The product that was the inspiration and started this whole "Shop Naturally thing" way back in 2009 now was the Seventh Generation fabric softener. I really wanted an unscented fabric softener, but I found one with a scent that I could tolerate, so that was a good start. At the time, I had developed some bad chemical sensitivities and intolerances to smells, and switching to only using natural laundry products to wash my clothes, towels and linen was on my TOP PRIORITY list.

At the time, the aroma was Lavender, and not too strong. After some time & a Seventh Generation reformulation, the scent was changed to Blue Eucalyptus & Lavender. For me, a little too potent, so clothes would have to be aired for a few days before I could wear them without noticing the smell all day. Around 2 years ago now, a new distributor brought the Free & Clear (unscented) version to Australia and I was one happy camper, as were many of our customers. It had to travel a long way to get here and it was expensive for what it was, but I needed it, so we got it in.

Sadly, I have discovered in this past week that the product is no longer being imported in to Australia. For us to bring it in, we'd need to import an entire pallet directly. So what does this mean? There is no specific unscented fabric softener available in Australia anymore.

What are you alternatives to unscented fabric softener?

We have found other options to using an unscented fabric softener, some of which are options to use with a clothes dryer.

unscented fabric softener alternatives

Wool Dryer Balls

Wool Dryer Balls sit in your clothes dryer and bounce around with your clothes. They are great option to an unscented fabric softener and you only have to buy them once. They serve a dual purpose, firstly to absorb some of the moisture and speed up the drying time. Secondly, to belt your clothes around a bit in the drying process and soften them up a little.

Buy a Condenser Clothes Dryer

When it was time to replace my clothes dryer while back, I upgraded to a condenser dryer. Instead of filling the laundry and inevitably the whole house with steam, the water that comes off the clothes is captured in a removable tray and you then pull it out and empty it. Some models can be plumbed in to avoid having to empty it.

I don't know why, it's some research for another day, but the clothes that come out of a condenser dryer are softer.

Baking Soda in the wash

Adding half a cup of baking soda dissolved in water to your washing machine load helps to soften the water.

White Vinegar in the wash

Adding a cup of white vinegar to your wash also softens the water a little and can help to remove soap residue from your washing machine and is a great option at a stronger dilution to actually run a cycle to clean your washing machine.

Make your own blend

6 parts water, 3 parts vinegar, 2 parts hair conditioner, mix in a bottle and use 1/2 cup in your load. If you're trying to make this blend as plastic free as possible, buy your vinegar in a glass bottle and use one of our conditioner bars, grate it up and melt it with some water to turn it in to a liquid.

We will be road testing each method to check on their effectiveness and will report back and update this post. We are also going to open talks with an Australian manufacturer of natural cleaning products who we know are working on their own fabric softener to see if they can run an unscented batch just for us or whether they'll officially include one in their range.

Not sure if you want to use fabric softener at all? Read what the EWG have to say on the subject.