Animal-Friendly Fabric Softener

Natural HorseRecently it has come to my attention that some popular fabric softeners are not very animal-friendly. In fact, many of them coat the fibers of your fabrics with rendered animal fat to make them soft. In short, fabric softener is part of the reason horses are being slaughtered in this country.

How Can I Look My Horse In The Eye?

The second I read this article about Downey I stopped using fabric softener and felt guilty that every bottle I’ve ever purchased contributed to the slaughter of horses.

There Are Solutions

Lucky for us, there are vegan options that have no animal involvement in them whatsoever and I say we support the horse crap out of them. Although I don’t know how well they work (none of us really need fabric softener anyway), but they are all reasonably priced enough to take a gamble if you want an alternative.

I tried to find the actual manufacturer’s website and a lot of them offer other laundry and cleaning products. Most of them are chemical-free and biodegradable as well as cruelty-free which makes them better for all of us.


Natural Choices

Natural Choices Fabric Softener

Safe for all washable fabrics, including delicates. Vegetable-based, biodegradable, contains no fragrances, animal by-products, dyes, or other irritants.


Melaleuca Fabric Softeners

Chemical-free, environmentally-friendly and sourced from natural ingredients. It is also highly concentrated to cut down packaging and merchandising transport.


Method Fabric Softeners

Can be found at many drugstores, target and Amazon. I had trouble finding the fabric softeners on their website, but you can buy them on Amazon.

Mrs. Meyers

Mrs. Meyers Fabric Softener

Contains softening ingredients from plant-derived sources, cotton extract, and natural essential oils for garden fresh fragrance. Earth-friendly, biodegradable formula.

Seventh Generation

Seventh Generation Fabric Softener

Non-toxic, biodegradable & hypoallergenic, this softener is free of phosphates & optical brighteners. No animal tallow derivatives and no animal testing is used in the making and the product is Kosher-certified.


Ecover Fabric Softener

Based on plant and mineral ingredients and no animal testing is used in the making. The product biodegrades quickly and has a minimal impact on aquatic life.

Seaside Naturals

Seaside Naturals Fabric Softener

Contains no phosphates, ammonia, butyl ethers, chlorine bleach, colors or dyes. Softener is 100% Biodegradable and contains only pure essential oils for fragrance.

*I couldn’t find it in their shop, but you can find it at Audrey’s All Natural Shoppe

Mountain Green

Mountain Green Line of Fabric Softeners

This line is made of very simple, natural and vegetable-based ingredients. They offer both an unscented version and a lavender version which uses lavender essential oil for fragrance.


Caldrea Fabric Softners

This line is made of plant-derived softening elements and they come in a variety of essential oil scented options like basil blue sage and lavender pine. All of the Caldrea products are biodegradable, made from 100% plant-derived ingredients and are not tested on animals.


Enchantrix Fabric Softner

Ethical and eco-friendly products are not tested on animals and do not contain any animal products. They are classified as vegan and are locally and organically sourced.

Dryer Sheets

Mrs. Meyers

Mrs. Meyers Dryer Sheets

These come in a range of fragrances and contain vegetable-derived softening agents and essential oils for natural fragrance. The sheets are also biodegradable.

Seventh Generation

Seventh Generation Dryer Sheets

Made with chlorine-free, unbleached paper, recyclable and made from plant-derived ingredients.

No Excuses

There is something on this list for everyone and many of these products can be found in stores as well as online. Support the good ones, folks.

12 Comments on “Animal-Friendly Fabric Softener

  1. Eleanor Van Natta

    Thanks for making us all aware of this Paige. Its really disgusting. Wonder what else we don’t know about…

    BTW, Seventh Generation makes a lavendar fabric softener that is awesome. I actually cut out fabric softener a while back, though, maybe to have more $ to spend on my horse supplements :). Haven’t missed it too much. I have been using a Biokleen detergent for ages and am super pleased with it; includes whitener, brightener, etc, all in one concentrated, earth-friendly formula.

  2. Paige

    Learning this really opened my eyes. There is no reason for animals to suffer for something like laundry.

    I hope everyone will chime in with options that aren’t on the list too. :)

  3. Lesley

    I can add Melaleucas whole product range to your list all their household products are chemical free made from naturally sourced ingrediants. Thei softener Melasoft & detergant melapower are concentrated so you only use a little & do a great job at less than supermarket prices .I now use their whole range & am one of their marketing executives , I am always looking for more customers ,& more execs.Email me for more info or to see an online presentation.

    1. alex

      I have just purchased a Samsung HE Washer which cannot use fabric softners that have animal products because these cause nausiating odors to develop in the internal plumbing of the machine over time. So thus far I have only used powered HE Detergent and no fabric softners at all yet. I may continue this unless you can assist me in a safe suggestion free of the termoil that normal fabric softners have shown to cause in HE Washers, in particular the Samsung brand. Please check your products with them first if you don’t mind. Thanks. Alex

  4. Margot

    You know you have google ads for Downy and Gain (both made by Proctor & Gamble) at the top of your page right now? Disgusting!

    1. Paige

      You are absolutely right Margot that is disgusting, thanks for bringing it to my attention. I’ll have to find those ads and ban them from the site.

      1. Margot

        Paige: Kudos on banning the ads!

        As a tip from someone frequently frustrated with her own google adsense account – you could try using the “google_ad_section_start(weight=ignore)” comment in your html code to exclude just about everything on the page except the cruelty free products sections… In fact, I have some pages where everything but the header (title and keywords) are commented out. Not that anyone ever clicks on them… 😀

        And, by the way, I recently tried Ecover fabric softener, and it’s excellent. I can’t tell the difference between it and the cruel name-brands at all (until I read the label, that is).

  5. Preilly

    What do propose we do with horses that are old, etc. We tried that once and what happened to the market. When animals are harvested, we can a large variety of products which make our lives better. As a horse lover, I would expect a different attitude

  6. peanuts

    Does Procter & Gamble use animal fats/ingredients in their fabric softeners or other laundry prodcuts? I bought Lenor – floral scent made by them and now I am getting suspicious! I am getting ready to throw it out…

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