5 Creative Ways To Make Laundry Smell Good

by Erin Sweeney October 06, 2020

5 Creative Ways To Make Laundry Smell Good

There’s nothing better than the aroma of freshly dried laundry. However, not every load lives up to our expectations. Perhaps your laundry comes out still smelling of mildew or a musty odor. Or perhaps you’re simply looking for a way to ensure that freshly cleaned aroma lasts all day long for your busy work day or relaxing self care day at home.

Are you wondering how to make laundry smell good? Many detergents and dryer sheets contain artificial fragrances, which those with sensitive skin usually want to avoid. Luckily, there are all-natural ways to get better smelling laundry.

 In this short guide, we’ll go over our top 5 tips for natural ingredients that will make you excited for clean laundry.

1. Add Essential Oils To Laundry

Derived from natural ingredients, pure essential oils are a great way to impart lovely aromas, mitigating the need for synthetic fragrances.

 You may have some questions about using essential oils with laundry soap:

  • Can you put essential oils in your washing machine? As you know, essential oils are flammable, so this is an important question! You want to make sure that essential oils have been distributed in liquid and absorbed into your clothes at low, even concentrations well before they go into the dryer. For best results, stir 4-6 drops of an essential oil into your unscented liquid laundry detergent. 

  • Do essential oils ruin clothes? While essential oils can definitely stain clothes, most essential oils are not actually oily! In fact, as you experiment with your oils, you’ll notice that most are thin and clear. However, there are some darker oils which you should not add to your laundry to avoid staining:

    • Blue Tansy

    • Jasmine

    • German Chamomile

    • Patchouli

    • Vetiver

    • Myrrh

    • Tangerine

Are you wondering what essential oils are good for laundry? We’re a big fan of the following aromas.

Citrus Oils

Bright, zesty citrus oils are a go-to for cleaning and deodorizing. That makes them a perfect choice for laundry with that “just washed” aroma. Move beyond basic lemon with: 

  • Nova Mandarin – Sweet, citrus Nova Mandarin has the aroma of freshly squeezed orange juice. This uplifting essential oil will ensure your clean clothes feel fresh and that you feel energized.

  • Xiang Mao – At once citrusy and earthy, Xiang Mao promotes focus and clarity. In preparation for those hectic weeks at the office, refresh your laundry with Xiang Mao to master stress management in the workplace.

Floral Oils

If you’re looking for a lighter, sweeter aroma, the following essential oils are ideal choices: 

  • Fragonia Although Fragonia isn’t considered to be a floral oil, it does have a light, floral aroma. Drawn from the flowering fragonia shrub, Fragonia’s sweet aroma is deeply calming and can even help support healthy sleep. Wash your linens with this oil and let its aroma carry you off to dreamland.

  • Lavender Fine – Lavender is a go-to oil for purposes from skincare to finding your center. Lavender Fine is an especially fresh, floral variety of your favorite essential oil.

Have a favorite essential oil for laundry? Let us know in the comments below!

2. Add Vinegar To Your Wash Cycle

Vinegar on its own doesn’t smell great. But it can have the following beneficial effects on laundry:

  • Act as a natural water softener 

  • Neutralize bad odor from dirty clothes 

  • Help clothing retain dye

  • Serve as a fabric softener

Try adding ½ cup of white vinegar to the “rinse” compartment in your washing machine. You may need to use less for very delicate fabrics including silk.

Note: Don't mix vinegar and bleach to avoid a toxic chemical reaction.  


3. Dry Your Laundry With An Herb Sachet

After you’ve washed your laundry, give it an additional aromatic boost in the dryer. 

While there are plenty of scented dryer sheets on the market, dried herbs can impart wonderful aromas  without chemical additives. All you’ll need are:

  • Muslin or cotton herb sachets (ensure your sachet is non-flammable)

  • ½ cup dried herbs of your choice

If you have a garden, dry out your mint, rosemary, or lavender. If not, you can use ingredients like loose chamomile or rose tea. 

