Natural Scented Homemade Laundry Booster Crystals

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Homemade Laundry Booster Crystals

There’s nothing that smells better than laundry dried on a clothes line outdoors. But what if you can’t? Or if you live in an apartment? Or it’s -40° outside? There are many reasons someone might turn to another option.

I wash my clothes and then hang them inside to dry in the winter. This will increase humidity in the home, allowing the heating system to heat the house more efficiently. I use vinegar as a fabric softener, but the scent is sometimes lacking. I’ve tried commercial laundry scent boosters, but I no longer use them due to the chemicals they contain.

Homemade Laundry Boosters for Scent

In the past I have paid over $5 for a bottle of laundry fragrance booster. There are two basic types of scent boosters – those made with salt and those made with sugar. Yes, that’s right, just salt or sugar.

It’s actually very simple to add scent to your laundry without spending a fortune! The following recipe for natural, homemade scented laundry crystals will infuse your laundry with the freshness of your favorite essential oil.

Homemade Laundry Crystals: Scented Naturally


*Note: If using salt, keep in mind it is also a natural fabric enhancer and water softener! 


Blend the essential oils with the salt or sugar. Store in an airtight container out of direct light.

To Use

Use one tablespoon per load. Add crystals to the washing machine in the beginning of the wash cycle. Because these need to melt, I place them in the drum before putting the clothes in and let the water dissolve them a bit. They will continue to dissolve completely during the wash cycle.

I don’t color mine since I don’t want to risk staining lighter fabrics, but you could use a few drops of food coloring if you wish. Keep the color very light if you do add color to avoid staining.

Essential Oils for Laundry

You can use just about any essential oil you like to scent your laundry. I use lavender and lemon and have a batch that is just grapefruit – my favorite. For a minty blend, use peppermint and eucalyptus oils. For a flowery sweet blend, use geranium and sweet orange. You could also use oils like citronella during warmer months to help ward off bugs like mosquitoes.

Want more laundry DIYs? Check out our other articles:


About Debra Maslowski

Debra is a master gardener, a certified herbalist, a natural living instructor, and more. She taught Matt and Betsy how to make soap so they decided to bring her on as a staff writer! Debra recently started an organic herb farm in the mountains of Western North Carolina. You can even purchase her handmade products on Amazon!

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  1. Kamma says

    Is any old kitchen salt good enough or does it have to be something special? Can it be iodized?

  2. GenieJen says

    I used to put essential oil in my home made laundry powder, but found it didn’t leave much of a scent. I add around ten drops of what ever I fancy into around 35-45 mls or white vinegar, instead of using a laundry softener. It works just great. It also keeps any parasites and/ or athletes foot at bay !

    • Debra Maslowski says

      I’m not sure what’s in the salt or sugar that holds the scent, Geniejen, but it seems to work most of the time. And true, you can’t beat vinegar for a fabric softener. It works great and doesn’t leave a lingering scent.

  3. RT says

    Thanks for the post. I plan on making some today. One question though. Does blend mean in a blender? Or just mix them together? Okay technically that was two questions. Thanks on advance for your response.

    • Brenda says

      All you need is a bowl and a spoon……super simple. Mix up and place into a storage container.

    • Debra Maslowski says

      Sure, Dawn, you can use any type of salt. I would avoid those with color, such as Himalayan Pink Salt just in case. You don’t want it to stain your laundry.

  4. Carol says

    Another winner from DIY Natural.
    This is a great idea.
    My home is a 1945 disaster, with a furnace in the floor open to the moldy/musty air under the house. I feel that all my clothes smell musty. This will be a GREAT remedy for that! I also have somewhat hard water from my well, so the salt should help alleviate that as well!
    I’m making some this weekend!

    • Debra Maslowski says

      Thanks Carol! Glad we could help! I had some problems with some musty clothes that got left in the basement-and our house was built in 1907, so I know what you mean. This took care of the problem with one washing. I thought I’d have to do at least two. And yes, the salt helps quite a bit with hard water.

  5. Brenda says

    This is fantastic! Can’t wait to make mine using vanilla eo. We’ve always had septic systems and this will not hurt it at all.
    Thanks Debra!

  6. Audrey says

    Great! Thank you.
    I’ve been wanting to add essential oil fragrance to my laundry but wasn’t sure exactly how. I will make up a batch of this today!
    One question: couldn’t I mix the fragrance crystals into my powdered (homemade, of-course!) detergent for a simple scented detergent. Space is limited in my house and one canister above the washer is best for me.

  7. Stacey says

    Do you know if the Epsom salt or the rock salt would hurt the septic system? I know they say salt isn’t good to put on concrete and since the septic tank is concrete I was wondering if its a good idea to putting salt in the system.

    • Brenda says

      Salt is a commonly used ingredient that softens water. People sometimes install water softener units directly onto their wells.

    • Debra Maslowski says

      Thanks for chiming in Brenda. And you’re right. The only time you might have a problem Stacey, is if you were to have an abnormally large amount of salt, like hundreds of pounds. And salt reacting on concrete has oxygen involved. The septic system is made to operate with no air, so the salt won’t oxidize the concrete.

    • Debra Maslowski says

      Hi Stefanie, you should be able to use it in a front loading washer just fine. I’ve never had a problem both when I use my top loader and the front loader at work.

    • GenieJen says

      Hi Stefanie, I use a ‘Samsung Eco-bubble’ front load washing machine, their so efficient. Adding essential oil to white vinegar in the softener draw, leaves laundry super soft and smelling sweet. As the oils are not rinsed completely away with the detergent. (Plus, vinegar helps remove any athletes foot fungal spores, so is especially helpful with sock hygiene ! )