5 Best Eco Friendly Fabric Softener for Your Laundry in 2024

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Have you ever wondered how to keep your laundry feeling soft and fresh while also reducing your environmental impact?

In a world that’s becoming increasingly conscious of its carbon footprint, even your choice of fabric softener can play a pivotal role in preserving our planet.

Therefore, as someone who is passionate about sustainable living and environmentally friendly cleaning, I am writing these reviews to help you make an informed choice when purchasing natural and biodegradable fabric softeners.

I researched each product thoroughly to ensure the results were reliable. And I found that 9 Elements Laundry Purifying Softener Liquid is the best overall eco-friendly fabric softener for you to try.

But, depending on your specific needs, there are other equally great eco-friendly laundry softener that could be the best option for you.

Let’s get started.

Best Overall For You
9 Elements Laundry Purifying Softener Liquid
9.8
  • Vinegar-powered solution
  • EPA Safer Choice
  • 100% Essential Oil
Best Budget Option
Dropps Fabric Softener Pods
9.7
  • Mineral-Based Ingredients
  • Aromatherapy scent
  • Cardboard Packaging
Best Green Option
Seventh Generation Fabric Softener Sheets
9.6
  • Good for sensitive skin
  • USDA-certified formula
  • Reduces static cling

Our Best Eco-Friendly Clothes Softener for Your Home

  1. 9 Elements Laundry Purifying Softener Liquid
  2. Dropps Fabric Softener Pods
  3. Seventh Generation Fabric Softener Sheets
  4. Molly’s Suds All Natural Fabric Softener Dryer Sheets
  5. Arm Hammer Fabric Softener Sheets
Top 5 Best Eco-Friendly Detergent Liquid To Use In Laundry Routine

5 Best Eco-Friendly Fabric Softener For Your Laundry Routine

We thoroughly reviewed and researched all the eco-friendly fabric softeners listed here, considering their customer reviews, ingredients, overall effectiveness, and value for money.

Here are our top 5 picks for eco-friendly fabric softeners for you to consider :

1. 9 Elements Laundry Purifying Softener Liquid

  • First 5 ingredients: Water, Citric Acid, Sodium Citrate, Propylene Glycol, Vinegar
  • Key feature: Vinegar Powered Clean, Plant-Based Products, Detoxifying
  • Type of Product: Liquid
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Best for: Cleaned and softened clothes well without leaving a strong vinegar scent behind

9 Elements Laundry Purifying Softener Liquid is a great option for those looking to purify their fabrics from hard water metals and trapped odours.

Its vinegar-powered solution strips away residues and odours without leaving a strong vinegar scent behind.

One of the best things about 9 Elements is its commitment to using only necessary ingredients. The formula has no artificial preservatives, dyes, thickeners, or brighteners, making it gentle on sensitive skin and eco-friendly.

The refreshing eucalyptus scent is also derived from 100% essential oils, making it a natural and gentle fragrance that doesn’t irritate.

9 Elements Liquid Softener cleans clothes exceptionally well and makes the clothes smell fresh. It can also remove deodorant stains from clothing, which is often difficult to do. Moreover, it doesn’t leave any residue on the clothes.

On the downside, it comes in a small bottle that might not be the best value for money, and there have been some complaints about leaking during shipment due to improper packaging.

If you want a natural, eco-friendly fabric softener that leaves clothes feeling soft, smelling fresh, and free of impurities, 9 Elements Laundry Purifying Softener Liquid is a great choice. It’s vinegar-based, too.

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2. Dropps Fabric Softener Pods

  • First 5 ingredients: Mineral-Based Ingredients, Lavender, Eucalyptus
  • Key features: Gentle Softening, Calming Scents, Cardboard Packaging
  • Type of Product: Powder
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Best for: Softness and relaxing scent without sticky residues

Consider trying Dropps Fabric Softener Pods if you want a fabric softener that is effective and environmentally friendly.

The cardboard box packaging comes in three different pod options: 32, 64, and 120, providing sustainable packaging while saving space and reducing shipping costs.

Plus, these pods are made with mineral-based cleaning to keep your laundry looking and feeling great while reducing wrinkles.

Say goodbye to plastic jugs of fabric softener, and be confident knowing that these lightly scented pods will deliver softness, static protection, and smell clean.

The lavender and cool eucalyptus scent bring aromatherapy to your laundry room, making it an even more enjoyable experience. And most importantly, it reduces pilling, static cling, and fuzzing, making your clothes last longer.

Though Dropps Fabric Softener Pods are a bit more expensive than traditional liquid fabric softeners, you only need one pod for a regular load and two for a large/bulky load, making them a great value for the price.

