Friday, February 20, 2015

Frugal Fabric Softener

I have been looking to get rid of all the toxic chemical cleaners in my house for a long time. I have asthma and it would always kick in whenever I used anything like Windex or other harsh chemicals to clean with.

Another thing I wanted to get rid of is fabric softener. I have always hated the slimy feeling it left on my clothes. The smell was nice, but was over powering at times. Dryer sheets were the same.

I started out by just using half a dryer sheet at a time in the dryer. It worked well and left less of a slimy film on my clothes. But it was still not want I wanted to use.

 I spent some time on Pinterest checking out what others have done. Most just use fabric softener liquid but in less amounts on a face cloth or a sponge and keep using them over and over. Not what I want. Another I saw used hair conditioner and water. I knew how conditioner felt on my hair and did not want that on my clothes. Finally I saw where some people used vinegar. I have that in my house and use it for my cleaning recipes. Only drawback was that I could smell the vinegar on my clothes even after washing and drying. I hate the smell of vinegar and honestly, who wants to smell like it.

I saw some people add essential oils into the vinegar and decided to try that. I have quite a few oils and picked lavender to try it out.

I filled a quart jar with vinegar and added about 15 drops of the lavender oil to it. Put on the jar cap and swish it to gently mix the vinegar and essential oil a bit. That's it. No chemical smell, No asthma attacks, not to mention it is eco friendly.

To use it, I just add it to the fill line in the fabric softener spot on my washer. I do swish the vinegar around a bit to make sure the oils are mixed in and not just sitting on the top of the vinegar. My house smells really nice while the washer is going.

I do smell the lavender on my clothes when they are wet but once they are dried, I don't smell it, but I also don't smell the vinegar. I have also noticed that the vinegar makes my clothes soft and it has stripped off that yucky film left over from the dryer sheets and commercial liquid fabric softener.

There are times when the vinegar/oil fabric softener does not get rid of the static cling though. It gets very dry here in the winter so I need a little something extra. I bought (or you can make) some wool balls. I love the Woolzie brand. So does my cat Abby, she keeps taking them if I don't leave them closed in the dryer.

These do a great job getting rid of the static cling and they fluff up the clothes. Not to mention that they help dry the clothes faster. I use three balls at a time. I bought a six ball pack, not knowing how many balls to use at once or how long they last. They last a long long long time.

Now to get the hubby to get me a nice umbrella clothes dryer for outside so I can save the electricity from the dryer in the warmer months. Not to mention the heat that it gives off to make the house hotter in the summer. I miss having an outside dryer.

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