How To Make Homemade Scent-Boost Crystals For Natural Laundry Care

Homemade Scent-Boost Crystals | Growing Up Herbal | Are you bummed your clothes aren't smelling as fresh as you'd like when you use natural laundry products? Try these homemade scent-boost crystals and smell the difference!

When I was little there was nothing better than my mama tucking me into my cozy bed at night with freshly washed sheets and blankets pulled up around my neck. I would snuggle my head into my pillow and breathe in the fresh scent of fabric softener.

Yes, I was raised in a home where scented clothes were the norm so you can guess my disappointment when I first switched from store-bought, chemical laundry care products to homemade, natural products and the fresh scent of essential oils didn’t transfer over to my clothes. 

Over the years, I’ve tried many natural laundry care options, hoping to find the right ones that worked for me. One of the best things I’ve found has been homemade scent-boost crystals. Not only are they cheap and easy to make, but they do help your clothes come out of the wash smelling fresher than if you didn’t use them. Trust me, I’ve tested it. 

Today I want to share the recipe I use to make these in my home with you. I think these will become your new best laundry friend too!

Homemade Scent-Boost Crystals 

Homemade Scent-Boost Crystals | Growing Up Herbal | Are you bummed your clothes aren't smelling as fresh as you'd like when you use natural laundry products? Try these homemade scent-boost crystals and smell the difference!

When I make these scent-boost crystals, I make a lot at one time so they last a while. I also purchase my ingredients in bulk sizes which I’ll link to below. I also don’t use high-quality essential oils in this product. The reason is because I use a large amount of oil in this recipe, and I’m not using them for therapeutic purposes but for scent only. 



  1. Pour Epsom salt in a glass jar.
  2. Pour essential oils over the salt. The scent is your choice!
  3. Mix well with a spoon so that the oil is thoroughly spread through the salt.
  4. Pour scent-boost crystals into a storage container. Label and place next to your homemade powdered laundry detergent.

Homemade Scent-Boost Crystals | Growing Up Herbal | Are you bummed your clothes aren't smelling as fresh as you'd like when you use natural laundry products? Try these homemade scent-boost crystals and smell the difference!

To Use:

I use 1 TBSP. of homemade scent-boost crystals in a small load of laundry and 2 TBSP. for large loads. 

Yes, you can use these crystals in HP machines, and no, I don’t know how much as I haven’t moved up to those fancy gadgets yet. However, when my washer kicks the bucket, I’ll be sure to check them out!

I should also say that the essential oil you use will determine how fresh your laundry smells. I’ve found that citrus oils work best for me… and supposedly they brighten your laundry as well!

Now it’s your turn!
Do you have any tips or tricks for making your laundry smell fresh? Tell me all about it in the comments below!
  1. Elizabeth Cotten says:

    Do you add them to the wash cycle ? Doesn’t the smell get washed out with the soap?

    • Meagan says:

      I add them in when my washer is filling along with my detergent. By the time the washer has filled, they and the detergent have dissolved and the water smells GOOD! Then I add my clothes and let the cycle run. Now these crystals aren’t like the Purex ones that make your clothes actually come out of the wash and dry smelling like their fragrance. That’s because they use chemicals to keep that smell on the clothes. Your clothes won’t come out smelling like essential oils, but they will come out with a fresh clean smell. At least that’s been my experience with it. If I don’t use the crystals, my clothes smell clean, but more like water… a bit dull. When I use the crystals they smell fresher and lighter. I’m not sure how else to describe it. I almost always use lemon essential oils and that makes a big difference. Lavender EO hasn’t worked as well for me.

    • kelly baugh says:

      I have made these for the first time today and in the jar the smell heavenly. But my clean clothes do not hold the scent. I use unscented laundry detergent and cant smell any of the scent boost once they have come out of the wash

      • Meagan says:

        That’s true, Kelly. I wish there was a way to get the scent to hold in the clothes, but I’ve not found it yet. I used unscented detergents too, and I think that my clothes come out of the dryer smelling fresher when I use the scent boost crystals than when I don’t. It’s not that it leaves the actual scent behind, but they just smell fresher. Maybe wash a load with and wash a load without, smell the clothes from each load and see if you can tell a difference. Hope that helps some!

  2. sarah eller says:

    I highly!!!!!!!! recommend a samsung. Horrible trouble with 3 kenmores.

    What a smart idea! I wondered if this would work and bam, here you posted it! Yay!!!! TY!!

    • Meagan says:

      Thanks for the recommendation Sarah! I’ll keep that in mind when I need to shop for a new washer.

    • AuntPat says:

      Sarah.. I too have a Samsung toploader (after bad Kenmore HE)… when/how are you going to use the crystals? In with the liquid soap? Maybe in the bin where the fabric softner goes? or just toss them in the machine with clothes and let them dissolve once the water finally gets in there?

  3. Pam says:

    I have a Maytag HE top loader and I wonder if this will be HE compatible? I mean they are new and I don’t want to mess it up already. Thanks

    • Meagan says:

      Sorry Pam. I think I said in the post that I don’t have an HE machine so I really don’t know how it works with them. You may need to combine the crystals with vinegar and water and pour that into your fabric softener compartment. Sorry I can’t be of more help!