Additionally, they contain no dyes or artificial junk, making them a great option for those with sensitive skin or allergies.

The only downside to these pods is that sometimes they don’t dissolve fully, but that’s a small tradeoff for an environmentally conscious, effective fabric softener that’s great for your clothes. 

Overall, it’s definitely worth giving it a try!

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3. Seventh Generation Fabric Softener Sheets

  • First 5 ingredients: Acacia Decurrens (mimosa) flower extract, Citronellol, Lavandula Anugstifolia, Mentha Viridis, Flower oil 
  • Key feature: Non-irritating to Skin, Plant-derived Formula, Softens and Reduces Static Cling 
  • Type of Product: Sheet
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Best for: Safe for skin and does not cause irritation.

Seventh Generation Fabric Softener Sheets offers a natural and sustainable option for fabric softening and controlling static cling.

The USDA-certified biobased formula is made from natural plant-based essential oils and is free of synthetic fragrances and dyes, making it a great option for people with sensitive skin.

One of the most significant advantages of these sheets is that you only have to use half of a sheet for the same result as a whole sheet, making it cost-effective.

The aroma of the sheets is long-lasting and not overpowering, while the sheets clean extremely well.

However, some people report that they are not as effective in controlling static during cold, dry weather.

Additionally, the product is a bit expensive compared to other fabric softener sheets.

Seventh Generation Fabric Softener Sheets are a good choice for those who want a natural, sustainable option for softening laundry and reducing static cling.

Although they may not be the most budget-friendly and may not work as well in extreme weather conditions, they are perfect for eco-conscious individuals who are mindful of their skin sensitivity.

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4. Molly’s Suds All Natural Fabric Softener Dryer Sheets

  • First 5 ingredients: C16-18 Glycerides, Di-(Palm Carboxyethyl) Hydroxyethyl, Methylammonium Methyl Sulfates, C16-18 Fatty Acids, Natural Fragrances
  • Key feature: Made with Essential Oils, No Animal-derivatives, Recycled and Recyclable Cardboard Packaging
  • Type of Product: Sheet
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Best for: Environmentally safe biodegradable materials

Molly’s Suds All Natural Fabric Softener Dryer Sheets are a great alternative to traditional dryer sheets, using plant-based softeners to leave clothes soft and static-free.

The pure essential oils used in these sheets give a light and refreshing scent without waxes, dyes or harsh fragrances, which makes it a healthy option for those with sensitive skin conditions.

One of the best things about these eco-friendly dryer sheets is that they are compostable and made with biodegradable materials that are safe for the environment.

They can be used more than once, making them a better value compared to other eco-softener sheets.

While they do have a few drawbacks, with the perforations being difficult to separate and the product being a bit expensive, Molly’s Suds All Natural Fabric Softener Dryer Sheets still offer a great eco-friendly and Certified Cruelty-Free option for people who want to softest and most natural clothes.

Overall, if you are looking for a softener sheet that is convenient and kind to the environment while leaving clothes baby-soft and fresh with a light scent, give Molly’s Suds All Natural Fabric Softener Dryer Sheets a try; you will be pleased with the result.

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5. Arm Hammer Fabric Softener Sheets

  • First 5 ingredients: Fabric Softening Agents and Fragrance in a Non-Woven Sheet
  • Key feature: Softens Clothes, Reduces Static Cling, Great Fragrances
  • Type of Product: Sheet
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Best for: A cheap but efficient sheet for softening fabrics

Arm & Hammer Fabric Softener Sheets can be a go-to option for those looking for an inexpensive yet effective fabric softener sheet.

The Clean Mountain scent is refreshing and invigorating, and the anti-static properties keep clothes feeling soft and static-free.

One of the most significant advantages of these sheets is that they offer excellent value for money. These smaller sheets perform twice as much as ordinary sheets, making them cost-effective.

On the flip side, some users have reported that the packaging for these sheets is cumbersome and inconvenient.

Despite this, the product is quite efficient in softening clothes and reducing static cling at a low price point.

Overall, Arm & Hammer Fabric Softener Sheets are a great option for people looking for an affordable and easy-to-use fabric softener sheet that makes clothes smell fresh and feel soft.

Despite the packaging issue, these sheets are worth giving a try if you’re looking for a cost-effective solution for your laundry needs.

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How Does Eco-Friendly Fabric Softener Work?

Eco-friendly fabric softeners work by using natural ingredients instead of synthetic chemicals to soften clothes.

They typically contain plant-based surfactants and essential oils that help to reduce static, eliminate wrinkles, and make clothes feel softer.

The surfactants in eco-friendly fabric softeners work by minimizing the surface tension between the fabric fibers, allowing them to slide more easily against each other. This helps to prevent clothes from becoming stiff and rough.

