Fabric Softener Recipes & Reusable Dryer Sheets

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TowelsHere are several quick tips for cutting costs on fabric softeners and making your own dryer sheets, each point is a separate tip. You’ll also find a few recipes and projects to try (listed at the bottom of the page). Lots here!

  1. Soak a washcloth in full strength liquid softener. Wring out excess, then lay out to dry first before using–helps prevent staining laundry the first time. To use: toss in the dryer and use again and again until it no longer works. Resoak when needed (you should be able to do a few dozen loads per soak).
  2. Using 1/4 cup vinegar in your rinse cycle can do the job. You can set aside a vinegar jug just for laundry and add about 2 dozen drops of your favorite essential oil to the vinegar if you’d like (or as much EO as you feel necessary).
  3. In a pail mix 1 gallon of water and 1 cup concentrated liquid softener. Dip a sponge or washcloth in the liquid, squeeze out excess and toss in with the load. Seal pail when not in use.
  4. Pour liquid softener and hot water in a spray bottle (50/50 mix) and lightly mist wet laundry before starting the dryer. Two or three good shots should do it. You could also just spritz a clean washcloth and toss that in.
  5. Cut dryer sheets in thirds or halves, use one strip per load.
  6. Mix equal parts hair conditioner and water and store in spray bottle. Mist a washcloth or sponge and toss in with load.
  7. Use about 1/4 to 1/2 of the amount that they recommend on the bottle.
  8. 1/8 cup baking soda added to laundry and 1/4 cup vinegar in the rinse cycle.
  9. Use a Downy ball if you have one–just use vinegar instead.

Here’s a recipe you can try:

1 part Vinegar
1 part Baking Soda
2 parts Hot Water

  • Place a pail large enough to hold double the amount of ingredients in the kitchen sink or bathtub. Mix the baking soda and water in the pail, stir till the powder is dissolved. Then add the vinegar.
  • Remember that baking soda and vinegar reacts with fizzing, so use a big pail to account for this. Once it’s stopped fizzing, pour into clean bottles, cap, then use 1/4 cup per rinse cycle.
  • Updated Info: The baking soda won’t be completely dissolved, just shake the bottle to mix the batch up before adding to the rinse cycle.

Scented:

Cheryl sent in this one that is scented with your favorite essential oils.

I’ve had good success with this recipe and enjoy trying different fragrances just to keep things interesting. The scent is light once clothes have been dried and you can increase the amount of essential oils if the fragrance isn’t strong enough for you.

Ingredients:

1 cup baking soda
1 1/4 cups warm water
8 cups white vinegar
Essential Oils

Directions:

  • First mix the vinegar and water together then add the baking soda gradually, stirring the whole time. You will want to make sure to use a large pail to accommodate the fizzing activity from the baking soda and vinegar reaction.
  • Use a funnel to pour this mixture into a washed, gallon sized milk jug (plastic), add 1/3 teaspoon of your favorite essential oil, cap and seal then shake well.
  • To use: Shake each time before use, adding 1/2 to 1 cup at the start of the rinse cycle.

Thanks for sharing Cheryl!

For essential oil ideas, consider germ fighting gems like Eucalyptus or Tea Tree. If scent is what you’re after, consider lavender or even citrus favorites like orange or lemon.

Flannel Strips Instructions:
(can be reused over and over again)

Flannel pieces
4 TBS liquid softener
10 TBS water

  • Cut strips from old flannel pajamas or leftover flannel from sewing and cut into 3″ x 5″ strips (approximately).
  • Stack flannel strips in a cleaned margarine tub (large size) or plastic container (cleaned baby wipes container works well too). Mix the liquid ingredients together, then pour evenly over top of stacked flannel strips.
  • Seal container and shake well.

You can use several dozen strips with this mixture. Leave sealed for 2 or 3 days, then use one flannel strip per load–squeeze out excess if necessary (it should be just damp). Keep container sealed at all times. Wash strips after use, then use again to make another batch when needed.

Herbal Lavender Bags:
*First published September 27, 2007 and moved to this page for better organization

Fresh and fragrant laundry can be achieved chemical free with easy to make lavender bags. Using lavender buds gives the benefit of a natural moth repellent, sleep aid and a natural antibacterial.