  4. Ruthie says:

    Have you ever noticed any oil stains on your clothes from the essential oils? I would LOVE the nice scent with my homemade laundry detergent but not the stains. 🙂

    • Meagan says:

      Nope… zero stains. The salts are supposed to help the oils disperse in the water better instead of floating on top of the water. My clothes have never come out with oil spots on them… except when I’ve left a tube of homemade chapstick in one of my pockets. Whoops!

  5. Lea says:

    I have a LG top-loader HE and I use all sorts of stuff in it, but I put it in the tub with the clothes. Ive had it for 2 years with a homeschooling, homesteading, consruction-mechanic family (read: LOTS of dirty laundry) 0f 8, and no problems. Can’t wait to try this!

  6. Suzie says:

    I make up this “clothes spray” to spray on my washing once I hang it to dry. In the summer months when I hang the washing outside, I let the clothes dry & then spray it on them 1/2 hour before unpegging (the spray will have dried by then) and folding away the freshly scented clothes. In winter I hang inside by the heater to dry on a clothes rack & spray it on the wet clothes as I hang them out. I find these methods hold the scent best on the fabric. So, here’s my recipe; In a 750ml brown glass bottle fill almost to the top with distilled water, then add 30 ml of vodka or witch hazel (as alcohol helps be carrier for the essential oils) THEN the EO of 50 drops lavender, 30 drops bergamot, and 15 drops Ylang ylang. Shake to mix and spray as needed 🙂

    • Meagan says:

      Love it! I will definitely try this. I think it would work even though I dry my clothes in a dryer. I think I’ll try spritzing my clothes after I hang them in my closet and see if it makes a difference. Thanks for sharing Suzie!

  7. Grace says:

    Hi Meagan!
    Are these safe for HE washers? I love the idea, you are so creative!

  8. Lori says:

    I was told that Epsom salts actually make your water hard and make the laundry soap ineffective. Have you heard anything about this?

    • Meagan says:

      I haven’t heard that Lori, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t true. I don’t really use it in my laundry soap, though. The only time I use it is as a fabric scent booster. I’m not sure if that makes a difference or not though. I haven’t noticed any downsides to using it, but I’ll have to see what hard water does to your laundry to see if I’ve experienced it. Thanks for the heads up!

  9. Mel says:

    Hi Meagan! I’ve been making my own detergent for 2 years now. I have 4 kids and I’m allergic to most scented laundry detergent. I have noticed that my clothes come out of the dryer some super static and I miss that fresh laundry scent. I have found that there are a couple ‘scent boosters’ and essential oils that don’t irritate my skin. Essential oils can be pretty expensive so I have been thinking that maybe I could use the oil in plug ins that I like. Has anyone else done this? I can’t find any reference on it. Also, I bought a bottle of scent booster powder. How well would it work to add the entire container to the soap as I’m making it? I make the liquid recipe in a a 5 gallon bucket. I am often stuck at work for 12 hours and my oldest helps with laundry. She’s only 12 so I don’t want to make it more complicated than it is. I am hoping maybe someone has done this or has some insight into whether it will work? Thanks!

    • Meagan says:

      I’m not sure I’m understanding your question about the oil plug-ins, but you could totally make scent boost crystals and add it to your detergent. I’m not sure how well it would work being added in with the detergent compared to using it on its own. I’ve never tried it, but I think it’s a great idea so I may give it a go next time I make detergent. If you’re gonna try it, you may wanna test it for a week on its own then try it for a week mixed with the detergent to see which you like better. My 6 and 8-year-old do their own laundry, and it hasn’t been too overwhelming to them to use both the scent boost crystals and the detergent. We do use powdered detergent though so that makes things a bit simpler, in my opinion. As far as cutting down on the static, you can do homemade fabric softener clothes with essential oils or even wool dryer balls to cut down on the static. And, when it comes to cleaning, I don’t use expensive EOs. I use NOW brand or VitaCost brand for cleaning.

  10. Charnel says:

    Hiya I was just wondering if fragrance oil would work or does it have to be essential oil? I make wax melts and use fragrance oil. If I can use it how many MLS should I add? Fragrance oil doesn’t come in a little dropper bottle so all these drop recipes are not going to work. Any advice would be great.
    Thank you

    • Meagan Visser says:

      I use essential oils because they’re more natural, but fragrance oils will also work. I don’t know anything about them so I can’t give any info on amounts. I suppose you’ll have to experiment a little with them and see how much you need. Best of luck!

  11. Anonymous says:


  12. Amie says:

    I’ve used the essential oil salt in the rinse cycle. Salt is considered a water softener and if you look at the primary ingredient in water softener pellets, you’ll see the main ingredient is salt. If you have serious static issues, you can use the unscented fabric softener in combination with the essential oil salt in the rinse cycle. For extra scent boost, add a few drops of oil on to your wool dryer balls.

  13. Patty Murphy says:

    What is the link please to buy the ingredients in bulk for laundry scent crystals? Thank you. Patty Murphy

    • Meagan Visser says:

      Hi Patty! There are links to where you can purchase the ingredients for the scent boost crystals in the blog post. Thanks!

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