Liz's Laundry

How to use essential oils to scent laundry 

Nov 23, 2021

How to use essential oils to scent laundry 

Many regular washing powers and laundry detergents contain fake, synthetic fragrances to make your clothes, towels and linen smell amazing. Although these fragrances smell great, they’re often man-made and full of toxins.

Any company that uses fragrances in their laundry products isn't required to disclose what’s actually in the fragrances, so they can also be harsh on your clothes and skin. 

When you switch to using an ethical and safe, fragrance free laundry powder like ours, these fake and nasty fragrances are not used. Our sensitive washing powders do not contain any fragrances, essential oils, additives, bulkers or fillers. Although our products will make your laundry smell fresh and clean, the scent after washing is not quite as strong as some regular detergents you're used to.

If you’ve used regular supermarket washing powder or laundry detergent for a while, it can be an adjustment getting used to clean laundry without the same strong artificial smell. Do not fear - you can still get beautiful smelling washing and use ethical, safe laundry products! This is where essential oils come in. 

Adding some essential oils to your laundry is a fantastic and easy way to make your laundry smell beautiful and fresh. It’s also much better for the longevity of your clothes, linen, blankets and towels. 

What about the effects on your skin? If you’re prone to rashes or eczema, essential oils and ethical laundry products are a winning combination. A washing powder without the nasties rubbing on your skin all day, combined with essential oil, can do wonders for skin irritations. Using a few drops of essential oil will not only make your clothes smell good but it could even help clear up any current rashes or itchy spots!  


When you’re sleeping in bed and your body is rubbing against the sheets and blankets, you’re often breathing in the fragrance that’s left behind from washing powders or detergent. At Hudstone Home, we want to help people live their healthiest life and we believe it’s better to not be inhaling these toxic fragrances while you sleep - especially if you’re prone to conditions like asthma or if you find yourself sneezing often. If you use a safe and ethical laundry detergent combined with a high quality essential oil, you can still get a fantastic smell without inhaling fake fragrances.

Which essential oils are best?

Okay, you’re convinced, but which essential oils are best? We love pure essential oils that are of high quality. If they have other additives, they can cause stains or discolouration to your washing. Our essential oils are made from the highest quality concentrated ingredients, so each scent produces an incredibly clean smell that leaves laundry with a long lasting fresh odour. 

This is just one of their amazing qualities. Our oils are also versatile and have many other uses! They can be used to rub on your skin, for a range of cleaning needs and on your temples or under tired eyes. 

When using essential oils, always exercise caution. Although these are naturally occurring oils, they are super concentrated and if too much is used, your skin could get irritated. If you have any skin irritations or are prone to rashes, before adding the oils to your washing, test patch a drop of the essential oil on your wrist and leave it for 24 hours. Only proceed and use the oils if there was no skin reaction.

But which type is best, you ask? If you’re using essential oils purely to make your washing smell amazing, much of the choice is a personal preference. We like to change it up depending on what is going in the wash! 

Citrus essential oils smell fresh and light and have multiple uses. They double as an awesome stain remover and can help get rid of tough stains like grease. They are also great at removing odours and can be used for general cleaning around the house.

We created two of these nifty oils. Our Lemon Myrtle essential oil can be used in the wash, to spot remove stains and soften fabrics. We also have a Mandarin essential oil that is beautifully citrus scented. It is a bit gentler than our lemon option but will still remove light stains and make your clothes smell lovely and fresh.

Eucalyptus and lavender oils are our favourite options for linen, blankets and towels. The smell of lavender has a calming effect and is a natural disinfectant. For this reason, we love to use it on bedsheets! We created a Lavender Essential Oil that can be added to your washing to make your sheets smell great and give you a restful night’s sleep. It can even help you fall asleep quicker and give you an improved sleep cycle due to its soothing effects.

Eucalyptus has multiple uses and works great for combatting musty smelling sheets or old towels. Our Eucalyptus Essential Oil has antibacterial properties and works well on tough stains. You can use it around the house too – it’s great for rubbing off stickers! If you’re prone to eczema or skin irritations, we would recommend this oil as it can help calm them down. 

At the end of the day, it’s completely up to you what fragrances you like best. If you like lemon fresh linen, go for it! If you like lavender smelling jumpers, go for that! That’s the fantastic thing about having unscented laundry detergent or washing powder, you can add essential oils for any occasion depending on how you feel on the day.

For all of these essential oils, only 1-3 drops are needed per load and you’ll be on your way to beautiful smelling laundry! 

Can I add essential oils to laundry detergent or washing powder?

Yes, you certainly can! This is the easiest and best way to add essential oils to your washing.

If you’re using an unscented washing powder, you need to drop the essential oils into the machine rather than into the powder as it can cause clumping. Once your washing machine has filled up with water, add the drops in so they can dilute. If the essential oils were to drop straight onto your clothes rather than into the water, it could cause a stain if the load has delicate fabrics.

If you’re using an unscented liquid laundry detergent, just add 20-30 drops to your full container and shake the bottle. Then you can simply add your usual amount of detergent to your washing machine and your clothes will come out with a lovely smell! Start with a smaller number of drops in the bottle and do a load of washing to see how strong the scent is. If it’s too weak, you can always add more essential oils later. If you don’t want the oils in the full bottle of detergent, simply add a couple of drops to the lid of the laundry liquid before you pour it into the machine.

Fabric softener is only needed when using harsh chemicals on tough stains but if you’re using a liquid fabric softener, you can also add the essential oils to the softener, following the same methods as adding them to a liquid laundry detergent.

Can I use essential oils in my washing machine? 

Yes! It is completely safe to add essential oils to your washing machine and it won’t cause any physical damage to the machine. Some people might be wary of adding oils to a machine as oils can be flammable. If you use our Hudstone Home essential oils, they are so concentrated that you only need 1-3 drops per load of washing. That’s a very small amount compared to how many litres of water is used by machines to wash laundry! The essential oils will naturally dilute in all this water so they’re safe to add to any laundry load.

When it comes to drying, it is best to air dry large sheets or towels if you have used essential oils. Although this is incredibly rare, the heat of a dryer and the use of oil without the water dilution can be a fire hazard. If you’re simply drying a bunch of clothes, you can add 1-3 drops of essential oils to a washcloth and put that in with the clothes to get that nice smell.

Did you know essential oils are great for cleaning away smelly washing machine odour too? Front loaders can sometimes get a bit of a funky smell from not being able to dry out properly after washes. Adding 5-10 drops of our lemon myrtle essential oil to a washer and then placing it in the wash barrel overnight with the door open, can make any smells dissipate!

We hope this blog helps you use essential oils and understand their fantastic and useful qualities. If you have any questions about our essential oils, please get in touch.