Use 1/4 cup vinegar in your rinse cycle (for static cling help, up the amount to 1/2 cup if needed) and toss the herbal sachets in the dryer for fresh smelling laundry. For optimal benefit, use organic lavender.

Materials Needed:

5″ x 5″ cotton muslin or cheesecloth squares (2)
Thread
Lavender

Directions:

  • Sew large “tea bags” out of the muslin or cheesecloth squares, leaving an opening at the top to fill with lavender. Sew the top shut. No need to sew fancy, just place the squares together and sew a single seam along the top about 1/4″ from the edge.
  • Roughly squeeze the bags before tossing in with wet laundry. When items are done the scent is light, not overwhelming at all. Especially nice to use on loads of bedding (sweet, fragrant dreams).
  • Bags are reusable! When the lavender is no longer doing its job, take a seam ripper and open about 2″ on one end, empty the bag, refill and sew shut. For one last kick at the can, crush the used lavender and toss it around your carpet. Let sit for about an hour then vacuum.

Tip: Make more than one bag so that the same one isn’t in one load after another, alternate them so each bag has a chance to cool down before being used again.

Also see these tips for making wool balls from goodmama.typepad.com.

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Published: January 4, 2007
Updated: July 2, 2012

What Readers Are Saying:
94 Comments to “Fabric Softener Recipes & Reusable Dryer Sheets”
  1. Monica says:

    I am getting SO addicted to reading all your tips – I’ve long wondered an easier way to do dryer sheets and have tried making my own cleaners before. I’m going to try the flannel strips to store in a baby wipes container! Thank you so much for all the great ideas!

  2. Monica says:

    So, could I use the homemade fabric softener to make the homemade dryer sheets?

  3. Tipnut says:

    Thanks Monica :)!!

    I haven’t tried the homemade fabric softener on the flannel strips, it may need the water from the rinse cycle to not leave a residue? I’m not sure. But you could first try spraying a fabric strip and tossing it in the dryer to see how it works.

  4. MoooMooo:) says:

    how long can one dryer sheet last?

  5. TipNut says:

    MoooMooo, sorry for my late reply but the dryer sheets are used once.

  6. vickie says:

    to make your car smell fresh ..place a bar of caress soap under the drivers seat ..the heat from the emgine intensifies making it smell so clean and fresh ..for men ..a bar of irish spring works for you guys.. thanks and enjoy ..

  7. vickie says:

    i save my dryer sheets in a pretty lil decorated jar and add a lil febreze / liquid fabric softer to them ..give a sqeeze and wa la ..your clothes smell so fresh but are so much softer than usign dryer sheets alone

  8. vickie says:

    I LOVE USING SHAMPOO AND HAIR CONDITIONER IN MY WASHER FOR MY LAUNDRY ..THE SMELL AND SOFTNESS IS UNBELIEVABLE .. TRY IT ..IT TRULY WORKS ..

    • Deborah Schneebeli says:

      How much hair conditioner do you add to a load of laundry as fabric softener? I like this idea.

      • Patsy says:

        Putting shampoo and conditioner in your washing machine will result in buildup on the washer parts. The safest soap to use in your washer is powder and if you use fabric softener, always use vinegar with it to clean the parts.

        • Heather says:

          I just wanted to tell you that I have gone to seminars about economical ways for cleaning from laundry to windows. In all of these seminars, I was told , (By the professionals there) that you should never use powdered laundry soap because it DAMAGES your washer. When you buy your washer and you get a coupon deal fro Tide, it is because the Tide company has made a deal with the company you buy the washer to tell people to buy powdered. It cakes onto the sides of the barrel and does damage so your machine will not last as long. They want you to do this so you buy more washers from them more often.

          • mommymilestones says:

            That’s not true, sorry! I buy and sell used washers and dryers every day. The worst condition washers I have ever seen have liquid soap build up and liquid fabric softener build up in the dispensers. I have personally used both 50/50. I have no preference except in the cold wash sometimes the powder won’t disolve properly and forms rock that wont rinse. Cold water can cause liquid soap not to dilute. My solution.. Use a little warm water before filling with cold.

          • Hollie says:

            The powder detergent build up in your septic lines, Tide is the worst. My husband worked with a plumber replacing septic lines they were stopped up and most of the time it was from powdered detergent.

