Make your own laundry scent: Tips & tricks for sustainably scented laundry

Frau in weißem T-Shirt hängt in Natur Wäsche auf

Making laundry scent is easy, fun and a sustainable alternative to conventional fabric softener. And the best part: In just a few steps you can create your own laundry scent that will make your clothes and bedding smell fresh and pleasant. Here are some options:

Scented balls for the dryer: Get some dry, clean cotton balls or felt balls and prepare them with a few drops of an essential oil of your choice . Lavender, lemon, rosemary or eucalyptus are popular options. Then let the oil soak in and put the balls in the dryer with your laundry. You are guaranteed to be delighted with the result. Your laundry will absorb the scent and smell heavenly afterwards.

Scented bags: Fill small fabric bags or sachets with fragrant ingredients such as dried lavender or rose petals and make sure you close the bag tightly. You can now place the scented bags in your drawers, between the bed linen or in your wardrobe and benefit from a pleasant scent experience for a long time.

Scented sachet next to lavender blossom on wooden table

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Scented laundry spray: Mix water with a few drops of essential oil and pour the mixture into a spray bottle. Make sure that the essential oil used is water-soluble .

To ensure that the essential oil mixes with the water, you should shake the bottle well before each use. You can then spray your laundry with the subtly scented solution before ironing or before putting it away in the wardrobe .

Scented laundry bags for the dryer: Sew fabric bags and fill them with dried herbs, flowers or spices . Then sew them carefully and put them in the dryer with your laundry.

Essential oils on dryer sheets: Add a few drops of essential oil to a clean, dry towel and place it in the dryer with your laundry. To avoid staining your clothes , however, make sure to use clear oils without exception .

Scented laundry basket: Place fragrant ingredients like lavender or rose petals in the bottom of your laundry basket. Your dirty laundry will absorb the scent. This will help you avoid musty smells that can arise from dirty clothes.

Depending on usage and the intensity of the scent, it may be necessary to replace or refresh the essential oils or scented ingredients regularly . Also, make sure you use high-quality essential oils and remember that some people may be sensitive to certain scents , so test your creations on an inconspicuous area of ​​your laundry before using them on a large area .

What advantages do DIY laundry fragrances have over conventional products?

Homemade laundry scents offer the following advantages in direct comparison to conventional products:

Natural ingredients: When making your own laundry scent, you can use natural ingredients like essential oils and dried herbs . In contrast, many commercial products contain artificial fragrances and chemicals that can potentially cause allergic reactions or irritate sensitive skin.

Individual fragrance creations: Homemade laundry fragrances allow you to create your own fragrance blends that exactly match your taste and preferences. To create unique fragrances, you have the option of combining different essential oils and thus creating fragrance compositions that are not available in conventional products .

No harmful chemicals: Many commercial laundry fragrance products contain chemical additives that can not only be bad for the environment, but are also potentially harmful to your health. Homemade laundry fragrances do not contain these unnecessary chemicals.

Environmentally friendly: By using natural ingredients and avoiding unnecessary packaging , homemade laundry scents help reduce waste and, if released into the outside world, do not contaminate groundwater, making them more environmentally friendly than most conventional products currently available.

Cost-effective: Homemade laundry scents are often more cost-effective than expensive commercial products . Essential oils and other natural ingredients are more economical and can usually be used for longer since they are needed in small quantities.

Adjustable intensity: With DIY laundry scents, you can determine the strength of the scent yourself. To achieve the desired level of scent, you can adjust the amount of essential oils to your needs and thus create individual fragrance compositions .

No animal by-products: Homemade laundry scents are also suitable for people who prefer a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle .

Nature, cow snout

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Creative process: Making your own laundry scent can be creative and satisfying. You can try different methods and ingredients to create the perfect scent for your laundry.

Although homemade laundry scent offers many benefits, it is important to make sure that you use high-quality essential oils when making it and never use them undiluted to minimize possible allergic reactions or damage to fabrics and clothing .

Make your own liquid laundry fragrance: step-by-step instructions

In the following step-by-step instructions, we explain how you can make your own liquid laundry fragrance for your washing machine :

Step 1: Decide on the essential oils you want to use for your laundry scent. You can choose a single essential oil or a blend of several essential oils .

