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I'll Never Buy Commercial Fabric Softener Again!

I save an old fabric softener or detergent bottled (rinsed well). Using a funnel I carefully pour the following into the bottle:

  • 2 cups vinegar
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  • 2 cups baking soda
  • 4 cups hot water

Be careful when adding the baking soda, do so very slowly as it will foam up. Cap and shake gently from side to side, opening the cap to allow air to escape (you may need to do this several times). Add about 20 drops of essential oil. I love lavender but you can use cedarwood, rose, eucalyptus, whatever you love.

Shake side to side before each use as the baking soda will settle. Pour just past the line in a Downyball (I find this method works better than the machines fabric softener dispenser). Toss the ball in and that's it.

It costs a mere pennies to make. Buy the huge boxes of baking soda now available and gallons of white vinegar.

There is no static cling whatsoever and it leaves a lovely scent on your clothing. For extra fragrance, put some in a spray bottle and spray your load of laundry as it goes into the dryer.

The serviceman where we bought our Whirlpool washer and dryer combo said NEVER to use any type of dryer sheets in a dryer. They leave a residue on the lint screen. Take your screen and hold it under a running faucet. If the water beads and doesn't run thru freely, it's clogged by use of dryer sheets.

Try this cheap, environmentally friendly version instead. It's safe to use on children's sleepwear and doesn't diminish the absorbency of towels or clothes as it does not coat the fabric.

Melissa

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August 20, 20050 found this helpful

I had heard once from one dryer repairman not to use Bounce softener sheets ever as they will leave a residue on the sensor in your dryer and it will dry too hot....another repairman said he'd never heard of that. I quit using dryer sheets and use the softener now...I am going to try this tho. Thanks for the tip.

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August 21, 20050 found this helpful

Thank you for posting this Melissa.

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August 22, 20050 found this helpful

Where do you purchase the essential oils?

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August 22, 20050 found this helpful

These can be found at pretty much any healthfood store... they come in all kinds of different scents. We use the eucalyptis in the cold mist vaporizor when my girls have colds and it eases the coughing and congestion.

Initially, the cost of the oils seems expensive but they has for a LONG time.

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September 25, 20050 found this helpful

HOW AWSUM!!! im 13 and i hate it when my clothes get all SC (static clingy) so from now im im using THIS!! all u moms out there that make this site possible keep up the good work

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October 13, 20050 found this helpful

I have been using this recipe for years. It is the best in my opinion. I don't use the essential oils, I prefer the smell of plain old clean laundry (especially just off the clothesline outside).

If you also steer clear of synthetic fabrics and stick to natural fibres like cotton, etc. you will have less problems with static as well.

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February 17, 20060 found this helpful

Thanks for posting this I will have to try this out .

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February 17, 20060 found this helpful

I've been using the baking soda/vinegar and water for the past few months. Great find!

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February 25, 20060 found this helpful

How about if you mix all ingredients in a large container and stir. Then pour into bottle??

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March 22, 20060 found this helpful

Okay, I did it by halving the recipe. I used my Mighty small All bottle (32 oz, and the detergent really is concentrated!) I tried it on one load using my machine dispenser (truly frugal, gotta use what I got!) - one capful of rinse & one capful of water. Had a little Baking Soda residue in it, but not too bad. The clothes looked like they had no residue, and I threw them in the dryer. I was so excited I kept checking them! I had other clothes hang drying, and threw them in for comparison. All the clothes I used with the rinse were SOFT, but still had the static. THe other ones weren't soft. I am SOLD! The lint catcher had NO baking soda on it. So I marked the instructions on the bottle, and hopefully my friend that does his laundry here will try it, instead of those sheets! Thanks for this recipe, I can't wait to see how my towels will feel!

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March 26, 20060 found this helpful

I've been looking for those Downy Balls but can't find them. Does anybody know what store carries them? I live in San Antonio, Tx. Thanks!

I'll try the advice on your softener but want a downy ball to do it.

