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I love the way my laundry feels and smells when using fabric softener. However I never want to spend the money that the fabric softener costs. So I purchased a plain spray bottle and fabric softener, filled it with fabric softener about 1/3 of the way up and the rest of way with water.
Now when I throw my clothes in the dryer, I grab my spray bottle and spray several squirts of my fabric softener mixture directly on the clothes inside of the dryer and start it up. Not only does it make my clothes smell good but it removes the static and the need for dryer sheets. Plus your fabric softener lasts a lot longer. Try it you'll be pleased with the results.
By Stacey from GA
I love using fabric softener for my laundry, and one bottle of fabric softener makes two for me, and I'll share how:
I saved one of my empty fabric softener containers and when I bought a new one the same size, I poured 1/2 the contents into the empty, saved, bottle and filled both bottles to the top with water. I use a 1/2 capful in each load and it lasts me for more than a month. Try it.
Note: Most fabric softeners these days are ultra brands or very thick and loaded with perfumes and work just the same when diluted.
Umm al Quain, UAE
When using fabric softener sheets, cut them in half. They work just exactly the same as a whole sheet does.
I got this tip from the Mary Hunt website. Get a spray bottle and fill 1/3 with fabric softener. Fill the rest of the bottle with water. Spray a few times on both sides of an old washcloth, and throw it in the dryer.
There is nothing more pleasing to me on laundry day than smelling the fragrance coming from my bottle of Gain Fabric Softener. Problem is that I live on a limited income and all the "name brand" fabric softeners can become pricey.
When doing laundry, use white vinegar in the rinse cycle instead of fabric softener. This deodorizes laundry and softens it too.
I have a great tip to share that will make your fabric softer last longer and cloths smell just as great and feel just as soft while saving yourself a whole lot of money.
In a recent Reader's Request (one of our other newsletters) we published a reader's request for frugal fabric softener ideas. Below is one of the responses we received.
I like to use dryer sheets, but they're a bit pricey for my tastes. So for some reason, one time I tried to tear one in half. It was quite easy to tear. Now I tear mine in thirds.
ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.
Tips for saving money on fabric softener. Post your ideas below.
Use white vinegar in the rinse cycle of your wash in place of expensive fabric softeners. The vinegar doesn't leave an odor on your clean clothes, and it cleans the inside of your washer at the same time.
By Bonnie (06/28/2004)
Two cups of fabric softener to 1 gallon of water. I soak a rag in this solution, wring it out and throw it in the dryer with the clothes. Your gallon of homemade diluted fabric softener will last for months and you never have to wait for the rinse cycle. I've used this method for years. I find that a large jug you buy at the store can be used in this method and will last for years. (08/07/2004)
If you want soft clothes out of the dryer, but hate the expense of a softener, just use a dash of vinegar. Just a quarter cup or a little more for a large load, does the trick. I have also added about a tablespoon of fabric softener along with the vinegar, and this has worked very well also.
"Use white vinegar in the rinse cycle of your wash in place of expensive fabric softeners."
Just don't do what I did and use the ready-spiced white pickling vinegar by accident! (08/19/2004)
Dilute your liquid fabric softener. I save the empty jug and split the new bottle into both jugs and fill with water. It works great!
By Wanda Gaskins (10/31/2004)
Do you know that using fabric softener on your towels makes them less absorbant? Don't use any fabric softener, you will save lots of money! (10/31/2004)
Why not just put in half as much, and save the hassle of splitting the bottle (10/31/2004)
I have found that white vinegar doesn't hamper the absorbency of towels the way commercial fabric softeners do. (11/02/2004)
I put about 1/4 cup of Downey in a large spray bottle and then fill with water and shake. Lightly spray the inside of the dryer before putting the clothes in. This leaves your clothes just as fresh as using 1/4 cup per load!
By Julie (11/24/2004)
When drying clothes in my dryer, I only add half the usual amount of fabric softener to the washer. Since the dryer softens clothes anyway, that amount is fine. Saves money!
By Linda (01/12/2005)
I only use liquid softeners for my sheets and my tops (for the love of the smell). For all else, I use cheap store brand dryer sheets cut into thirds. The softening and static control are the same but with a 66% savings. Wonderful! (01/15/2005)
I use several of the ideas already listed...First of all, I buy a cheap brand of liquid softener. Then I dilute it to half softener, half water. Next, I pour a little in a bowl and soak a fingertip towel in it. Wring the towel out until just damp. Let it dry, and place it in the dryer. Load your clothes and dry with this towel. Leave the towel in the dryer for the next use. I have been using this method for almost a year, and have only wrung out the towel once more after the initial application. And I don't use fabric softeners on towels, washclothes, and dishtowels. (01/16/2005)
By Harlean from Arkansas
Use fabric softener sheets twice, then store them in a jar w/ diluted liquid softener. When drying a load of clothes, squeeze out the excess solution and toss in the dryer.
By Chell (01/17/2005)
You can save big money on fabric softener by using it in its concentrated form right from the bottle. A very small amount (a quarter sized dollop) on an old cotton rag thrown into the dryer with a wet load of clothing is more than enough to produce just the right amount of softening and help control static cling. I have mine in a pump container and one to two small squirts is sufficient to do several loads of clothing. No used dryer sheet to throw away either - when the rag needs cleaning, just throw it in with a load of laundry and reuse.
By Ronsan (03/08/2005)
I use white vinegar in the rinse dispenser and the fabric dispenser of my washing machine. If I want a fragrence in any load I then throw one of the sponges into the dryer that I keep soaking in a container with fabric softener which I have diluted with water by 50%. Not an expensive alternative and works well. (03/08/2005)
I use Fabuloso as my fabric softener. It is like a Pine Sol but they have different fragances. Plus, it makes your clothes cleaner and it smells great. The price for Fabuloso is much cheaper. (03/09/2005)
A washing machine mechanic advised me not to use fabric softener in my washing machine as in time it can clog up the machine. He advised me to use white vinegar instead. (03/16/2005)
I have been using an old dish towel as a fabric softener sheet. I pour a couple of capfuls of Downey on it and throw it in the dryer. It has taken over a year to go through a bottle of Downey fabric softener. I add more Downey about every 15 loads or just when I notice a little static. It helps to use a towel that is distinct from the other laundry. I use a pink towel, which is a one of a kind in our house.
By Diana (05/09/2005)
Instead of spending so much on dryer sheets, try mixing 60/40 water/fabric softener in a spray bottle, when loading up the dryer, spray/mist the clothes with the mixture, you will get more for your money and less trips to the store when you run out of dryer sheets!
By Kathy (09/06/2005)
I use white vinegar in the washer all the time. It softens the water, softens the clothes, neutralizes many odors, leaves clothes fresh. It helps the soap rinse cleaner than plain water alone. It's a mild disinfectant. Vinegar is great for people with allergies to such products as soaps and softeners. (09/07/2005)
I cut my dryer sheets in half and use 1/2 sheet per dryer load. Cuts the expense of the the box of sheets in half and works just as well as a full sheet! (09/07/2005)
Now they have washing detergent that has the fabric softener already added in it. It smells so great. And since the two are together for the same price as your regular detergent, it saves you some money! (09/22/2005)