Fans of essential oils know their benefits extend well beyond making your home smell nice—from fighting foot odor to giving your pasta sauce a stronger Italian flavor. But did you know essential oils for laundry can also wipe out wash-day woes?

We’ve got five ways to use essential oils in your wash cycle that’ll help you do everything from fight stains to sleep better—all with the help of some of your favorite scents.

Use #1: Remove Stains with Ease

It can seem like the entire world is designed to stain your clothes, with everything from ink to coffee to marinara trying to turn our favorite shirts into cleaning rags.

The good news is you can kiss most stains goodbye with a few drops of lemon oil. Just put a few drops onto your stain and launder as normal. The citric acid in the lemon oil dissolves the stains, leaving your laundry clean and fresh. 

Note: Oil can create a mild stain on white clothing, so be sure to test it on an inconspicuous area before using essential oils in laundry.

Use #2: Liven Up Linens with Lavender

Sheets and towels that get a lot of shelf time frequently lose the fresh scent you love so much. Take some lavender oil from the diffuser and use it to infuse your linens with a scent that’ll help you relax when you lay down to sleep after a long day.

All you need is:

  • One four-ounce dark-colored glass spray bottle (a dark bottle will help preserve the oil)
  • 10 drops lavender oil
  • Two tablespoons rubbing alcohol
  • Six tablespoons distilled water

Pour the ingredients into the bottle and give them a good shake before spraying. It’ll turn your bed—and your linen closet—into a sea of calm.

Use #3: Avoid Detergent Irritants

If you avoid scented laundry detergent because the chemicals affect your allergies, using essential oils in laundry can give you the aromatic boost you love so much without the irritants. Just add a few drops of your favorite oil to an unscented detergent—classic favorites include lemon, orange or lavender. Shake and give it the sniff test—if you need to kick it up a notch, add another drop or two.

Use #4: Craft Fabric Softener 

Out of fabric softener? Want clothes that feel cozy and have your favorite scent? Essential oils for your laundry to the rescue.

All you need are two ingredients:

  • One-gallon white vinegar
  • 20-30 drops of your favorite essential oil

Mix the oil and vinegar and add one one-half to one cup of your newly made fabric softener to the rinse cycle. Not only will your laundry be soft, it’ll be infused with one of your favorite scents.

Use #5: Prepare Apparel Potpourri

If you want to enjoy the smell of your favorite essential oils every time you dress, create sachets using a pantry staple—rice—and a few drops of oil in a cotton bag or unmatched sock. Put them in closets and drawers to refresh clothes. Putting laundry away will offer a scented boost to your day.

Refresh Your Laundry Game

From removing stains to keeping your linens smelling fresh, essential oils for laundry offer a lot of surprising benefits. And just like Speed Queen’s Perfect Wash™ system, they provide a gentle way to create cleaner laundry.