How Can I Make my Laundry Smell Good Without Harsh Chemicals

If you’ve ever pulled your clothes out of the machine and sunk your nose into them, you’ll appreciate the importance of smell in confirming your clothes are really clean.

Certainly, the right aroma can be intoxicating and can stay present throughout the day. But, have you ever stopped to consider what creates this effect?

The short answer is harsh chemicals. Fabric softener and other washing products are full of chemicals that will enhance the smell. However, these potentially irritating chemicals will be in constant contact with your body and may have long-term side effects.

That’s why you need to consider if a nontoxic laundry soap is the right option for you. The good news is that there are other options:

The Natural Alternative

You’ll want to look for a product that says ‘biodegradable’. Even better, the product will say ‘no bleach’, or ‘NPE free’.

These types of specially formulated laundry detergent don’t have harsh chemicals, but will still clean your clothes and leave them smelling good. This is true even if you’re dealing with smelly sportswear.


Add 10 drops of lavender essential oil to a spray bottle of water and spray each item of clothing before you put it into your machine. You don’t need to add detergent as the rubbing motion of garments in your wash agitates dirt and removes it.

The lavender water will leave your clothes clean and smelling great. If you’re not a fan of lavender, then rose, or something similar will have the same effect.


Citrus oils can be used in the same way as lavender. The difference it is best to mix these with one cup of bicarbonate of soda, ½ cup borax, and one cup of white vinegar. 20 drops of citrus essential oils should be sufficient.

Then simply add it to your wash in the same way you would any other detergent.

Wool Balls

You can actually make these yourself, although purchasing them is also a viable option.

Simply wrap some 100% wool yarn around two of your fingers, at least 12 times. Slide it off and tie it to stop it unraveling. You can then make 3 more and slide each one into one leg of some pantyhose. Tie a knot between each ball and then pace the string of wool balls in the washing machine.

They’ll then need to go through the dryer before you add 3 drops of your preferred essential oil and use them with your washing.


Vinegar has a harsh smell. But, it can be combined with the essential oil of your choice to make an aromatic and pleasant smell.

Simply add a little to your washing cycle with 3-4 drops of essential oil, the result will be impressive.

DIY Soap

Grate one bar of soap, or put it into a food processor to ensure it is really fine. You can then mix it with 2 cups of washing soda and 20 drops of any essential oil, you can choose the aroma that you like the most.

Once ready you should store it in an air-tight jar and use as you would any other detergent.

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