Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A change in fabric softener, too!

This stuff is fun.  I'm talking about finding eco-friendly ways and means of getting the job done.  Any job.  All jobs.  Besides being good for the environment, it just appeals to the inner scientist in me.

This time it was fabric softener.  The homemade sheets that I have been using, you know, the washcloth sprayed with diluted fabric softener?  Well, they are leaving a softener coating on things, like rags, washclothes..everything...and it bugs me.  The stuff just isn't as absorbent as it should be. So I finally tried using vinegar as fabric softener replacement.

Bill absolutely can't tolerate vinegar smell, so I had been hesitant to even try it.  I figured the smell from the washer would be enough to have him holding his nose and giving me 'the look'.  You know 'the look'.  Strangely enough, neither one of us noticed anything.  I do have the dryer on right now, guess I was feeling too lazy to hang up clothes tonight.  My dryer is vented into the house, but I don't notice any vinegar smell at all.

The verdict?  It worked just like they said.  No static cling and clothes looked a bit brighter!  No nice perfumed smell, but no vinegar smell either.  I love this stuff.  My grocery list is getting shorter all the time!  And so is my grocery bill!

I have a Fisher Paykel washer that uses a lot less water than standard washing machines, so I used just half a cup of vinegar with a bit of water in the softener cup.  A lot of people use the Downy balls, and a full cup of white vinegar.  Another bonus is that it keeps your washer clean, too.  And for Pete's sake, don't buy that Tide HE cleaner they just came out with!  Use some vinegar instead.  I guess if you just want to mail a check to the Tide people, they'd appreciate it.

Edited on 9-7-11
Okay, I admit it.  I missed the nice, scented smell on the clothes.  I found myself doing a big sniff of our daughter's blouse, heck anyone's shoulder when I gave them a hug.  So I did buy a jug of liquid el cheapo fabric softener that I can use when I need a fragrance fix, plus I can use it for other things, too.  I was going to grab a jug of Downy until I saw the price!  So I got the $2+ store brand of concentrate instead and it's fine.  Anyway, I put a dribble of fabric softener into my big spray bottle, added some filtered water and use it to spray shirts that have been left in the dryer.  I just put them on hangers, give them a good mist on the front, back and sleeves and then let them dry.  I also use this mix for an anti static dust spray.  Spray lightly on a rag and then dust away!


  1. When I moved to SDAK, my SO told me I needed "Dryer Balls". At first I wasn't sure exactly what she meant but I went to the store and found them. These are the size of tennis balls (which apparently was the thing that instigated the invention) with little knobs on them and some little spongy like spots about the size of a quarter. Since I started using them I have never used a drop of fabric softener again. These things work great and don't polute the water. They are a bit spendy ($10) for two of them but they work so well you'll never spend another dime on fabric softener.
    Trim sends

  2. I have heard of them, but never tried them. Don't you just love the simple things that do such a great job! I've also heard of people using a wadded up ball of aluminum foil, too.
    I'm still wondering about the science behind the dryer balls...and why they work.... :o) Thanks for visiting and posting!