Frugal Living: Homemade Fabric Softener

Posted: 09/03/11 9:00 AM (Modified: 03/27/12 11:30 AM)


Here is a great recipe from The Peaceful Housewife. I love this, if you've ran out of those fabulous Gain coupons or know that the day is coming when you'll run out of the stacks of fabric softener you've stocked up on. For me, this is a great option due to skin sensitives in our house.

Homemade Fabric Softener:

You have your frugal homemade laundry detergent, but using commercial fabric softeners with your homemade laundry detergent would be a shame! 
Homemade fabric softener will work wonderfully with your homemade detergent and will help keep your clothes soft without using unnecessary chemicals that don’t rinse out of your clothes.
1 cup water
1 cup baking soda
2 cups white vinegar
20 drops of essential oil of your choice
Choose a container with ample room to ensure that there’s enough room for the chemical reaction that will occur. Combine the above ingredients, beginning with the water, essential oil and baking soda and then very slowly adding the vinegar to avoid the volcano effect. 
Use 1/2 cup in the rinse cycle of your washer or wet a washcloth and throw it in the dryer with your clothes.
Want to save even more on doing your laundry? Hang the clothes on a clothes line to dry halfway and then put them in the dryer with a washcloth with fabric softener on it. 
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Comments, page 1 of 5 1 2 3 4 Next »
Mar 22, 2011 06:07 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

If scent or fragrances bother you, just use about 1/4 cup of white vinegar in your rinse water. It acts as a fabric softener and removes any soap and mineral residue. If items have static once they dry, take a sheet or two of aluminum foil and form it into a ball. Toss it in with the clothes and tumble for a few minutes to remove static. You'll have static-free, soft clothes. This works especially well for bath towels that have lost their fluff and absorbency due to soap residue and hard water.

Mar 25, 2011 08:58 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

Please give examples / brands of the essential oil that you are talking about? Will the essential oil leave stain marks on your clothes?

Apr 5, 2011 10:54 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

Yes, I want to make sure I am not putting the wrong kind of essential oil(s) in my mixture. Examples please. :)

Apr 5, 2011 10:56 am
 Posted by  The Peaceful Housewife

You can buy essential oils at Akins or Whole Foods. Those would be your best bet so you wouldn't have to pay shipping, as shipping on essential and fragrance oils can be pretty steep.

Essential oils aren't actually oils at all. They're distillations of plants/barks/fruits/berries/flowers. They don't leave any residue or stains on your laundry.

The Peaceful Housewife

Apr 5, 2011 10:58 am
 Posted by  The Peaceful Housewife

I personally purchase my essential oils in bulk online from places like Wholesale Supplies Plus, Peak Candles and Nature's Garden. But when I need some quickly, Akins or Whole Foods works great. You can use orange, peppermint, eucalyptus, lemon, lavender, vanilla or really any essential or fragrance oils you'd like.

Apr 5, 2011 11:33 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

Can you explain more about the washcloth and how that works? Also did you make and store in the jars pictured above and how did you get it pink.

Apr 5, 2011 12:11 pm
 Posted by  Countess of Coupons

I would also like to know about the jars in the photo and also the use of the washcloth. Should the same washcloth be used over and over or is it necessary to use a different washcloth each time? I love the idea of making my own. This way I can control the scent. Thank you so much for the information.

Apr 5, 2011 01:59 pm
 Posted by  The Peaceful Housewife

If you'd like to use the softener as a softener "sheet" rather than a liquid laundry detergent, or in addition to it, you can use the softener to wet a washcloth and throw that washcloth in with your clothes in the dryer and that will help scent your clothes and cut down on static.

The pink color in the picture is from using Zote soap for the grated soap. It's a pink bar laundry soap that you can find at Reasors or Warehouse Market. It does have dyes and optical brighteners, so if that's important to you, choose another soap.

I did make that detergent and store it in the jars. It's a mason jar that I just decorated.

Apr 5, 2011 11:46 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

What does the baking soda do? I am sensitive to scents & fragrances, so I never use fabric softener or sheets. Thanks especially for info on towels. I've wondered for years how to get back fluffiness & absorbency!

Apr 6, 2011 06:13 am
 Posted by  The Peaceful Housewife

The vinegar in the mixture helps your laundry to rinse clean and the baking soda helps fluff. I hope you enjoy it!

The Peaceful Housewife

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