Sep 3, 2012

EASY Homemade Fabric Softener!


Something happened to us a few weeks ago that hadn’t happened in YEARS… we ran out of laundry detergent. I know, I know, the cardinal sin for a couponer. And to top it all off, we were pretty backed up on laundry and couldn’t put it off much longer. (And I was out of soap nuts as well, which I love using!)

Ryan was at work and I asked him if he could pick up a small container of laundry detergent on his way home to get us by until I could stock up on a good sale.

He swung by Walmart on his way home (we are very limited on our options where we live) and grabbed, what he thought, was the best price on laundry detergent. Over half off per load from the next least expensive option. He set it on top of the washing machine when he got home and I started to pour it into the washing machine only to see that the brand name was DOWNY. Now I’ve been buying laundry detergent for years, and I know that when I see Downy that it’s NOT laundry detergent. But I don’t think Ryan has EVER had to buy laundry detergent (maybe in college? Although I doubt it!) Even though we share the laundry duties most of the time, I’m always the one that buys it.

They really should make the “Fabric Softener” words a little bigger, don’t you think?  It’s almost like they are trying to deceive us!  (The only place it mentions “Fabric Softener” is those TINY blue words on the right at the bottom of the bottle).

We both had a good laugh about it and it reminded me that I hadn’t shared with you guys how I make my own fabric softener!

I don’t think I have EVER bought fabric softener because I just use vinegar. Yep, distilled white vinegar makes AWESOME fabric softener (and, in case you’re wondering, it’s one of the few items that I buy the store brand for most of the time).

I’m fine with just using vinegar on its own, and I’ve never had an issue with my clothes smelling like vinegar when they come out of the wash. Plus, for those of you who live in an area with hard water, you can also add in about 1/2 cup of baking soda with your clothes to soften the water (and your clothes) as well!  Just be sure to put the vinegar in the RINSE section (or rinse cycle) and the baking soda in WITH the clothes at the beginning.  They DO NOT go in together, just in case you forgot about all of the volcano science experiments from elementary school.

But if you would like to add a little fragrance to your homemade fabric softener, you can add some hair conditioner in with the vinegar.  Yes, HAIR CONDITIONER!!

If you’re just going to use vinegar then just pour anywhere from 1/4 – 3/4 cup (depending on the size of your washing machine and how large your load is) into your fabric softener section of where you put your laundry detergent (or put it into the rinse cycle if your washing machine doesn’t have that option).

If you would like to have more of a “fabric softener” consistency and smell then use the following recipe instead:

EASY Homemade Fabric Softener!
  1. Mix all of the ingredients in a container. It will take a while to get them all mixed well.
  2. Pour into a container that you can pour from, or just funnel it into your old fabric softener container.
  3. Use just like you would regular fabric softener!

For those of us who go through shampoo much faster than we do conditioner, this gives us a great use for all of the extra bottles of conditioner that we likely have in our stockpiles!  🙂

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