I’ve already shared with you my recipe for homemade laundry detergent. So how about fabric softener? Let’s take a step away from expensive chemicals and move into the pleasant world of cheap and natural. Today’s experiment: Fabric Softener Substitute.
You are not going to believe this. White vinegar is a fabric softener. There it is. I spilled the beans. White vinegar is made by fermenting water and raisins a next step past being alcoholic. (No, I haven’t made it myself yet, but someday I will!).
White vinegar is a natural disinfectant. Using white vinegar in your laundry will soften your fabrics and will also disinfect it. Bonus!
In a normal load of clothing, I add two tablespoons of white vinegar to the fabric softener dispenser. That’s it. Two tablespoons, People. If it’s a really big load, like a bunch of towels, I double it, adding 1/4 cup. That is seriously all you need for soft fabrics.
But you say, the laundry detergent doesn’t have a perfumed odor. The white vinegar definitely isn’t perfumed. What if I really, really like the perfumed smell of freshly dried laundry?
Ask no more, Friends. I have the solution. Take an old sock or rag that you aren’t using. Put six drops of an essential oil onto the rag. Throw it in the dryer with your wet clothing. Voila! Out comes smelly good dried clothing.
You shouldn’t add the essential oils in with the laundry because some essential oils can break down the fibers of the cloth over time. That’s also why it’s best to use an old sock or rag, not something that you’re going to want to use later.
So now my family buys a gallon-sized white vinegar. We hardly ever use it for food, but always use it for our laundry. If you were to use two tablespoons per load, one gallon would last you 128 loads. At Wal-Mart, a gallon of white vinegar costs $2.78. A gallon of store brand fabric softener that lasts for 60 loads costs $3.78. You are spending 2 cents a load when you use white vinegar. With the fabric softener, you’re spending 6 cents a load. The savings are tangible.
Using the essential oils to add smell can get pricey, depending on your scent of choice. To be honest, we don’t use it. The laundry smells fresh and we don’t miss having a scent.
On a side note, we use an old white vinegar bottle to store our homemade laundry detergent.
More on the wonderful uses of vinegar later.
Have any of you out there ever made your own vinegar? Does anyone already use these fabric softener substitutes?