DIY Fabric Softener

In an effort to save money I have been making my own household products. My requirements for such products are simple: 1. save money, 2. be quick and easy to make, 3. work well. For us, homemade fabric softener did not meet these requirements but I wanted to share with you anyway because it may work for you.

A little background – I can’t use liquid fabric softener. For some reason it makes me very itchy. So, we have always used Bounce Dryer Sheets. I can usually buy a box of 120 sheets for $4-5 on sale and with a coupon. So that costs about 3 or 4 cents per load of laundry.

In looking for alternatives to a store bought fabric softener or dryer sheet, I found two common options. The first option, you buy a bottle of liquid fabric softener, pour it into a 5 gallon bucket and add 2 fabric softener bottles full of water. Through some sponges in there. When you’re ready to dry a load of clothes, shake out one of the sponges and toss it into the dryer with your laundry. Simple, comments say it’s effective, definitely saves money. But, doesn’t work for us due to the previously mentioned itchiness.

The second option is to use white vinegar as your “fabric softener” in your washing machine. Add 1/2 cup of vinegar to either the fabric softener spot on your washer or use one of those downy balls that you just throw into the washer. This combined with adding a couple dryer balls to your dryer is supposed to help rinse away soap residue, soften clothes and reduce static. But it costs between 7 and 8 cents per load, depending on the costs of your vinegar. Definitely quick and easy, comments online say it’s effective though I’m not sure myself, but it doesn’t save money compared to the dryer sheets I’m already using.

So, for us, the DIY Fabric Softener doesn’t really work. We will continue to use the dryer sheets. But, if your motivations for making your own products are different than mine, or if you aren’t allergic to fabric softener, these options might work for you. Give it a try and let me know how it goes.

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2 responses to “DIY Fabric Softener

  1. Kristal Woods June 2, 2012 at 12:24 PM

    I’m going to try using the white vinegar as soon as my current bottle of fabric softener runs out. I use Downy Free (or whatever it’s called) liquid…i have the exact opposite problem of you – sheets make me itchy! I’ll let you know how the vinegar works. I’ve already discovered that it’s a GREAT laundry additive to get rid of smells, helps with some stains, too. hmmm…vinegar might be something i’m going to have to buy in bulk…

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