If you like your clothes to be static-free, comfy, and fresh-smelling, use an eco-friendly fabric softener when doing your laundry. Conditioners soften textiles and reduce static cling. Some even add a beautiful scent to your garments.
In many ways, they keep your clothes soft and fresh. You can use liquid fabric softeners, natural dryer balls, or dryer sheets. However, dryer balls and sheets tend to leave laundry scratchier than liquids.
And the dryer isn't the most environmentally friendly device at home. It consumes an absurd amount of energy and can damage your clothes. Air drying your clothes is a more eco-conscious alternative. Hang them up on a hanger to help them dry naturally.
Note that fabric softeners are optional. In general, you should avoid them when washing bath towels and fragile or synthetic fabrics, such as those used in athletic sportswear.
Most textile conditioners also contain toxic ingredients that damage your skin and the environment, such as plastics, phosphates, synthetic fragrances, benzyl acetate, toluene, and chloroform.
The best affordable and eco-friendly fabric softeners replace the synthetic chemicals found in traditional conditioners with natural and plant-based ingredients.
I've done a lot of research and hard work for you so that you can buy any of the below affordable fabric softeners, knowing that they adhere to the highest environmental standards.
I've got you covered if you also need tips on how to properly do your laundry, or have questions about what detergent to use, what to wash together, and common mistakes to avoid.
Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day Fabric Softener contains a large majority of natural ingredients, including softening agents from plant sources. It uses cotton extract and other plant sources to soften your clothes.
Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day Fabric Softener also adds essential oils to give your laundry a fresh fragrance. It reduces static cling and adds a lavender scent to your clothes.
Method Fresh Air is an eco-friendly fabric conditioner full of naturally derived softening power. It uses an innovative formula to reduce static cling while making clothes and linens soft enough to cuddle.
Method Fresh Air also adds a fresh scent to your laundry. All its functional ingredients are naturally derived and come from renewable plant-based materials, abundant minerals, or water.
Ecover is an affordable brand of eco-friendly fabric conditioners that keep your laundry luxuriously soft and add delicate fragrances. They make ironing a breeze using gentle plant-based ingredients that protect your skin.
Ecover doesn't use any animal testing or petrochemical ingredients. It guarantees a low impact on ecosystems, wildlife, and the environment through natural, biodegradable ingredients.
Seventh Generation Free and Clear is an eco-friendly fabric softener made with plant-based ingredients. It's a USDA certified Biobased product made without dyes or synthetic fragrances.
Seventh Generation uses a natural softening agent that reduces static without the use of animal-derived ingredients. It promotes plant-based, healthy, safe, and biodegradable products.
Ecozone Happiness is an affordable, tallow-free, and eco-friendly fabric conditioner that contains natural plant extracts. It keeps your laundry and fabrics lovingly soft for 37 washes.
Ecozone uses pure ingredients to make your clothes feel gentle and forgiving against your skin. Happiness has a breathtaking exotic scent, with top notes of peach, pineapple, apple, and coconut. It's also available in Radiance, Purity, and Innocence fragrances.
Bio-D makes a sweet-smelling, lavender fabric conditioner. It's an eco-friendly and delicately fragranced softener that protects fibers and leaves clothes soft and static-free.
Bio-D Lavender Fabric Conditioner contains pure lavender essential oil. It's ethical, vegan, cruelty-free, pet-friendly, and packaged in a recycled container made with UK post-consumer waste bottles.
Ecomax uses the potent power of plant-based, biodegradable ingredients to keep your clothes and fabrics their softest. Its affordable, eco-friendly, and gentle fabric softener reduces static cling without harsh chemicals.
Ecomax uses an effective formula that’s easy on you and the planet. It protects colors and softens fibers with high-performing, plant-based, sustainable ingredients.
Greenscents Laundry Conditioner is a fabric conditioning cream that keeps clothes and linens soft and comfortable. It makes your fabrics wonderfully easy to iron.
Greenscents uses a unique, organic formula in Minty, Citrus, or Lavender blends. The family business pioneers affordable, sustainable, and ethical solutions for household and laundry products.
Grove Co. makes an eco-friendly liquid fabric softener that keeps your laundry soft and cozy while eliminating plastic waste. It doesn't contain any animal-based softening agents, parabens, phthalates, formaldehyde, phosphates, petroleum, or synthetic fragrance.
Grove Co. uses instead 84% plant-based ingredients, including a high-performing natural softener that reduces static. You can choose between unscented (Free & Clear) and a refreshing scent (Lavender & Rosemary).
Natural and homemade fabric softeners are arguably the most affordable and eco-friendly alternatives to traditional conditioners. They are healthy and safe for your skin and the planet.
Opting for an easy DIY solution can even save you money. You can create your sustainable fabric softener at home without any extra equipment. Use natural, white vinegar like Heinz blended in water to soften your clothes without damaging the environment.
Don't worry, your clothes won't smell like vinegar. You can also add an aromatic scent to your laundry with the essential oils of your choice. Be careful not to use too much vinegar as some fragile colors may fade.
You can use the scented vinegar in place of a traditional fabric conditioner. This mixture will eliminate static, give a soft feel, and add a fresh scent to your clothes.
Vinegar is a great natural, homemade, affordable, and eco-friendly fabric conditioner. It also eliminates common soapy residue, makes your clothes last longer, and smell better.
About the Author: Alex Assoune
Alex Assoune (MS) is a global health and environmental advocate. He founded Panaprium to inspire others with conscious living, ethical, and sustainable fashion. Alex has worked in many countries to address social and environmental issues. He speaks three languages and holds two Master of Science degrees in Engineering from SIGMA and IFPEN schools.