Essential oils in eco-friendly fabric softeners are often used to add a pleasant scent to the clothes. They are derived from plants and are less likely to trigger allergies or sensitivities compared to synthetic fragrances.

Benefits of Using Eco-Friendly Fabric Softener

When it comes to laundry, switching to eco-friendly fabric softeners can bring a host of benefits. Let’s explore these advantages in more detail.

1. Reduced Environmental Impact

a. Harmful Chemicals in Conventional Fabric Softeners

Conventional fabric softeners, often laden with a cocktail of harmful chemicals, may seem harmless as they make your laundry feel soft and smell fresh.

However, many of these synthetic compounds are far from benign.

They contain substances like quaternary ammonium compounds (or “quats”), which can be detrimental to aquatic life when they find their way into our waterways.

Therefore before buying fabric softener, you should check the labels of products and avoid the term such as:

  • Distearyldimonium Chloride
  • Monium Chloride
  • Un clear terms like “biodegradable fabric softening agent” and “cationic surfactant.”

These chemicals are persistent and can lead to water pollution, affecting ecosystems and even human health.

b. Eco-Friendly Alternatives

The good news is that eco-friendly fabric softeners offer a sustainable solution.

They are formulated with biodegradable and non-toxic ingredients, which not only benefit the environment but also help safeguard your health.

These alternatives are designed to break down naturally, leaving no harmful residues in the environment, and they are also gentle on your skin and respiratory system.

2. Health Benefits

a. Health Issues with Traditional Fabric Softeners

For many, using conventional fabric softeners can lead to unforeseen health issues.

The fragrances and chemicals in these products can exacerbate respiratory problems, such as asthma and allergies. These happened when fabric softener contain the allergen methylisothiazolinone, and glutaral.

Additionally, they are known to cause skin irritation, leaving you with redness, itching, and discomfort.

b. Gentle and Natural Alternatives

Eco-friendly fabric softeners come to the rescue, as they are often hypoallergenic and crafted from natural ingredients.

This means they are less likely to trigger allergies or skin sensitivities. By opting for these gentler alternatives, you can ensure that your laundry is soft and your well-being remains uncompromised.

Key Takeaways

  • Eco-friendly fabric softeners are better for the environment, as they lack harmful chemicals found in conventional ones.
  • When shopping for fabric softeners, avoid products with ingredients like Distearyldimonium Chloride, Monium Chloride those with vague descriptions.
  • Traditional fabric softeners can lead to respiratory and skin issues.
  • Eco-friendly options are gentle and less likely to cause allergies or skin irritations.

Guide To Buying Eco-Friendly Fabric Softener For Your Home

Choosing the right fabric softener for your home can be challenging due to the vast number of options available in the market.

It can be even more complicated if you’re looking for an eco-friendly alternative that is suitable for your family’s needs.

To help make the decision easier for you, here are the questions that you need to ask when looking for the best eco-friendly fabric softener:

1. What ingredients are used in the fabric softener, and are they eco-friendly?

It’s important to look for fabric softeners that are made with natural and biodegradable ingredients.

Avoid any products that contain harsh chemicals, dyes or fragrances, as these can be damaging to the environment.

Using natural and biodegradable ingredients is beneficial for both the environment and your health. These ingredients do not contain any harmful toxins.

2. What kind of packaging does the fabric softener come in, and is it eco-friendly?

Opt for fabric softeners that come in recyclable or reusable packaging. This will help reduce your carbon footprint and save resources.

Additionally, look for products that come in concentrated versions. This will reduce the amount of packaging needed for each container and make it easier to transport.

3. What kind of fragrances are used in the fabric softener, and are they natural or synthetic?

Synthetic fragrances can contain harsh and potentially toxic chemicals, which are not good for your health or the environment.

Instead, look for fabric softeners that are scented with natural essential oils, which are much more eco-friendly and provide a pleasant scent.

Do you have a family member with allergies and sensitive skin? If yes, you should opt for fabric softeners that are free of fragrances and dyes.

This will help make sure that everyone in your household can use the product without any irritation or allergic reactions.

4. Does the fabric softener contain any harmful chemicals, like phthalates, sulfates, or parabens?

Fabric softeners can contain harsh chemicals like phthalates, sulfates and parabens. These chemicals have a negative impact on human health and the environment.

Below is the list of the effect of this substance:

  • Phthalates: Can cause reproductive and developmental issues, hormone disruption, and skin irritation.
  • Sulfates: They can cause skin irritation and are believed to be linked to cancer.
  • Parabens: Can disrupt hormone levels and potentially cause reproductive issues.

