How to Make Laundry Smell Good & Fresh Naturally

11 Tips to keep your laundry smelling good for longer

How can I make my laundry smell good naturally?

Glad you asked this question because I have some excellent tips and DIY remedies to prolong the freshness of your clothes.

A woman with good smelling laundry

This post is all about natural ways to make your laundry smell good after washing.

I’m sharing natural solutions without toxic chemicals and irritants that can be harmful to the skin and health in the long run.

If you are here looking for the homemade laundry scent with crystals recipe, scroll down.

So, let’s get started!

How To Make Your Laundry Smell Good

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Woman smelling nice scent from towel
How to get sour smell out of laundry and clothes

If Your Laundry Smells Bad After Washing …

Help my laundry stinks! No worries, keep reading to find great solutions to your problem.

The secret to great-smelling laundry starts with your washing machine.

It might seem obvious, but if you are not washing your clothes the right way your laundry is going to smell bad.

1. Use the right amount of detergent

Woman hand pouring washing powder into the washing machine

If you find traces of detergent in your laundry is a sign that you are using too much.

Sometimes we can get carried away and use too much detergent thinking that it will make the laundry cleaner or better smelling when in fact the opposite can occur.

The same can be said for using too much softener.

Go easy on both.

Also, make sure you are not using too little detergent for the number of clothes you wash. For best results follow the detergent’s washing guidelines.

2. Don’t overload the washing machine

Woman overloading the washing machine

Don’t be tempted to squeeze too many items into the washing machine.

The clothes need space to move freely and the water and detergent need to be able to properly reach every fabric.

Overloading the washing machine can result in freshly laundered clothes being dirty, wrinkly, and with a bad smell.

3. Keep the washing machine clean

Open door of washing machine
Ventilate the washing machine to prevent a bad smell

If you want to keep laundry from smelling bad, it is important to maintain the washing machine always clean.

Make sure to regularly clean the soap drawer, the filter, inside the drum, and the rubber around the drum.

Remove the soap dispenser and clean it with a sponge and warm soapy water.

If it is filthy, leave it to soak in warm water and add a splash of vinegar.

Rinse it and wipe it out. If there is still some dirt left, remove it with a toothbrush and rinse again.

Take out the filter and clean it with soap and water.

To clean the drum wipe it with a cloth dampened in water and vinegar and let it dry.

Or wash it in a hot cycle with a cup of vinegar or baking soda.

Finally, take a damp cloth and wipe around the rubber seals of the machine, being careful to lift them away from the metal where possible to get any residue that’s hidden away. Wipe the surfaces of your machine, too.


To ventilate the washing machine and prevent the accumulation of bacteria, leave the door open as often as possible.

If you do this every 6 to 8 washes, your washing machine, and your laundry will smell nice and fresh.

Don’t like the smell of your washing machine? Have a look at how to clean a smelly washing machine.

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Pile of fresh laundry with flowers on top

Natural Laundry Scent Booster

Are you wondering what to add to your laundry to make it smell good?

If you want to leave your clothes with a lovely scent but don’t want to use commercial softeners, these easy DIY laundry softeners are for you.

4. Homemade laundry scent with essential oil

What you need

  • white vinegar (1 cup)
  • baking soda (1/2 cup)
  • a few drops of your favorite essential oil (lavender, rose and citrus are great choices)
  • water (1 liter)

How to make it

  1. Mix the water and the vinegar.
  2. Carefully add the baking soda and stir.
  3. Lastly, add a few drops of your chosen essential oil and stir it again.
  4. Place one cup of the laundry scent on the washing machine and wash as usual.

RELATED READING: Laundry room checklist

5. Homemade laundry scent with crystals (laundry deodorizer)

How do you make laundry scent crystals? Here is a simple DIY recipe.

You will need

  • Epsom salts or coarse sea salt (1 cup)
  • baking soda (1/2 cup)
  • essential oils of your choice (3 teaspoons)
  • increase the dose of essential oils to make the scent stronger
Collage of how to make laundry scent crystals by The Blog Stuff
How to make your laundry smell good naturally

How to make it

Add 2 teaspoons of the essential oils you enjoy most to the Epsom salts.

