If you’re anything like me, you probably love the smell of fresh laundry. But sometimes, clothing can start to smell stale and unpleasant.
One way to combat this is by using fabric softener. Fabric softeners aren’t just for sheets and towels, they can also be used on clothes that are made out of natural fibers (like cotton).
But what if you don’t have fabric softener or you don’t want to use it? Here are some tips for keeping your clothes smelling fresh without using fabric softener.
Why Do My Clothes Not Smell Like Fabric Softener?
There are a few reasons that your clothes may not smell like fabric softeners after a wash.
You may be using too much or too little of it
Fabric softener is designed to be used with your normal amount of laundry detergent. If you use too much, it can leave a residue on your clothes that prevents the fragrance from being absorbed by the fibers in the fabric.
Using less than recommended will result in an ineffective scent and potential damage to your clothes over time.
Your water is hard
Hard water contains minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and iron that can leave a deposit on your laundry when it’s washed.
This can cause problems with rinsing out all of the soap before its job is done, which could lead to some odors not being removed from your garments as well as they should be.
How to Keep Your Clothes Smelling Like Fabric Softener
Make house odor-free
If your house smells like cigarette smoke or pets, it’s going to be tough for you to get rid of the odors in your clothing. First, make sure that your home is odor-free. Odors in the house can permeate into the fibers of clothing and cause them to smell bad.
Use vinegar in the rinse cycle
Vinegar can be used as a fabric softener substitute. It’s an inexpensive and natural alternative to store-bought laundry products. You can add vinegar to your wash cycle or add it directly to the rinse cycle instead of using fabric softener.
Use baking soda in the wash cycle
Baking soda is another great alternative for fabric softeners. It can be added directly to the wash cycle or sprinkled on top of your clothes before putting them into the dryer after washing them.
Add essential oils
Essential oils are another alternative for adding scents to your laundry. Add 5-10 drops of essential oil directly onto each item or mix them together into a spray bottle and spray onto each item before tossing it into the washing machine or dryer (you may need to shake up your spray bottle first).
This is my favorite brand because it’s so concentrated and lasts for months. You only need one capful per load, which means you’ll have enough left over from the bottle to last through three or four loads at least.
It also doesn’t leave any residue or build-up in your washer or dryer, which is important because those can cause problems down the road.
The scent is light and fresh but also long-lasting, even after drying, which is what makes this my favorite choice.
Store clothes with dryer sheets
If you store your clothes in a closet or cabinet, make sure to use dryer sheets on them to keep them smelling fresh and clean. These handy little sheets are great for making sure that everything smells nice and clean, even if it’s just hanging up on the rack waiting for its next wear.
Freshen closet air with baking soda
If you’re dealing with musty odors or just want to remove any lingering smells in your closet, try baking soda. Sprinkle some on top of your clothes or in a bowl and let them sit for about 15 minutes before putting them away.
Be sure to use natural varieties of baking soda without any added scents or fragrances so that it doesn’t leave behind any unwanted scents in your clothes.
Use air fresheners
If you want something more long-lasting than just cleaning your house, try buying an air freshener for each room in your home and keeping them turned on at all times when you’re not there. This will help mask any lingering odors that might be in the air around your clothes hampers and closets.
Put coffee grounds in your closet
Coffee grounds are a natural deodorizer. The smell-absorbing properties of coffee grounds make them ideal for getting rid of unwanted odors from your closet. Put coffee grounds in an open container in your closet to absorb odors. You can also sprinkle some on the carpet before vacuuming to get rid of bad smells.
Don’t overfill your washer
The best way to avoid excess residue is by not overloading your machine with too many items or adding too much detergent. If you’re using a water-softening detergent in addition to a fabric softener, make sure that it’s the first thing in the drum.
Use cold water when possible
Hot water opens up the fibers of your clothing more than cold water does and makes it easier for any soap or chemicals left behind by the softener to “settle in” and stay there for longer periods of time.
Cold water also helps prevent wrinkling by keeping wrinkles from forming during drying cycles after washing cycles have ended.
Its A Wrap
If you find that your clothes start lacking their signature scent, don’t lose heart. It is possible to get them back, and it’s a fairly straightforward process. Just follow these steps and soon you’ll be smelling like fresh laundry every time you get dressed.