04 August 2011

Home Made Fabric Softener

MY DRYER BROKE!!! WHY!? Of all times for the dryer to break it just HAD to be now. Such is life I guess. :) Luckily for me it is summer and I live in the south so my dryer isn't really needed. The only reason I use it half the time is because currently I only have a very tiny covered porch area on the second floor. There usually isn't a ton of room to dry things. Because of that I have been hanging clothes in both the bathrooms on hangers over the tubs (yeaaa I'm know how funny this is) and also on the back porch. The only issue with this is that the clothing dries VERY stiff and they feel scratchy and hard. Being on a tight budget I'd rather not invest in buying fabric softener every week (I do a lot of laundry) so I've decided to make my own. I looked around online for a while and found out that basically they are all just about the same. The ingredients were simple, they were things I had around the house and the recipe I chose to use was very simple. The entire process took 5 minutes.

You Need:

1 cup baking soda
6 cups distilled white vinegar (do not use apple cider vinegar, this could stain your clothing!)
8 cups of water
Also, an optional item you can use is fifteen drops of essential oil (if you have it). I think lemon, orange or lavender oil would be great to use. I didn't use any though.
One towel to contain any mess that may result. :)  I didn't have a mess because my bucket was big enough.
I recommend using a bucket because the baking soda and the vinegar fizz up when mixed. Use at least a one gallon container. You also need a jar or bottle to store it in. I always keep my jars from anything I buy just for situations like this. I used a 3 gal glass applesauce jar to store my mixture.

1: Add the baking soda to your bucket.

2: Add ONE cup of water and mix.

3: Start adding your vinegar slowly now, I added one cup at a time and stirred between because each time you add a cup in the mixture it will fizz up. In a bucket this wasn't a problem but if your using a smaller container like a mixing bowl beware on this step.

4: Now, add the rest of the water (7 cups) and stir.

5: Lastly if you decide to use essential oils add them now. Just remember though if you choose to use essential oils in your recipe shake or stir your softener before every use because it will separate.

6: Once everything is dissolved and properly mixed transfer it to the container you will be storing it in. It may help you to use a funnel if your transferring it from a bucket.

Add one cup to your final rinse for every load. This makes 15 cups.

FINAL REVIEW: I actually like it. It did help a little and I will continue to make and use this. Keep in mind that vinegar is a natural whitener and can help keep your clothing brighter. Also, if you dry your clothing in the sun it is a natural stain remover. This is a great trick all cloth diapering moms use to get the stains out of diapers. If the sun can get stains like that out it can most certainly bleach out any other stains. All around ditching the dryer is going to cut down on electricity as well so this entire process was a win-win and well worth my time. My clothes are softer, brighter, have less stains AND I saved money.

(keep in mind this is what I paid for my supplies at my local grocery store)
1 16 oz box of store brand baking soda: .50 cents. In total I used half the box (8 oz or one cup) so .25 cents.
1 one gal bottle of store brand distilled white vinegar: 1.60. I used 6 cups so about .10 cents.
8 cups water: free from the tap :P

The cost of a bottle of store brand liquid fabric softener in my store was 3.78 and was 51 oz or 60 loads. If you break that down and follow the package directions per use that is .63 cents per load.
Ingredient wise the cost in total to make this recipe comes out to .35 cents for 15 loads of laundry. Now, if I make enough to do 60 loads of laundry I would be spending 1.40. that beats buying softener in the store ANY day!
Total savings per bottle: 2.38
Total savings for 6 months (a load of laundry every other day, about 96 loads. Roughly that is making this 6 1/2 times).  15.47
Total savings per year (a load of laundry every other day, roughly 192 loads. Making this mixture 13 times): 30.97.

If your on a tight budget you can use up 65 minutes of your year by investing the time into making this and saving 30.97. On top of that I used this site: http://michaelbluejay.com/electricity/laundry.html to break down how much I will save a year by continuing to sun-dry my clothing. I also always wash my clothing on cold. It is not necessary to wash your clothing in hot water. According to this site it wastes enough electricity in a year washing on hot water as it would for you to keep your refrigerator open 24 hours a day for a year. OUCH. On top of that your clothing will last longer, stay brighter longer and not shrink. Per year according to the above website I spend 164.00 in electricity to run my washer and dryer. Cutting my dryer out I am spending 95.00 a year to wash our clothing. Combined with just my fabric softener recipe I am saving 99.97 dollars a year making this change alone. :D


Post a Comment