Aura Cacia aromatherapist Charlynn Avery explains how you can use essential oils at home to naturally clean laundry that smells great.

If you have been paying attention to home care products lately, you have probably noticed that many are now including essential oils in their formulas. Essential oils work quite well in the laundry — not just for their aromas, but for cleaning benefits as well. I have added essential oils to my unscented detergent for years to both customize the aroma and increase cleaning power.

In the dryer, you can add essential oils to wool dryer balls or a washcloth to lightly scent your clothes and linens. Essential oils dissipate quickly when heated, so if you want a more powerful aroma, make the addition toward the end of the cycle. Or use the air-dry option to remove heat from the process entirely. (Do not add the oils directly to your fabrics, as they can potentially cause damage.)

Laundry booster and essential oil tips:

Lavender and citrus oils like orange and lemon do very well with laundry because of their ability to help fight grease, stains and odor.

Simply add 12-15 drops of your favorite essential oil to the recommended amount of liquid detergent. Mix well, and then add to your wash as you normally would. For softening fabrics, add 6 drops to 1 cup of white vinegar and use as a liquid fabric softener during your wash cycle.

Natural Washing Detergent

2 teaspoons lavender essential oil
1 teaspoon lemon essential oil
1 teaspoon grapefruit essential oil
8 cups baking soda
6 cups soda ash (sodium carbonate or washing soda)
4 cups of grated Castile soap (about 3 to 4 bars)

Directions: Use a wire whisk to fully blend essential oils and baking soda, then whisk in the other ingredients until well combined. Use 1/8 cup for a regular-sized load.