Thursday, February 16, 2012

Fabric Softener

I am not the kind of person to sit around, drinking a soda/pop/cola/coke and watch tv, sleep or play on the computer for hours on end. I have NEVER been that person.
No, I must be doing something. Anything. Read, watch *a* movie, laundry, dust, vacuum, dishes, craft, ANYTHING. I hate to be idle for too long.

Most often, I am researching something I want to know about, looking up more craft items to do or actually doing homework. So while it appears I may live my life in front of a computer (and trust me, there are days it feels like it, too!), I simply do not.

Anywho- where was this post going- Oh yeah (ohh, look! A shiny object!)-
I don't like to sit around and do nothing. Today is no exception. And my morning class was canceled an hour before it started, so I found myself with all this morning energy and no where to go.

So I started searching the interwebs. Looking for something homemade, I didn't care what, that I could do.
And I found homemade fabric softener.

Now- my appliance repairman has always said fabric softener is bad bad bad for your washer. Never use it. It wears out the mechanisms and coats the pipes, prematurely wearing out the appliance. I believe him. So I used dryer sheets instead. But they never seemed to get the laundry smelling as nice as my favorite liquid fabric softener.

I am now compromising. I made homemade liquid fabric softener but I put it on an old cloth and throw it in the dryer. Win-Win!

Here's what I did-
The players:

6 cups water
3 cups white vinegar
2 cups hair conditioner
(this recipe can easily be halved if you don't want so much!)

Mix all three together in a gallon container- but stir gently or you'll end up with lots of bubbles. I used a 5-gallon paint container- it was the only thing I could find!

Pour into a spray bottle and spritz an old cotton or flannel cloth into the dryer. Depending on how much you spritz, one cloth should last two or three loads.
I also put into pint jars to give to friends or store in the laundry room. :) I'm such a nice person!

Another option is to put this softener in your designated spot of your washer, or a Downy ball. But remember, using liquid softener in the washer is bad- so I don't recommend this way.

This recipe is simple and makes a lot.  Have fun with it- trying out different scented conditioners- or better yet- find a condition with little to NO smell, and add essential oils in your favorite scent. (I recommend 30 drops per gallon.)


  1. I gave up fabric softener (drier sheets) altogether about a year ago. I use aluminum foil balls in the drier to deal with the static.

    My skin allergies are happier for that decision. But when hubby was cleaning out the lint vent, he said it was much sparkly than it used to be. Well... that's to be expected, I guess.

    But I do like your idea. Something for me to contemplate.

  2. ...oh... and I'm off every other friday. Normally, that means a morning run followed by tons of laundry, cleaning the house, and cooking a meal.

    Today... I slept until 10, woke very hung over with swollen eyes from crying myself to sleep, and decided motivation was not happening. I did force myself to go roller skating for about 30-40 minutes (have to due to roller derby) and stopped at the grocery store on the way home for dinner stuff. But once home, I ate a hot dog, did the dishes (martini glasses from last night, see also hangover), then set up my hammock in the back yard and laid down with my Nook.

    It was a nice change. But not something I can do often.

  3. I *think* I've heard of using aluminum foil in the dryer....I'm a little fuzzy on the details.
    How big of a ball? Is it a loose crumble or a tight crumble? How many balls do you put in the dryer at a time?

    Inquiring Minds Want To Know! :)

  4. I just get like 2 inches from the roll, wad it up, throw 4 or 5 of them in the drier.

  5. I've also heard that a dollop of liquid fabric softener on a washcloth thrown into the dryer works well, although I've never actually tested it.

  6. Harv- that is exactly what this is- you just make your own fabric softener for pennies (as opposed to dollars of the store-bought brand).