How to Make Your Laundry Smell Fresh and Clean with Natural Scents

There's nothing quite like the fresh scent of clean laundry. But many commercial laundry detergents and fabric softeners are laden with chemicals that can irritate the skin and harm the environment. Fortunately, there are natural ways to keep your clothes smelling delightful without resorting to synthetic fragrances. Here are some tips to ensure your laundry is fresh and clean using natural scents.

  1. Choose Natural Detergents

The first step in achieving naturally fresh laundry is to select a natural detergent. Look for products that are free from artificial fragrances, dyes, and harsh chemicals. Brands like Seventh Generation, Ecover, and Mrs. Meyer's offer effective cleaning power while using plant-based ingredients. These detergents not only clean your clothes but also leave them smelling naturally fresh.

  1. Add Essential Oils

Essential oils are a wonderful way to infuse your laundry with natural scents. Here’s how you can use them:

  • In the Wash: Add 5-10 drops of your favorite essential oil to your washing machine's detergent compartment or directly into the drum. Lavender, eucalyptus, and lemon are popular choices for a fresh, clean scent.
  • In the Dryer: Apply a few drops of essential oil to a clean cloth or dryer ball and toss it into the dryer with your clothes. This will help impart a subtle, lasting fragrance to your laundry.
  1. Use Baking Soda and Vinegar

Baking soda and vinegar are natural deodorizers and softeners that can enhance the freshness of your laundry:

  • Baking Soda: Add half a cup of baking soda to your laundry detergent. Baking soda helps to neutralize odors and soften fabrics.
  • Vinegar: Pour half a cup of white vinegar into the fabric softener compartment of your washing machine. Vinegar acts as a natural fabric softener and removes any lingering odors from your clothes.
  1. Create Homemade Scented Sachets

Homemade scented sachets are an easy and eco-friendly way to keep your laundry smelling fresh. Not only do they provide a pleasant aroma, but they also add a touch of natural charm to your drawers and closets. Here’s a step-by-step guide to making your own scented sachets:


  • Dried Herbs and Flowers: Choose aromatic herbs and flowers like lavender, rosemary, chamomile, rose petals, or mint. These not only smell delightful but also have natural properties that can help repel insects.
  • Essential Oils: Enhance the scent of your sachets with a few drops of essential oils. Lavender, eucalyptus, lemon, and cedarwood are popular choices for a fresh and clean aroma.
  • Cotton or Muslin Bags: These breathable fabric bags are perfect for holding the dried herbs and allowing the scent to disperse. You can also use small squares of fabric tied with a ribbon if you prefer a more rustic look.


Prepare the Dried Herbs:

If you’re using fresh herbs or flowers, ensure they are thoroughly dried to prevent mold. You can air-dry them by hanging small bundles upside down in a cool, dry place for a few weeks, or use a dehydrator for quicker results.

Mix the Ingredients: 

In a bowl, combine your chosen dried herbs and flowers. You can create a blend based on your scent preference. For example, a mix of lavender and chamomile provides a soothing and calming fragrance, while rosemary and mint offer a more invigorating scent. Add a few drops of essential oils to the dried herbs. Start with 5-10 drops, and adjust based on the strength of scent you desire. Mix well to evenly distribute the oils.

Fill the Sachets: 

Using a spoon, fill each cotton or muslin bag with the scented herb mixture. Leave enough space to tie or sew the top securely. If you’re using fabric squares, place a spoonful of the herb mixture in the center, gather the edges, and tie with a ribbon or string to form a small pouch.

Seal and Store: 

Ensure the bags are securely closed to prevent the herbs from spilling out. You can use drawstrings, sew the tops shut, or tie with a ribbon. Store the sachets in a cool, dry place to maintain their potency until you’re ready to use them.


Place the sachets in your drawers, closets, or even directly into your laundry hamper. The natural scents will infuse your clothes, linens, and towels, keeping them smelling fresh and pleasant. You can also tuck sachets into your suitcase when traveling, or place them in your car for a natural air freshener.

Tips for Long-lasting Freshness:

  • Refresh the Scent: Over time, the scent of your sachets may fade. To refresh them, simply add a few more drops of essential oil to the dried herb mixture inside the bags.
  • Replace as Needed: Depending on the herbs and oils used, sachets typically last for several months. Replace the contents when the scent diminishes or when the herbs begin to lose their potency.
  1. Dry Your Laundry Outdoors

When possible, dry your laundry outdoors. The fresh air and sunlight naturally deodorize and sanitize your clothes. Plus, there's nothing quite like the smell of air-dried laundry. Just be sure to avoid drying colored clothes in direct sunlight for too long to prevent fading.

  1. Maintain a Clean Washing Machine

A clean washing machine is essential for fresh-smelling laundry. Regularly clean your machine to prevent mold and mildew buildup:

  • Run a Cleaning Cycle: Once a month, run an empty cycle with hot water and two cups of white vinegar. This helps to eliminate any residue and odors.
  • Wipe Down Seals and Drum: After each wash, wipe down the rubber seals and the inside of the drum to remove any trapped moisture.

Achieving naturally fresh and clean laundry is easy with these tips. By using natural detergents, essential oils and simple household ingredients you can ensure your clothes smell delightful without the use of harsh chemicals. Bonus points for the respect of the environment and the fun to create your own products at home.