Add the herbs into the sachet. Just be sure to sew your bag shut so that the leaves don’t get stuck to your clothes!

4. Add An Aroma To Your Wool Dryer Balls

Wool dryer balls have countless benefits, from decreasing dryer time to offering a sustainable alternative to dryer sheets. 

You can also use your favorite essential oils to add your favorite aroma to your dryer balls. 

However, it’s important to make sure that oil is well distributed and dried  before you turn your dryer on. The best practice is to add a few drops to your dryer ball and let the product soak in for at least an hour before running the machine.

5. Spray Your Laundry With Lavender

Sometimes, despite your best efforts in the washer and dryer, your laundry’s aroma is still not strong enough. And sometimes your linens smell great right out of the dryer but lose their lovely aroma after a few days.

In cases like these,  a Chamomile Lavender Room Spray can double as a linen spray and work wonders for refreshing your laundry.

If you would prefer to make your own linen spray all you’ll need is:

  • 3 oz distilled water

  • 1 oz 190-proof alcohol 

  • 40 drops Lavender Fine essential oil

Combine in a spray bottle and spritz your laundry whenever the urge strikes! This spray can be great:

  • As a pre-wash aid for particularly soiled clothes

  • Added right after laundry comes out of the dryer

  • As a linen refresher

When you’re washing your garments with essential oils, you want to make sure you’re using clean oils without any additives.  At Edens Garden our oils are 100% pure and GC/MS batch-tested to ensure quality, safety and effectiveness. For best results, combine several of these tips together to tackle unpleasant odors at every stage of the laundry process.

Disclaimer: Essential oils may not be suitable for all washers and dryers. You should always speak with your washer and dryer manufacturer before using essential oils in your machines. 


  1. “5 Reasons to Add Vinegar to Your Laundry If You Want Your Clothes to Be As Fresh and Clean As Possible.” Well and Good. https://www.wellandgood.com/vinegar-in-laundry/

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Edens Garden

November 4, 2022 at 4:29 pm

Hi Dana! I would try a few of these methods listed in this blog. You can also try sprinkling some essential oil-infused baking soda over the clothes before washing. Add a cup of baking soda to a bowl and mix in about 50 drops of essential oil, then transfer to a shaker bottle. Let sit for a few hours before shaking the baking soda off and disposing of it, then add your clothes to the washer.

Dana Johnston

November 4, 2022 at 4:20 pm

i have a handicap son and I need to know how to get urine smell out of his laundry. I have tried vinegar six times and the smell is still there. I even soaked his clothes in vinegar and peppermint oil and the smell is still there. I hate to throw the clothes away. but the smell is so strong and I have soaked in vinegar then washed in vinegar but no luck on this pair of shorts.

Paola Hernandez

April 27, 2021 at 12:40 pm

I have the rose bergamot roll on. Can that be used?

Katherine Fulk

April 27, 2021 at 12:40 pm

My favorite (so far!) is putting Fighting Five and Litsea on my wool dryer balls.


April 27, 2021 at 12:40 pm

Laundry oils (Lemon is Mother Nature’s Clorox) Plumbers said DON’T use Vinegar for drains and etc., the acid destroy the pipes!


April 27, 2021 at 12:39 pm

A lot of these suggestions include lavender. I have a relative who is severely allergic to it. What could I substitute for the lavender?

Chris Silvia

April 27, 2021 at 12:39 pm

I always use Edens Garden French Lavender in my laundry. I love it. For musty towels I add a little Tea Tree Oil to freshen them.

Kelly Zelens

October 22, 2020 at 9:12 am

I add an e.o.(s) to unscented Epsom salts. I add the e.o. to a large container(holds 4 lbs) of Epsom salts & shake until blended, then I add 1/2 cup at the beginning of each wash. Epsom salts has several benefits for laundry on its own, such as softening laundry.