          • shalom says:

            About 15 years ago we had to call a plumber and he told us not to use powder laundry or dishwasher detergent. He said they re bad about clogging drains up. I haven’t used powder since and haven’t had to call a plumber since until this month. This clog had nothing to do with detergent. This one was related to egg shell (I use a lot more eggs since I control diabetes with diet only) and grease (even though the only grease that goes down our drain is residue). The plumber said not to put egg shell down the disposal.

  9. Stephanie says:

    I like to use sponges soaked in softener, but I keep mine in a resealable container (I use a sandwich container from Tupperware.) and keep three or four sponges in it at a time. Usually one sponge will last three runs through the dryer, then I rotate them. Every six months, I replace all the sponges. I just love this trick; fabric softener lasts a much longer time this way.

  10. Kathryn says:

    I HAVE USED VINEGAR AS A “SOFTENER” FOR A WHILE, AND WAS EXCITED TO TRY THE RECIPE COMBINING BAKING SODA WITH THE VINEGAR.

    OK, I GIVE UP. HOW DO YOU GET THE BAKING SODA TO DISSOLVE? I USED HOT WATER, I USED BOILING WATER, AND I NUKED IT TO REHEAT THE WATER TO BOILING. THE BEST I COULD GET WAS A SUSPENSION. WHEN I STOPPED STIRRING, BEFORE AND AFTER ADDING THE VINEGAR, THE BAKING SODA SETTLED TO THE BOTTOM OF THE CONTAINER. SO, WHAT IS YOUR TRICK?

    • Lisa says:

      To dissolve the baking soda I use to add to my rinse cycle I get a medium sized tupperware bowl and I add about 1/2 cup of the baking soda with really hot water and mix it up read good with a small wisk. I sometimes have to rinse the bowl once or twice to get all of the residual undissolved baking soda to the washer. It seems so fresh when you mix it up and your laundry gets really soft!! it works great…

  11. TipNut says:

    Kathryn “dissolve” is probably not the best choice of words since there will be some sediment from the baking soda. Just shake the bottle up to redistribute. I’ll clarify the notes & sorry for the confusion.

  12. Bonnie says:

    Can you put the vinegar in the fabric softner dispenser that is already in your washer?

  13. TipNut says:

    Yes Bonnie I’ve done that with great success too.

  14. carrie says:

    One thing you can NOT do is put the baking soda solution in the dispenser. Since it doesn’t actually dissolve, it builds up badly in the dispenser.

    I’ve been using 1/2 c baking soda in the wash (no detergent) and 1/2 c vinegar (adding enough water to fill) in the softener dispenser. Works great when you use a dryer. The problem I have is clothes get crunchy when line dried. Any ideas?

    • Sandy says:

      I shake towels and wrikles clothes first, really hard like you are shaking out a throw rug. This fluffs things up, especially towels and they are much fluffier when they dry. I use my “solar” clothes dryer all summer long and don’t mind things just a little bit crispy, but not stiff.

    • Jane says:

      I had the same problem, but found if i put the clothes in the dryer for just a few minutes, the cruchies were gone! Go from the washer to the dryer and set it going, then load the washer for the next load…that should be enough to warm them up a bit-hang up and enjoy the exercise and sunshine!
      I didn’t have that problem when I lived in Florida, but in Indiana and Georgia, it was aweful…you can also place the line dried clotehs in the dryer for a few min after misting with just a few spritzes of water… it not only softens them, it releases wrinkels well too.

    • bekki says:

      Iron the clothes after they are dry. I don’t have a dryer and have found just a quick pass with the iron will take the ‘crunchiness’ out of the clothes.

      • Kathy says:

        It is always good to do something with them. My mother always line dried clothes and bugs were in the clothing, towels, etc.

        Pretty creepy to have spiders all over the laundry. Even when you brought them in quickly. Luckily the spider bites were not deadly. But gave painful swelling infections, and Dr. visits.

        You have to shake the laundry HARD outside BEFORE bringing it inside. By the way, we lived in Santa Ana, California. Not a bizarre place for bugs or anything.

        My whole point is, some insect bites ARE deadly. Use caution. Your children are unfortunately at your mercy.

