DIY Laundry Fabric Softener Crystals

I love Purex Crystal Laundry Fabric Softener! However, I find it a little too expensive so I only buy it once in a while. Fortunately, when announcing Laundry Week here at PinTried-it a reader commented how she would love to make her own Purex Fabric Softener Crystals. I immediately headed to Pinterest and found a quick DIY how-to guide to making your own laundry fabric softener crystals! Of course, I tried it out right away!



The essential oil is not necessary if you do not want it scented and just want the softening power.

If you use fragrance be sure to keep in an air tight container or Ziploc bag so the scent does not escape.

The amount you use per load is up to you. I am using about 1/2 cup per average size load.

You can control the scent power by adding more or less.

I bought Ice Cream Salt because it was a lot cheaper ($1.57 for 4 lbs!) and according to the ingredient list is simply Sea Salt!



I tested this out on a load of towels and jeans. It smelled great but didn’t seem to have a strong enough scent. I

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more fragrance oil to my mixture- another 20-30 drops (I eye-balled it). After I added more my next load of clothes smell GREAT!! I loved folding them because it stirred up the smell!! haha I even went around the house finding blankets to wash so my house would smell good.

My clothes, especially the towels, were also super soft!!

I will definitely be adding these fabric softener crystals

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to the handmade laundry soap mixture!



  1. Faith says

    Okay, so this might sound dumb, but I haven’t tried the store bought crystals yet. Do you just put them in when you start the wash or does it have to be at a certain point int he cycle?

  2. says

    I cannot wait to try this! I love Purex Crystals too and the bottle we have is just about gone. Think I will order me some essential oils and do this. Looks cheaper and also I would have more options as far as scent goes because the Purex Crystals only come in a few “flavors.”

  3. Marti says

    I have a question that may seem silly. I am new to essential oils and I’m not sure when I google things if I am looking at the right stuff. lol I was curious if you could give me information on what you’ve used, some different brands, the cheapest option and where to buy them. I would need to order online unless you can buy something like this at Walmart. (I live in the middle of nowhere!)

    • Cassie says

      Hello Marti, I live in the middle of nowhere to! πŸ™‚ I buy my fragrance oil at Wal-mart. get it in the isle with the candles and warmers and things like that. I use the “fresh linen sent” oil. You can get a small bottle for $0.88 or a larger one for around $2. I hope this helps! πŸ™‚

    • Miranda says

      It does not. I use them in cold water. I thought hot water would be important so the crystal would dissolve but from my experience- cold water is just fine.

    • Cassie says

      I think that the only difference would be that canning salt is fine-grained than Ice cream salt, but I bet they would work the same way.

  4. alandou says

    what water temp do you have to use? will the salt melt in cold water? I dont want to use this and then pull my clothing out with salt crystals still on them, kwim?

    • Cassie says

      I understand your concern Alandou. I thought the same thing when I tried them out. I can assure you that you won’t have salt crystals even if you use cold water. I use cold water in mine and they work just fine. πŸ™‚

    • Cassie says

      It might be a seasonal thing t buy at Wal-mart? If there is a place that your Wal-mart sells Ice cream makers I would think that would be a good place to start. I have also seen the salt at Rural King.

    • Cheryl says

      Hello Sara,
      I have found the exact same ice cream salt used in the tutorial at Walmart. It is in the same isle you buy regular table salt in (I think either baking or spice isle…) At my Walmart it is on the very bottom shelf next to the larger pour spout containers of table salt. Hope this helps. πŸ™‚

  5. Molly says

    I just wanted to say essential oils and fragrance oils are not the same thing. Use 100%essential oils for a non toxic fabric softener and you also won’t need as many drops, probably only half. :). Making this tonight!

  6. says

    Okay, so I did this just now. Just because I love the Pyrex crystals but they are so expensive! Plus I love cheap stuff, hehe. Anyways, so I just have this question. In Pyrex crystals you add them in the wash cycle do you do the same w this homemade one? Or when do you add it? Thanks πŸ™‚

    • Miranda says

      I always add mine before I put in the clothes, as the water is running. My habit is to start the water, add my detergent and crystals. Then I put the clothes in.

  7. Jazzmen says

    My daughters allergic to the essential oil, would it be okay to mix some softner into it for smell? I love gain and wondered if that would work.

    • Amy says

      Your daughter is probably allergic to the non-natural scented oils that are thought to be essential oils. Pure essential oils come from plants and there are no fillers in them. In other words, if you got something labeled as essential oils at Wal-Mart or a craft store, they’re probably not pure.

      Spark Naturals is a good essential oil company to try out. They have a store in Utah and also a website to order from. Their prices are also quite reasonable for pure oils.

  8. Nancy says

    I read that you add the salt crystals in the beginning of the wash cycle. Doesn’t the rinse cycle wash away the softening effect?

