by contributing writer Dawn
Besides being filled with chemicals I don’t want in my house or on my skin, fabric softeners are expensive. Homemade fabric softener is a frugal option that can be chemical free. Over the years, I have gradually let go of my dependence on name brand fabric softeners and dryer sheets, with each step becoming more and more frugal.
Homemade Dryer Sheets
Soak small pieces of sponge or a cut up tee shirt in liquid fabric softeners (a piece of towel works well too!) Squeeze it out and toss it in the dryer with your load. A repurposed baby wipes container is the perfect size for this. Keep it with your laundry detergent and it will always be convenient.
Plain Old Vinegar
Use one cup of distilled white vinegar in each load of laundry. Place it in the fabric softener dispenser instead of liquid fabric softener. (You can also use a Downy ball if you don’t have a dispenser.) I resisted using straight vinegar for several years thinking my clothes would smell like vinegar. However, once I tried it, I realized not only did they not smell like vinegar, they smelled fresher! (Click here for more ideas on how to use vinegar to clean your home.)
Mix one cup of white distilled vinegar and 1 1/2 teaspoons of eucalyptus essential oil in a spray bottle. Use about 10-15 squirts of the bottle for a full load of clothes (less if it is a smaller load.) I have found that squirting about three times every three or four pieces of clothing distributes the spray more evenly than squirting all on top of the load. The smell of the eucalyptus and vinegar with dissipate as the clothes dry but will leave your laundry soft and fresh.
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