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March 26, 20060 found this helpful

Wal-mart or most major discount stores sell them next to the Downy F.S., but I usually see the display empty. You can talk to your local store manager and have them hold one for you or call you when they come in. Some are nice enough to do that.

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April 1, 20060 found this helpful

Just wondering......

If you have a fabric softener dispenser, built into the washing machine, would you use this homemade softener the same way as the store bought one? I would LOVE to make my own, saving money, and no more lugging bottles, less re cycling too!

Thanks, Jgs

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April 7, 20060 found this helpful

Kill static with a loosely balled piece of foil in the dryer. It will eventually tighten up and fall apart - cheap to replace. I've been doing this for years - NO STATIC AT ALL in our clothes!

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October 28, 20060 found this helpful

Guest poster here. I need some opinions. If there was a Febreze clone for half the price:with the same formula, that worked better with fewer sprays, had the same scents, plus a few custom scents (lavender, tropical, plus any most requested ones), came in a 48oz bottle vs. Febreze's 27oz bottle, and could be bought online/eBay for around $4.00 (plus $2-4 shipping) would anyone buy it?

The reason I ask is, I have a friend who's developed a Febreze clone that's near-identical, jsut slightly more concentrated, and he's trying to decide whether to sell it online, or just mix it up for friends & family. He wants to know if it was ever sold online, would anyone possibly consider trying it? And if so, what would you consider to be fair price, good size in ounces, and worth the 2-3 day...spray-delay? from buying online.

I think we can ALL agree that Febreze is WAY overpriced ($5.75 for 27oz bottle here in NC). I mean, not only is it 97% water (!) but it's also been premium priced solely due to its popularity. According to my chemist pal, it's nowhere near that expensive to make, even in small batches.

Any comments or scent suggestiona/recommendations would be appreciated either in this thread or email to kelaniz at ye olde gmail.com Personally, I hope he starts selling it. I wouldn't mind having a 55 gallon drum in my closet as my secret weapon vs my cat :)

Thanks in advance! - Kelani

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January 8, 20110 found this helpful

Thanks for the recipe! I heard of this on the Duggar's TV show in the fall and have been waiting for a re run so that I could make some for myself. Never thought to ask. I can't wait to try this. I love to use a cotton ball just dipped into peppermint essential oil in my dryer when doing clothing at holiday time. I don't have to spend money on perfume and yet I always smell Christmasy. I like lavender in the Spring and Summer and on night clothes and love the smell of lemon any time. You can have all kinds of fun as it just takes a drop of essential oil and a small generic cotton ball to make everything in the dryer smell however you choose!

Thanks Again~~~

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May 20, 20130 found this helpful

I'm sorry to be the one to tell you this, but the only thing that makes sense in your recipe is the essential oil. Vinegar is an acid. Baking soda is a base. You mix an acid and a base, and you get hydrogen gas (that's the source of the fun bubbles) and salt water. Not salt as in sodium chloride, but it will be a salt water solution. Do you really think that using salt water is an effective fabric softener? If so, why not just make up some homemade salt water (or go to the beach--salt water there is free) and dump it on in?

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November 15, 20140 found this helpful

This may make your clothes smell nice because of the essential oil, and it may prevent static - but it is not a fabric softener. You need to coat the fibers to soften, and nothing in this recipe does that. About the only commonly available home substance that would work is hair conditioner, since it was formulated to stay on the hair (aka fiber) even after rinsing.

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In This Guide
Generic Fabric Softener Bottles
Homemade Fabric Softener Recipes
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Home and Garden Cleaning Cleaning Supply Recipes Laundry RecipesAugust 19, 2005
Guides
Fabric Softener Reviews
Fabric Softener Reviews
Vinegar being poured into fabric softener compartment on a top load washer
Using Vinegar as a Fabric Softener
Downy Fabric Softener Ball
Uses For Downy Fabric Softener Balls
Cleaning a Fabric Softener Dispenser
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