Reader’s Question: How to Scent Homemade Laundry Detergent

by Jenn @ Frugal Upstate on February 24, 2011


Photo by Jason Brackins

Dear Frugal Upstate,

I really like your homemade laundry detergent recipe-but I was wondering, is there any product or fragrance you can add to the detergent to make it smell like Gain?



I’m so thrilled that you enjoy the Homemade Powdered Laundry Detergent recipe!  Unfortunately I’m afraid that I can’t think of anything that would give it the exact smell of Gain.  Personally I enjoy the fact that the homemade soap is scentless~I’m a migraine sufferer and I try to keep “extra” scents from sprays, candles etc out of my environment.

If you simply must have a scent  I have seen recommendations for adding essential oils to the powdered laundry soap mix.  I have not tried this myself-but the basic method is to choose an essential oils ( available at health food stores and some large box or craft stores), add a few drops and then mix or shake.

Photo by Minato

I would make sure that I was using a true essential oils and not just the “scented room oils” they sell near all the stinky room stuff in the stores-those are not meant to be near the skin and could cause irritation.  Essential oils are used for things like perfumes and soaps that are intended to come into contact with the skin.  I highly recommend that if you have not used essential oils before you do a skin patch test to check for an adverse reaction before getting the stuff all over your clothes.

Some suggested essential oils that are also reported to have cleaning or sanitizing properties on their own are tea tree oil, pine, lemon, citronella and lemongrass.   Of course lavender, mint, thyme and rose all have lovely scents that you might like.  Or you could try making your own essential oil blend.

I hope that helps, good luck and good laundry!

Here are more great laundry soap related posts:

Homemade Laundry Soap Recipe
Best of “Frugal Laundry Care”.
Reader’s Question: Homemade Laundry Detergent Residue?
Reader’s Question’s: Fading, where to find Washing Soda & more!
Reader’s Question: Cost Effectiveness of Homemade Laundry Detergent Reader’s Question:  Dingy Laundry?
Using Homemade Laundry Soap in an HE Washer.

And I even made a video showing you how!  Making Laundry Detergent Vlog.

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