        • Linda says:

          Allow me to quote:
          “Pretty creepy to have spiders all over the laundry.”
          AND
          “My whole point is, some insect bites ARE deadly. Use caution. Your children are unfortunately at your mercy.”
          Unquote.

          Really? I line dry every time the weather is fit. No one gets spiders “all over the laundry”. Maybe am OCCASIONAL bug, spider, or two but you just shake out the clothes and they are fine. I think you are exaggerating quite a bit in your comments. Once upon a time there were no such thing as clothes dryers. People were not dying as a result.

          • Jamie says:

            I agree that you should use caution especially if you live where there are lots of bugs. My cousin line dries her clothes and she shook them out good every time and she still got a brown recluse (I think thats how it’s spelled LOL) spider bite from one of her shirts she had out there an hour before she put it on.

  15. Sarah says:

    Will the vinegar help keep clothes from getting static? I am more concerned about that than I am about the softness.

    Thanks!

  16. Ellen says:

    Yeah, what Sarah says! All I want is something to use so that my underwear doesn’t stick to my shirts, etc.! :-)

  17. Karla says:

    To avoid stiff line-dried items, I throw them in the dryer for just 3-5 minutes. This works out the worst of the wrinkles and makes things much softer when line dried.

  18. Steph says:

    I’ve tried the hair conditioner and water in equal parts and it makes my clothes smell nice, but it doesn’t get rid of the static. Is there a certain hair conditioner you’re using or does it have to have a certain ingredient or what? All I want is for my clothes not to stick together!

  19. Jenny says:

    I am very interested in making my own fabric softener and I’ve read a lot of tips. Haven’t made any yet though. But I have a question..instead of hair conditioner/shampoo, could I use some lavender scented baby lotion instead or would it not rinse properly? My daughter has very sensitive skin so I wanted to use something I know for sure that doesn’t irritate her.

  20. Sara says:

    I have read that the vinegar can ruin elastic becuase it is very acidic. Has anyone noticed this when using vinegar for a softner? Or, does the baking soda (which is slightly akaline) balance the very acidic vinegar?

    • Nicki says:

      my husband and I have been using vinegar for years as our fabric softener and have never noticed any problems with elastic. We don’t even use the baking soda

    • mommymilestones says:

      I sew cloth diapers, use them, and soak them after use in a wet pail w/ vinegar between washes. I have not had worn out elastic in 5 years, ever. :)

  21. Isis says:

    I recently saw in Trader Joe’s a product that had Lavendar Flowers inside thin paper/fabric to be put in the dryer. I thought to myself that this would be easy to make by using small muslin bag with drawstring (you can find them where herbs are sold by the oz) and Lavender. The instructions were to put the bag o flowers in the dryer and use 8-10 times before discarding.

  22. melissa says:

    I do not have a dryer. Which way would be best to soften my laundry? I do not have the option to toss them in the dryer for a few minutes first. I obviously am not worried about static cling I just want soft clothes from the clothes line.

    • Bonnie says:

      Hi guys, I do not have a clothes dryer either at the moment. I’m in Texas so it’s really HOT outside now. So, that’s a plus when hanging clothes out to dry. Seems to me that there should be a neat trick to keep the towels, sheets, underwear etc from being super stiff. Like one of the others on this forum that posted, I do not have a clothes dryer at all to pop the clothes in for a few minutes to “fluff” up the fabric first. Might there be something I can use in the washer cycle — perhaps in addition to fabric softener — to keep the crunch or stiffness down (and hopefully) eliminated from clothes line dried fabrics? Thanks in advance. This site has alot of great ideas! Thanks again guys!

      • Sheila says:

        For a lot of people this seems crazy & lazy, but I discovered years ago that if the clothes stay out at night & you take them down in the morning apparently the “dew” helps soften them! I no longer have clothes lines, but when I did, I made a habit of hanging out my towels late afternoon & took them down the next day & they were always way softer.

    • cathy says:

      Melissa, I’ve been drying clothes on the line for years. It doesn’t matter what you wash them with, it’s what you put in the rinse cycle. Vinegar is the best solution. It removes all soap residue. If they don’t come out soft enough with that, you can try spraying them a little with a spray bottle filled with watered down fabric softener.

