How to Make Laundry Soft

There's nothing quite like the feeling of grabbing a freshly washed blanket out of the dryer, or putting on your favourite sweats and feeling the softness of the fabric on your skin. But sometimes, your laundry doesn't come out as soft as you would like, mostly due to detergent residue and minerals in the water. Commercial fabric softeners can soften your laundry; however, the cost of these products adds up and they often contain harsh ingredients or heavy scents. Instead, soften your laundry with inexpensive products you likely already have in your cabinets.

Toss 1 cup of distilled white vinegar into the rinse cycle of the washer. Vinegar is non-toxic and will dissolve the alkaline in detergent, which can leave your clothes feeling stiff.

Add ½ cup baking soda to the wash water along with your regular detergent. Baking soda will not only soften your laundry, but remove odours as well.

Soften your hard water, which will in turn soften your laundry, by adding ½ cup borax powder to the wash water. Borax will also help to brighten your whites and get your clothes cleaner.

Use the right amount of detergent. Follow the instructions on the detergent bottle and use only the amount directed. Adding too much detergent to the wash can reduce softness in the laundry.


Baking soda, vinegar and borax can all be used in conjunction with one another. Do not use vinegar and chlorine bleach together in the washer. The vapours this combination produces can be harmful.

Things You'll Need

  • 1 cup distilled white vinegar
  • ½ cup baking soda
  • ½ cup borax
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About the Author

Kimbry Parker has been writing since 1998 and has published content on various websites. Parker has experience writing on a variety of topics such as health, parenting, home improvement and decorating. She is a graduate of Purdue University with a Bachelor of Arts in organizational communication.