Can You Put Fabric Softener In A Diffuser? Everything You Need To Know

If you love using essential oils at home but find yourself running low, you may be wondering if you can use a substitute like fabric softener in your diffuser. With its pleasant fragrance and accessibility, it seems like it could work. But is it safe?

And will it actually diffuse properly and scent your home? In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about using fabric softener in diffusers.

What is Fabric Softener?

Fabric softener is a popular laundry product that is used to enhance the softness and freshness of clothes. It is typically added to the final rinse cycle of a washing machine or used in the dryer. Fabric softener is available in both liquid and dryer sheet form, offering a convenient way to achieve softer and more comfortable garments.

Made from softening agents and fragrance

Fabric softener is made up of a combination of softening agents and fragrance. The softening agents work by coating the fibers of the fabric, making them feel smoother and more pliable. This helps to reduce the stiffness of clothes and improve their overall texture.

The fragrance, on the other hand, adds a pleasant scent to the clothes, leaving them smelling fresh and clean.

Helps soften and reduce static in clothes

One of the main benefits of fabric softener is its ability to soften clothes. By coating the fibers, fabric softener helps to reduce friction between the fabric and the skin, resulting in a smoother and more comfortable feel.

Additionally, fabric softener helps to prevent static electricity buildup, which is especially useful for synthetic fabrics that are prone to static cling.

Comes in liquid and dryer sheet form

Fabric softener is available in two main forms – liquid and dryer sheets. Liquid fabric softener is added to the washing machine during the rinse cycle, where it is mixed with water and evenly distributed throughout the clothes.

Dryer sheets, on the other hand, are placed in the dryer with the clothes and release the softening agents and fragrance as the dryer heats up. Both forms are effective in achieving softer and fresher garments, so it ultimately comes down to personal preference.

For more information on fabric softener and its benefits, you can visit Cleanipedia or The Spruce.

What is a Diffuser?

A diffuser is a device that is commonly used to disperse the aroma of essential oils throughout the air. It works by breaking down the essential oils into microparticles and then dispersing them into the air in a way that can be easily inhaled.

There are several types of diffusers available in the market, including ultrasonic, nebulizing, evaporative, and heat diffusers.

Device that breaks essential oils into microparticles

A diffuser is designed to break down essential oils into tiny microparticles. This process helps to release the aromatic compounds present in the oils, allowing them to be easily carried through the air.

By breaking down the oils into microparticles, a diffuser ensures that the aroma is evenly dispersed throughout the room, creating a pleasant and inviting atmosphere.

Disperses aroma throughout the air via ultrasonic waves or heat

Diffusers disperse the aroma of essential oils using different methods. Ultrasonic diffusers use ultrasonic waves to create vibrations that break down the oils into tiny particles, while heat diffusers use heat to evaporate the oils and disperse the scent.

Both methods are effective in releasing the aroma of essential oils into the air, allowing you to enjoy their benefits.

Types include ultrasonic, nebulizing, evaporative, and heat diffusers

There are various types of diffusers available in the market, each with its own unique way of dispersing the aroma of essential oils. Ultrasonic diffusers are popular and use water to disperse the oils, creating a fine mist that is easily inhaled.

Nebulizing diffusers, on the other hand, do not require water and instead use pressurized air to break down the oils into a fine mist. Evaporative diffusers use a fan or natural evaporation to release the aroma, while heat diffusers use heat to evaporate the oils and disperse the scent.

When choosing a diffuser, it’s important to consider your preferences and needs. Ultrasonic diffusers are great for creating a soothing and relaxing atmosphere, while nebulizing diffusers are ideal for those who want a stronger and more concentrated aroma.

Evaporative and heat diffusers are simple and easy to use, making them suitable for beginners.

Is It Safe to Use Fabric Softener in a Diffuser?

Using fabric softener in a diffuser is generally not recommended. Fabric softener is specifically formulated for use on clothes, not for inhalation. While it may seem tempting to experiment with different scents in your diffuser, it’s important to consider the potential risks and drawbacks.

Health risks from inhaling unknown chemicals in fabric softener

One of the main concerns with using fabric softener in a diffuser is the potential health risks associated with inhaling unknown chemicals. Fabric softeners often contain a combination of ingredients that are designed to make clothes feel softer, reduce static, and add fragrance.

However, these ingredients are not intended to be heated or inhaled.

In fact, many fabric softeners contain chemicals that can be harmful when inhaled. These chemicals can irritate the respiratory system and may even trigger allergic reactions in some individuals. It’s important to prioritize your health and avoid exposing yourself to unnecessary risks.