To ensure the safety and good health of your family, choose fabric softeners that do not contain the chemicals listed, as they may cause health problems.

5. Can the eco-friendly fabric softener still deliver the level of effectiveness you need to keep your clothes clean and soft?

When thinking of purchasing fabric softeners made from natural ingredients, make sure to prioritize their effectiveness.

Search for products that can provide the same level of effectiveness as traditional fabric softeners but are also eco-friendly.

Is the product effective in softening clothes and reducing static cling? It’s crucial to choose a fabric softener that can perform these functions.

Fortunately, there are many fabric softeners in the market today that offer a great balance between being eco-friendly and effective. So, you can have many options in finding the right one for your home.

6. What is the cost of switching to an eco-friendly fabric softener, and is it affordable for your family?

Good value for money was found to be one of the most important factors when people choose a fabric softener. When switching to an eco-friendly option, make sure it is still within your budget.

Many eco-friendly fabric softeners offer great value for money, so you don’t have to worry about breaking the bank.

These are the questions you need to ask when shopping for eco-friendly fabric softeners for your family.

Asking these questions will help you find the best product that can provide the perfect balance between being eco-friendly and providing effective cleaning power.

With this list, you are sure to find the best fabric softener that fits your and your family.

Top 5 Best Eco-Friendly Laundry Detergent Sheets for a Greener Home

How To Use Eco-Friendly Fabric Softener

When using eco-friendly fabric softeners, it is important to follow the instructions on the label. This will ensure that you are getting the most benefit from your product.

  1. Make sure to measure the correct amount of fabric softener for your load size and add it to the fabric softener dispenser drawer in your washing machine.
  2. Select the right water temperature for the fabrics you are washing. Hotter water temperatures may make fabrics wear out quicker, while cooler ones can leave them stiff and uncomfortable.
  3. Add the laundry detergent as normal, then add the fabric softener before starting the washing machine.
  4. Finally, hang your washed clothes outdoors to dry.

The instructions for fabric softeners vary between brands, so be sure to follow the guidelines listed on the manufacturer’s label.

Easy DIY Fabric Softener Recipes

If you want to make your own fabric softener, here is a simple recipe that you can follow at home:

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of white vinegar
  • ½ cup baking soda
  • 10 drops of essential oil (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Mix the white vinegar and baking soda in a medium-sized bowl until it is well combined.
  2. Add 10 drops of essential oil if desired.
  3. Transfer the mixture into a bottle and shake to combine all ingredients together.
  4. Add one tablespoon of the mixture into the fabric softener dispenser drawer when doing a load of laundry.

This homemade eco-friendly fabric softener recipe may not be as strong or have the same scent as commercial fabric softeners, but it is an affordable and eco-friendly choice

Which is The Best One for Your Laundry?

Choosing the right environmentally friendly laundry softener was hard, but there are definitely some very good options to choose from.

Ultimately, it depends on what kind of benefits you are looking for in a fabric softener.

Our Verdict

I recommend 9 Elements Laundry Purifying Softener Liquid, which is designed to be effective and eco-friendly. Its vinegar-powered solution strips away residues and odours without leaving a strong vinegar scent behind.

It is also affordable, making it a great choice for your family.

If you’re searching for an environmentally friendly fabric softener, the 9 Elements Laundry Purifying Softener Liquid is a great option. It’s gentle on the skin, easy to use, and works effectively.

You can purchase this detergent from online retailers such as Amazon.

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If you’re interested in additional advice for living sustainably and having an earth-friendly cleaning routine, take a look at these articles:

FAQ

What is fabric softener?

Fabric softener is a product that helps reduce static cling and wrinkles, as well as make clothes feel softer. It is usually added to the rinse cycle of a washing machine after the clothes have been washed but before they are dried.

Do You Need To Use Fabric Softeners?

No, you don’t need to use fabric softeners, but they can make your clothes feel softer and reduce static cling. They can help keep your clothes from fading and looking worn out.

Is fabric softener non-toxic? 

Many commercial fabric softeners contain harsh chemicals that can be toxic. Eco-friendly fabric softeners are free from such chemicals and are considered to be non-toxic. They are a much better option if you’re looking for an environmentally friendly fabric softener.

Are fabric softeners bad for the environment?

Conventional fabric softeners contain harsh chemicals that can be bad for the environment. Eco-friendly fabric softeners, however, are free from such chemicals and they do not contain any harmful ingredients that can pollute the air or water.

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AUTHOR

Hanif Roslen is an eco-conscious enthusiast on a mission to help make the world a better, cleaner place. Through day-to-day experience cleaning his own home with those non-toxic cleaners, he has developed innovative and effective green solutions that reduce waste and promote sustainability.

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