      • Rebecca says:

        I live in Texas also, and I always hang dry my clothes come summer. My trick is to keep a eye on the clothes. Touch the clothes every so often. I take them down as soon as they r dry. They only get that hard, cruch when they have been out to long. Hope this helps!

  23. sissa says:

    I love all of these laundry tips. A friend at church was talking about homemade soap and I think that I’m going to try one. I have an HE front loader and you have to put all soap in a dish on top. More research for us front loaders really is needed for softners. I’m going to use one that calls for conditioner I’ll see how the residue builds up on that.

    • Dee says:

      I have a front loader as well, you Can put your detergent in the drum first, then add your clothes. Just do an extra rinse cycle if you are concerned about powder residue being left on your laundry, (or go ahead and shake up/dilute your powder detergent with a bit of water in a closed container first).

  24. sandy says:

    I am looking for the directions to fabric softner. I know it’s vinegar and hair conditioner . How much of each I dont remember the ratio, also is water added?

    Thanks sandy

  25. Mandy says:

    I was just wondering if anyone has tried old tshirts instead of flannel for the dryer sheets. I am going to try it and see how it works and will let you all know

  26. Tiffany says:

    I’m worried about static too! I don’t use fabric softener in my washer as with my babies I have to add oxiclean or tide booster to the detergent and with hard water don’t want to add too much stuff! So, I used bounce for softness and static control. I think homemade dryer sheets sound great for softness – but what about static? (Sorry for the late late questions!)

  27. Jane says:

    Shouldn’t you serge or hem the edges of the flannel pieces first? And wash tehm in hot water and dry several times? Otherwise you end up with a handfull of threads and loads of lint. I wash my panyhose in my washer (in a bag designed for the undies, bu tyou cna also make on from an old pillow case too). adding a new piece of flannel would ruin the hose!

    also, the person that metioned the dryer sachets? why could you not use preused dryer sheets, rewashed baby wipes? I used reused baby wipes as diaper liners (used cloth diapers) if it was an icky diaper, the wipe went down the toilet and the diaper needed only a slight rinse before placeing in the pail…if it was only a wet diaper, i rinsed it with the diaper and used again aftere laundering….also used handiwpes for this too. ok i have digressed…any pelon type material would work for this…

    • Cindy says:

      Why are we going back to using dryer sheets. I haven’t used dryer sheets for years. I had Chemically Induced Renal Failure in 2005. I researched the ingredience of everything I was using. Fabric Dryer sheets have at least 3 chemicals that are listed in the Toxic Waste category. It passes to be used in these ways because it isn’t “ingested” by people. But we breath it in on our clothes and bedding and rub it into our skins. What is the difference. Not to mention the other chemicals involved. How many washes would it take to remove these chemicals from these items. I could well imagine that they are not ever really removed. The whole idea of making your own is not just for cost, we are killing ourselves in our quest for convienence. Read the ingredience of everything. If you cant pronounce it or eat it don’t use it or wear it.

      • Susan says:

        Totally agree. I have Multiple Chemical Sensitivity. I don’t know of anything that gives me more problems than fabric softener. I use old tennis balls in the dryer.

        • mandy says:

          I am going through Reenal Failure right now! I had the left one reemoved in December 2011 and the right one isn’t looking very good either. I am trying to find ways to clean with out chemicals now as well. I was NEVER aware that even the laundry soap you use can potentially kill you. I can not use vinegar right now, my skin is so sensitive it burns me, my question is would lemon juice work the same as vinegar?

  28. teresa says:

    i started making my own laundry soap, (kept old bottles from store bought laundry soap)and also made my own fabrice softener from the recipe of baking soda, vinegar and water from the recipe shown above, i had no secented oil so i used about 6 drops of vanilla lol, smelled good. works good my clothes come out of the dryer nice and soft and no vinegar smell.

  29. Patricia says:

    What kind of vinegar is used for the fabric softener?

  30. ochan says:

    can you add essential oils to the fabric softener?

    • Esmerelda says:

      i have attempted adding essential oil repeatedly, smell it when I put the clothes in the dryer, but no smell at all when they are done.

  31. Vicki Muratore says:

    I’ve used white vinegar as a softener for years. It also makes towels more absorbent, since it doesn’t coat the fibers. And it keeps the machine cleaner, too. There are products on the market to clean a washer; crazy, when 1 gallon of white vinegar and longest, hottest cycle occasionally will get it spankin’!