  9. Bri says

    I would like to start out by saying that this is a fabulous method for softening laundry! I found this post via Pinterest and I now use this method instead of using store bought softener. The only thing I would like to say about it is to use caution with the fragrance oils from Walmart. These oils are not the same as essential oils in any way. The Walmart oils are for oil burners and potpourri only. I actually have a bottle from a few years back and this is the warning on the bottle: “Caution: EYE IRRITANT. Avoid contact with eyes, skin, and clothing.”

    These oils are full of chemicals and I suspect the main ingredient is alcohol (based on the smell). I also live in the middle of nowhere and don’t have access to any stores that carry true essential oils. I have been ordering mine on and if you watch the site, you can usually get them on sale. I have been using the lavender and love it. I think I paid around $7.99 for the bottle I got (NOW brand). It is definitely more costly than the fragrance oils, but still MUCH cheaper than buying the store bought softener. Sorry to make this so long! I just want to stress again that I’m not trying to be negative in any way! Thank you again for this “recipe”. It has helped change my life!

  10. MrsJennyK says

    I did 1 cup of epsom salts to 20 drops of rose essential oil (from Whole Foods). I measured the capacity of the Purex cap (1/4 cup) and used that same amount for the first load. No scent πŸ™

    Second load had the same result. I’ve read elsewhere that the essential oils didn’t really add any scent to the clothes. I’m totally addicted to the blast of scent the Purex gives and that’s what I’m trying to duplicate.

    I’m going to try adding more oil to the salts and maybe double the amount of salts I use in a load. Had anyone else had this experience, and have you found a solution?

  11. Jos says

    I believe that Purex crystals is now a scent booster only. So I was thinking mixing the epsom salt with the booster to make it last longer. Thoughts?

    • Cassie says

      I bet that would work if you want the Purex crystal sent, and just want to stretch it. Plus the salt will help as a fabric softener! If you try it, let us know how it works! Thanks for the comment Jos πŸ™‚

    • Cassie says

      I have used this for about a year now and I have never noticed any staining on any of my clothing at all. I really love it!!!

  12. Heather says

    You can also use Epsom salt, which is found for 1.00 in Walmart for a carton πŸ™‚ even cheaper, same results same great smell!

  13. Ashia says

    I appreciate the test it’s saving me a lot of wasted time. My question is can this be used in the warmer as you’ve done with the purex crystals? It would find it definitely beneficial.

    • Miranda says

      I wouldnt put it in a warmer. The unstoppables is what we used in the warmer- it has more of a wax texture. The salt might burn or catch on fire. But you can definitely put a few drops of essential oil onto a warmer.

  14. says

    So I made a recipe the same as this one a few weeks ago and the first load I tried it out on was dark clothes. I have been using Purex crystals, Gain Fireworks, and Downy unstoppables since the came out. They all are an expense that I hesitated for a while to spend but once I did I was hooked. So I was so excited once I found the recipe for the diy purex crystals with epson salt, well when the load was finished I noticed as i was putting my clothes in the dryer that they had faded a little bit, they smelt great though. I used the rest of the batch only in towels and linens. I used all natural EO’s do you think the ice cream salt will have the same effect as the epson salt and fade my clothes also?

  15. says

    You cannot use Epsom salts to soften water as they are not true salt, but magnesium sulfate. Magnesium sulfate will actually make hard water, which will not only impair your detergent, but also create a scum or film on the clothes. This is probably why the last post experienced what looked like fading. Use salt. If you have used Epsom salt, a few washes with vinegar may help remove the film.

    • Linda L. says

      I had never heard that before, but mulling it over, that kind of makes sense. I use Epsom Salt in my fabric softener and dish tablets….maybe will switch to ice cream salt?

  16. Joy Clark says

    I was about to give up on homemade Purex. But Rhonda saved the day! Epsom salts left my clothes not soft, and no scent, even with essential oils (30 drops). So I will now try ice cream salt or sea salt. Anyone ever try table salt? Just curious. Thanks

  17. David Wilkerson says

    I have been doing a lot of research on this. I have found a way to reduce the cost even more. They sell a 40lb pound bag of Morton pool salt at Walmart for $6.49 where I live. It is the exact same thing as ice cream salt just a little smaller in size. It is purified and cleaned in the exact same way all other salts are. And being as it is a little bit smaller in size than ice cream salt it will dissolve easier especially in cold water.

  18. Deanna says

    Hi, I found you on Pinterest! Thank you for this recipe. I just mixed it up and added Rosemary essential oils. It smells better than any store purchased fabric softener. Can’t wait to try it!

  19. Heather says

    Ok I have made these and love them… Couple questions though.. First, I want to make this for my inlaws for Christmas gift but they have HE washer.. can these be used in those washers? Also, My clothes do seem softer but I don’t notice a smell and I used 30+ drops of CPTG essential oils. Any suggestions on actually getting that scent in my clothes?


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