How To Use Essential Oils In Your Laundry

young black man doing his laundry

Essential oils have a refreshing aroma that can last for a long time—a stark contrast to the usual scents of detergents and fabric conditioners. If you have been looking for a refreshing and milder alternative to laundry products, you need not look further than your essential oil kit. Look at the various ways you can use essential oils to improve your laundry experience.

6 Ways To Use Essential Oils In Your Laundry

Add To Your Detergent

Instead of using an artificially scented detergent to wash your clothes, choose an unscented laundry detergent and infuse it with your choice of essential oil or essential oil blend. Not only will your laundry smell like the fragrance you like but you can also adjust the intensity of the aroma to your preference.

woman taking her laundry from the machine

Alternatively, you can make your own laundry detergent with equal parts borax, washing soda, and grated unscented soap. Add hot water, four times the amount of the first three ingredients. Then, add about 20 drops of essential oils, or as much as you like.

DIY Fabric Conditioner

Fabric Conditioner are also notorious for their instance fragrances. You can use a homemade alternative that is not only free of potentially harmful chemicals but also smells better. This DIY fabric softener will make your clothes and sheets soft without the static.

Combine 5 cups of vinegar with 1 cup of baking soda and 15 to 20 drops of essential oil. Use this as you would a store-bought fabric conditioner.

Essential Oil-Infused Wool Dryer Balls

Infusing wool dryer balls with essential oils is another great way to make your laundry smell great. All you need to do is add a few drops of essential oils or blends onto your wool dryer balls and toss them into your dryer with your laundry.

Wool dryer balls make your laundry softer, dry faster, and not get static. It’s also a sustainable choice.

Not only that, it’s also very simple to do. Simply infuse the wool dryer balls with a few drops of essential oil before tossing them into your dryer.

Washing Machine Cleaner

Washing machines can sometimes smell musty or moldy. It could have developed mold, mildew, or fungi from soap residue, which do not only smell bad but are not good for your health. Clean your washing machine with an essential oil cleaner that takes advantage of the anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, and anti-septic capabilities of essential oils.

lemon essential oil

For this purpose, essential oils need the help of baking soda and vinegar, which both have strong anti-septic properties. The baking soda gives your machine a gentle scrub, targeting any soap residues. Meanwhile, the vinegar helps break down molds and other deposits.

Here’s how to clean your washing machine using essential oils:


2 cups of baking soda

Hot Water

2 cups of vinegar

10 drops of tea tree or lemon essential oil


  1. Add 2 cups of baking soda directly to your machine. Run a hot water cycle for a few minutes.
  2. Mix the vinegar and essential oil. Pour the mixture into where you put the detergent. Run it through another hot water cycle.
  3. Once the cycle is done, scrub the drum and agitator with a cloth dipped in vinegar with essential oils.

Essential Oil Linen Spray

You can easily create your own linen spray with the very same essential oils you used for your detergent, fabric conditioner, and wool dryer balls. Spritz your fresh laundry with this linen spray before folding them and storing them in your closet. Doing so will allow the essential oil to seep into the fabric so it will smell fresh even after weeks later when you use your clothes.

Here’s how to make linen spray at home:


10 drops of essential oil

2 tbsp of vodka

Spray bottle

Distilled water


  1. Pour the vodka into the spray bottle
  2. Add essential oil. Adjust the amount depending on your preference.
  3. Fill 3/4 of the bottle with distilled water.
  4. Screw on the top and shake.

Essential Oil Sachets

Another way to keep your laundry smelling fresh is through essential oil sachets. Keep these sachets in your drawers with your clothes and simply freshen up with a few drops of essential oil when you notice the fragrance becoming weaker. This is perfect for clothes and sheets you will not use for a long time. The sachets will keep them smelling fresh for a longer period as long as you replenish the essential oil regularly.

man putting his laundry into a washing machine

This is fairly simple to make. You can use a cloth or a cotton ball. Infuse it with a few drops of essential oil and keep in the corners of your drawers. You can use as little or as many as you like!

What Essential Oils To Use?

For the DIY detergent or washing machine cleaner, it is best to use essential oils that have anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, and anti-septic properties to ensure that your clothes and washing machine are cleaned thoroughly. The good news is most essential oils have one or two of these types of properties. For fabric conditioners, linen sprays, and essential oil sachets, you don’t need to worry much about their functions. Choose the essential oils you find most fragrant. It doesn’t hurt, however, to consider some of their benefits, which have been proven by various studies.

The best essential oils to use for your laundry are:

Lavender – anti-bacterial, antiseptic, relaxing, promotes sleep

Tea tree – ant-bacterial, antiseptic, anti-fungus

Lemon – antiseptic, anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, uplifts the mood

Eucalyptus – antiseptic, antimicrobial,

Orange – anti-bacterial, antiseptic, enhances mood, improves sleep

Rosemary – anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, improves cognitive function, relieves stress

Thyme – anti-bacterial, insect-repellant

Mint – anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, uplifts mood, relaxing

Chamomile – uplifts mood, fights seasonal allergies

Essential oils are extremely versatile liquids. You can find so many uses for any essential oil both for your body and for your home. Adding these potent liquids to your laundry routine will truly elevate your laundry as your fabric will not only smell wonderful, but you will also reap the benefits of aromatherapy.

If you enjoyed reading about how to use your essential oils in the laundry please read more on “unusual uses for essential oils”.


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