  32. Mary P. says:

    I have a Downy ball and the ‘tip’ says to use vinegar in in instead of fabric softener…but at full strength? It seems like that would be a lot of vinegar!

    • Jamie says:

      I used vinegar in my Downy ball for years til I got a new washer with a dispenser and it works fine. I usually buy vinegar by the gallon cuz I use it for everything.

  33. Kay Hamilton says:

    Another tip for fabric softner sheets, they work the same way a swifter replacement sheets. I clean my bathroom floor, with a fabric softner sheet before I mop my floor it picks up hair dust balls. It works great!

  34. Lisa says:

    I have beem using 1/4 cup white vinegar with about 1 tsp of fabic softener each load to control static. Works good but I don’t get the fabric softener smell. I put essential oil in the vinager and still do not smell the fragrance. For cloathes that I hang dry I spritz a mixture of water with about 1/10th fabric softener that I have in a spray bottle. That keeps everything soft and I get a little of the fabric softener smell.

    I can’t believe how much money I have spent over the years on fabric softener. Now that I am using mostly vinager I project I will save over $60 a year.

  35. Betsy says:

    i’ve been using baking soda in my was wash cycle and have been using vinegar in the fabric softener dispenser and have noticed that my underwear has been basically dissolved in the crotch – I don’t know if this is some kind of reaction and it doesn’t happen to every pair, but at least one or 2 per white load and I was baffled about what was going on – this in a front loader washer and we’ve never had a problem like this before – any ideas?? I love how white all my whites come out and how soft with this method, but it’s not worth it if I’m ruining all my undies.

  36. Melissa says:

    My kids are 5, 6, & 8 now, but we still had a big stack of baby wash cloths in the closet, that are now my new dryer sheets! Turned out to be a good way to reuse what we already had. Also, I don’t leave them soaking in the mixture. I put the mixture in a spray bottle and just spray one of the cloths until decently wet and toss it in the dryer.

  37. Val says:

    Yes, I found out a long time ago that using full dryer sheets is ridiculous! There is so much stuff in there that it gets imbedded in the clothes and retards the ability to clean the clothes! My husband still doesn’t believe me, but I cut our shees in the thirds, making making 60 value buy sheets do 180 loads! I have stopped drying my bathmats and bath rugs, I drape them over a chair and fluff them for 5 minutes.I used to put a little bit of liquid softener on an old washcloth. I am going to the sponge soaked in liquid, I just need an easy way to do this since my laundry is in my kitchenette now!

  38. Gail says:

    March-2011 The first tip states “and add about 2 dozen drops of your favorite essential oil to the vinegar if you’d like”

    Is that 2 dozen drops to each load? That sound like WAY to much EO to me. How much vinegar should I add the 2 dozen drops to?
    Thanks :)

  39. Karen says:

    My daughter read my laundry directions wrong and added the baking soda to the soap dispenser on my front load washer. It is now caked on good. I tried soaking in vinegar and it didn’t do much. I’m also getting brown skid mark type stains on several items that aren’t affected by any of my normal stain removers. I scrubbed the opening and window of my washer, but are still getting them. Thanks for any help!

    • Patrick says:

      I used to get those but they were coming from the dryer. The drum began sagging and the drum pads themselves were coming off exposing the metal and the stains were actually rust stains.

  40. lacey says:

    i think they said it was one gallon of vinegar

  41. LOVING FRUGAL says:

    For static, I use aball of aluminum foil in the dryer and it takes all the static away! I dont even use fabric softener it seems to soften my clothes too!

  42. Jennie says:

    I agree with LOVING FRUGAL, I, too, use two balls of Aluminum Foil as “dryer balls” and I never use fabric softner. I think my skin is allergic to dryer sheets and fabric softners found at the store. Perhaps it’s all those chemicals.

  43. Suzette says:

    For a dryer sheet I put a quarter size of hair conditions in my hands, rub them together and then wipe it off my hands with an old washcloth. Just throw the washcloth in the dryer with your laundry and it makes a great dryer sheet.

  44. george thompson says:

    i dont get it, the recipes call for vinegar and baking soda. But, if you mix baking soda with vinegar you get CO2 and H20. So you might as well through water on you clothes and breath on them ???