Step 2: Mix one part alcohol (isopropanol or vodka) with two parts distilled water in a bowl. Now add a few drops of your favorite essential oil. Our tip: start with a small amount (10 to 15 drops) and increase it according to the desired intensity.

Step 3: Stir the mixture well to ensure that the essential oils are evenly distributed in the water-alcohol mixture.

Step 4: Now carefully pour the mixture into an empty spray bottle. To avoid spilling anything, you should use a funnel during this process.

Step 5: Lightly spray your laundry with your laundry scent and put it in the machine. If your washing machine has an extra rinse cycle, you should use it. This will ensure that any oil residue is thoroughly rinsed out and no stains are left behind.

Keep in mind that DIY liquid washing machine scents may not keep as long as commercial products , so it's advisable to only make small batches that you can use within a reasonable period of time.

Making natural fabric softeners: Are essential oils suitable for the washing machine?

Essential oils not only give off a pleasant scent. They are also suitable for DIY production of natural fabric softener and can be used in the washing machine. To ensure that the essential oils transfer their scent to your laundry and do not leave unsightly stains or cause damage to your machine, there are a few things to consider when using them:

The right dosage: Essential oils are very concentrated and should only be used sparingly. Do not use too much to avoid stains on clothing or over-fragrance. A few drops are often enough to create a pleasant scent.

Use water-soluble oils: Use essential oils that are water-soluble. Oils such as lavender, lemon, tea tree and eucalyptus are generally suitable for use in the washing machine. Warning: Aroma oils that are not water-soluble could leave residue on your laundry !

Distribution of the oils: To ensure that the essential oils are evenly distributed on the laundry , you can put them on a small cloth or dryer sheet and throw this into the washing machine. To avoid possible stains, you should also make sure that no oil gets directly onto the clothing.

Use an extra rinse cycle: If your washing machine has a rinse cycle, it's a good idea to use it as well. This will ensure that any oil residue is thoroughly rinsed out and no stains are left behind.

Essential oils as laundry fragrance: What you should pay attention to when washing in the washing machine

A natural laundry fragrance based on essential oils is not suitable for delicate clothing . It doesn't matter whether the aroma oils are water-soluble or whether you dilute them. Due to the composition , you would cause stains in the fabric that you would never be able to remove from your beloved clothes.

Also make sure that you don't use too many different oils for your sustainable laundry scent, but always choose one. The resulting scent compositions would simply be too dominant and could, in the worst case, cause headaches and trigger allergies.

Emma Grün Tip: Not all essential oils are suitable for the washing machine. That's why we recommend that you only use water-soluble aroma oils, otherwise your machine will suffer and you will have to pay for it with expensive repairs.


Homemade laundry scents are a wonderful way to make your laundry smell pleasant naturally. However, when making your own laundry scent, remember to test its compatibility with fabrics, skin and household appliances. To ensure that your creations achieve the desired results without causing unwanted effects, it is advisable to use small amounts of the laundry scent at first.

FAQ: Questions & Answers

Are essential oils safe to use in the washing machine?

Yes, essential oils are safe to use in the washing machine as long as they are water soluble and used in appropriate amounts. Also, make sure to use natural essential oils without synthetic additives.

Can I choose any scent for my laundry scent?

You can basically choose any scent you like, but keep in mind that some scents may be stronger than others and not all essential oils are safe for use in the washing machine.

Can I use scented dryer balls in the washing machine?

Scented dryer balls are designed to be used in the tumble dryer as they help soften clothes and absorb scent. They most likely won't have the same effect in the washing machine.

Can you use laundry fragrance on delicate clothes?

Be careful with delicate fabrics, especially if you are applying essential oil directly to clothing. It is advisable to test the fragrance on a small area first to ensure that it does not stain or damage the fibers.

How do I store my homemade laundry scent?

To ensure the shelf life of the essential oils, natural laundry fragrances should be stored in a cool, dry place. To ensure that the ingredients combine optimally, the laundry fragrance bottle should be shaken well before each use.


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