May damage diffuser by leaving residue buildup

Another reason why using fabric softener in a diffuser is not recommended is the potential for damage to the diffuser itself. Fabric softeners are typically oily and can leave behind a residue buildup when they evaporate. This residue can clog the diffuser and affect its performance over time.

Furthermore, using fabric softener in a diffuser may void any warranties or guarantees provided by the manufacturer. It’s always best to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines and recommendations to ensure the longevity and proper functioning of your diffuser.

Instead of using fabric softener in a diffuser, consider using essential oils or other diffuser-safe fragrances. Essential oils are specifically formulated for use in diffusers and offer a wide range of scents to choose from.

They are derived from natural sources and can provide a pleasant aroma without the potential health risks or damage to your diffuser.

Remember, when it comes to your health and the longevity of your diffuser, it’s always better to err on the side of caution and choose safer alternatives.

Will Fabric Softener Diffuse Properly?

If you have ever wondered whether you can put fabric softener in a diffuser, it is important to understand that fabric softener is not designed to diffuse into the air like essential oils. While essential oils are specifically formulated to evaporate and disperse their aromatic properties when added to a diffuser, fabric softener is intended to be used in the washing machine to soften fabrics and add a pleasant scent to your laundry.

Not designed to diffuse into the air like essential oils

Fabric softener is primarily intended to be used in the washing machine, where it is diluted with water and distributed evenly throughout the fabric during the rinse cycle. The purpose of fabric softener is to coat the fibers of the fabric, making them feel softer and reducing static cling.

When used in a diffuser, fabric softener may not evaporate properly and may not disperse its fragrance effectively into the air.

May be too thick or leave residue

Fabric softener is typically thicker in consistency compared to essential oils, which are more volatile and easily evaporate. This difference in viscosity may cause fabric softener to clog or damage the diffuser, preventing it from functioning properly.

Additionally, fabric softeners may leave a residue on the diffuser, which can be difficult to clean and may affect its performance over time.

Fragrance may not be as strong or last as long as essential oils

While fabric softeners do have a pleasant fragrance, it is important to note that the scent may not be as strong or last as long as essential oils. Essential oils are highly concentrated and are specifically formulated to provide a powerful and long-lasting aroma.

Fabric softeners, on the other hand, are designed to provide a subtle and lingering scent on fabrics, rather than filling the air with fragrance.

It is always best to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using a diffuser to ensure optimal performance and avoid any potential damage. If you are looking to enjoy a variety of scents in your home, it is recommended to use essential oils specifically designed for diffusing, as they are formulated to provide the best results.

Alternatives to Using Fabric Softener in Diffusers

If you’re looking for alternatives to using fabric softener in your diffuser, there are several options that can provide a similar aromatic experience without the potential risks associated with using fabric softener. Here are some great alternatives to consider:

Dilute essential oils to stretch them further

Instead of using fabric softener, you can dilute essential oils with water to create your own aromatic blend. This not only stretches your essential oils further, but it also allows you to customize the scent to your preference.

Plus, diluting essential oils with water is a safe alternative that won’t introduce any potentially harmful chemicals into the air.

Use carrier oils like fractionated coconut oil to extend aromatherapy benefits

Another alternative is to use carrier oils, such as fractionated coconut oil, in your diffuser. Carrier oils not only help to extend the aromatherapy benefits of essential oils, but they also provide a moisturizing effect for the skin.

This can be especially beneficial during the dry winter months when the air tends to be more dry and harsh on the skin.

Switch to a different essential oil scent

If you’re looking for a change in scent, consider switching to a different essential oil. There are countless options available, each with their own unique aroma and therapeutic benefits. Whether you’re looking for a calming lavender scent or an energizing citrus blend, there’s an essential oil out there to suit your preference.

Use dried flowers, citrus peels, herbs for more natural, subtle fragrance

If you prefer a more subtle and natural fragrance, consider using dried flowers, citrus peels, or herbs in your diffuser. Not only will these natural alternatives provide a pleasant aroma, but they also add a touch of visual appeal to your diffuser.

Plus, you can easily change out the dried flowers or herbs to switch up the scent whenever you desire.

By exploring these alternatives, you can enjoy the benefits of a diffuser without having to rely on fabric softener. Remember to always follow the instructions provided by the diffuser manufacturer and consult with a healthcare professional if you have any concerns.


While it may seem convenient, using fabric softener in aromatherapy diffusers is not the best idea. Fabric softener contains unknown chemicals not meant to be inhaled, and it likely won’t diffuse properly or provide the same benefits as essential oils.

For the best diffusing results, stick to 100% pure essential oils or try extending them with carriers oils and natural scents from botanicals. With some creativity and care, you can continue enjoying your diffuser safely.

Similar Posts