  45. Vonda says:

    I would like to know what kind of oil and where to get it..Is it the same oil I use for candles? Just wondering!!!!

  46. Sherrie Morris says:

    Vinegar and baking soda work wonderful,, no static and incredibly soft. Hair conditioner 1 cup and 1 cup of vinegar is great it doesn’t work as well as the other but gives clothes a great smell and softness. I use Sauve the cheapest to make this one

  47. Laura says:

    I love your website. Loooove it. It has literally changed my life and has been quite an inspiration for me to live my life more efficiently and healthy. I have virtually rid my home of all commercial cleaners (and my wallet is heavier too). Thank you and please keep the tips coming!
    -Laura

  48. Stephanie says:

    This is going to make me sound stupid but…What about hand washing clothes? I love using vinegar as a cleaner and would like to try it, and I am going to start hand washing my clothes especially the ones I sew myself. Could I just pour some vinegar on the clothes when I rinse them after washing?

    • Mary says:

      When hand washing I add a splash of vinegar to the rinse water, not directly onto the clothes. It helps remove the detergent from the clothing. Sorry I can’t give you an exact measure. I never both to rinse again as when dry, the vinegar smell disappears.

  49. Liz Hessen says:

    I am a big advocate of the using the sun as a dryer. We have miserably hot summers and I try to dry linens, jeans etc., outside and save the dryer for delicate things or our miserable, cold, sunless winters. I love the way they feel dried in the sun. I actually like the stiffness of things – we call it ‘crunchy clean’. One thing that seems to help eliminate the the stiffness faster is to bring them when they are about 95% dry..still slightly damp in spots. By the time you put them in the basket and get them inside and fold or hang they have softened quite a bit. Also I have been using homemade detergent for about 6 months and its great! I was skeptical at first but now even my hubby says his white shirts look cleaner and feel fluffier…not sure what he means by fluffier. Today I’m gong to start using a sponge dipped in home made fabric softer and see how that works.
    Good luck with everyone’s endeavor to go green or save green ;-)

  50. Susan says:

    If you are using the dryer sheets, remove your lint trap every month or so and run it through the DW…the stuff builds up on the trap. To test, remove it and run water through it at the kitchen sink. If it doesn’t go thru, neither does the air and you can burn up your heat element.

    Check with your local fire dept about it also.

  51. Charlane says:

    I use dryer sheets to remove dog hair in my dryer and on the clothes, since I have 2 dogs. Any idea what would work for that?

    • Susan Butterfield says:

      i have found an old bath mitt with a rough loofah side slightly dampened, will sometimes work. hope this helps.

  52. Chris says:

    I noticed some recipes say to mix vinegar and baking soda, but does mixing vinegar (an acid) and baking soda (a base) not create carbon dioxide? From what I know, mixing acids with bases just makes a neutral solution.

  53. Susan Butterfield says:

    A great tip for using tumble dryer sheets is, when packing away bed linen after summer or winter, just pop a few sheets in with the items being stored before you close the bags, and when you come to reuse the items, they will have a lovely scent. any used sheets can be re-used by sprinkling some essential oils on them and use them the same way as the new sheets.
    Susan

  54. Sheila says:

    After reading these posts, vinegar seems to be the “magic” ingredient so I’m trying something new. I’m thinking it should help “stretch” my current bottle of fabric softener I bought by adding vinegar & water to dilute it. My thought is that it should eliminate fabric softener staining that sometimes occurs when you accidentally spill some directly on your clothes, the vinegar should help enhance the softening, and the extra water should make it less likely to clog up your dispenser. I’ll let you know how well it works after a few test loads!

  55. Kathryn says:

    I hate my high efficiency washer. Whites are dingy after a few washes with detergent and bleach and highest water level allowed. Vinegar helps but I have to be there to Pause the washer and add it to the rinse. Borax helps but I know the clothes are not getting clean because the dryer lint
    seems to have dirt in it and the dryer barrel has dirt in the seams. I’ve
    followed the man’fctr’s directions carefully and contacted Customer Service
    once. Their reply was a phone number for contacting a further service. Have not done that yet. Anyone else having problems with HE washers not cleaning
    well?


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