesium in your water making it harder which is fantastic for soaking sore muscles but will not soften your clothing.

 
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You will need:

Salt –  I’m using Kosher Salt because I happen to have an extra on hand. Table salt, ice cream rock salt works. according to Leaf” “Table salt, kosher salt and sea salt are all at least 97.5 percent sodium chloride, though sea salt also contains minerals like iodine, magnesium and potassium.” As long as it is sodium chloride, knock yourself out.

Sugar

Bentonite clay

The essential oil of your choice. I’m using lavender because it is dog and child safe (and I like the smell.). I’m also hoping on the off chance it discourages moths in our clothes. I usually buy my lavender essential from Amazon because it is easier.

I like and rely on these ingredients so much I have no problem recommend it to you (and using my affiliate link.) So throw me a bone and make a purchase through my links if you have a need. Thanks for helping us keep the lights on at Lazy Budget Chef!

Step by step how to make it:

1. Thoroughly mix I part salt, one quarter part bentonite clay, and one quarter part sugar together. Don’t worry if your measurements are not exact. You can also adjust the ratio based on your preference or the amount of each ingredient you happen to have at the time.

2. If you want your homemade laundry softener scented, add ten to thirty drops of essential oil to the mix.. If you want more scent use more essential oil. If you want less scent, use less essential oil. There is no right or wrong, just follow your nose!

3. Store the mixture in an air tight container.

To use: Add two to three tablespoons to the laundry in the washing machine drum.and wash your laundry as usual.

Do NOT put the laundry softener crystals into your washing machine soap dispenser if you have one.

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