My favorites are citrus (lemon, orange, grapefruit) and floral scents like chamomile, lavender, jasmine, geranium, and rose. I have used chamomile and lemon essential oils for this one.

Mix really well, making sure the crystals are impregnated with the essential oils.

Now add the baking soda and stir again.

Transfer to a container with an airtight seal.

DIY laundry scent with crystals and essential oils

How to use it

  • Use it along with your usual detergent.
  • Add 3 tablespoons inside the washing machine drum.
  • Adjust the amount to make a bigger or smaller batch.

How to Make Laundry Smell Good Naturally For Longer

6. Smell hack

Pour 1 liter of water into a container and add a teaspoon of essential oil. Pick your favorite scents.

Citrus, chamomile, lavender, or bergamot will make your laundry smell amazing.

Transfer to a spray bottle and shake well.

Although essential oils shouldn’t stain clothes, if you want to be cautious, spray your items from a distance or even inside down.

If you are unsure test it first with an old item. Wash as usual.

7. DIY laundry scent recipe

I have a handmade soap bar that smells AMAZING. So, to have the same scent on my clothes I grated the soap and use it instead of my usual detergent.

Follow the steps if you want to do the same:

  • grate soap bar
  • place the grated soap in a heat-resistant container
  • pour double the amount of hot water (for 1 cup of soap add 2 cups of water)
  • mix it well
  • wait until the soap dissolves and the water cools
  • add two tablespoons of baking soda
  • stir again
  • place it in a bottle or container
  • shake the bottle before each use
Collage of how to make laundry detergent by The Blog Stuff
How to make laundry smell good with DIY detergent

Even if it looks like a smoothie or pumpkin soup, it really is laundry soap. I used handmade soap in the form of a pear.

Try it with your favorite natural soap.

You could add a few drops of your favorite essential oil but this, of course, is optional.

I don’t do it because I like the scent of the soap, but it can be done with an unscented soap bar.

8. Nice smell after ironing

Stack of colored towels with roses on top and iron.

Before ironing your clothes add a few drops of your preferred cologne to the iron’s water.

You could also add rose water for a floral scent.

Making your own rose water is easy.

DIY rose water with two roses and dry rose petals
  • Place a handful of clean rose petals in a saucepan and cover them with water.
  • Cover the pot with a lid and simmer for about 10 minutes.
  • let it cool and strain.
  • Place it in a jar and keep it in a dark place like the fridge.
  • Use it within a week if you haven’t used a preservative.

Clothes Not Smelling Fresh After Drying

If your clothes don’t smell as fresh as you would like after you wash them, it could be due to several things:

9. Leaving washed laundry in the washing machine

This happens to me sometimes when I’m busy and forget to take the laundry out of the washing machine after it ends.

It smells sour!

And the longer you leave it in there the more awful the smell is.

Remember to take the load as soon as it finishes BUT in case you forget and can’t stand the odor rewash them with a cup of white vinegar or baking soda.


Vinegar and baking soda again.

What would we do without them?

10. Laundry is not completely dry

It could happen if you are in a hurry and don’t realize the clothes are still a tad damp.

Make sure all your items are perfectly dried before you place them in their place.

11. Tough laundry smell

If you can’t get rid of bad odors in your laundry, the best thing is to leave it soaking in a solution of white vinegar and water.

Leave it for 20 minutes and wash it again adding a half cup of baking soda to the soap compartment.

Awesome Smelling Hacks

Who doesn’t love a good-smelling hack or DIY remedy?

How to Make Your Laundry Smell Good Last Words

By incorporating natural methods and simple tricks, you can make your laundry smell good without relying on harsh chemicals.

Consider creating your own DIY laundry scent boosters or experimenting with the best essential oils to infuse your clothes with a pleasant aroma.

With these tips, you can achieve long-lasting freshness in your laundry routine and enjoy the delightful scent of your clothes throughout the day.

So why wait?

Start implementing these natural ways to make your laundry smell good and experience the joy of clean, fresh-smelling linens and clothes today!

Over to you! What are your best tips to make laundry smell good naturally?

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