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If you’ve read any of the entries on this blog, you know that I am a fan of homemade laundry detergent. In an attempt to further experiment with environmentally friendly laundry products, I took it one step further and tried using the all natural laundry softener of adding distilled vinegar to the softener cycle to soften my clothes.

In all honesty, it worked okay, but I guess I’ve been too programmed by the media to want really soft fresh smelling laundry (especially towels). I stuck with it for a while, but realized I wasn’t really satisfied with the way my laundry was feeling and smelling. So, much to my chagrin, I acquiesced and purchased my old favorite laundry softener.

I was surprised, however, to find that using full-strength softener was too much for my senses. After all, I survived for a couple of months without the springtime fresh smell and realized that although the smell was pleasant, it was too strong. So, I diluted my fabric softener with water.

With a combination of one part water to one part fabric softener, my laundry smelled great and my towels were just a soft and fluffy as they used to be.

Pleased with this discovery, I went out and bought a large water dispenser and filled it half with water and the other half with softener. The dispenser is sitting on top of the washing machine. Just in case anyone else in the family decides to wash clothes, the softer is there and ready to go (Who am I kidding? No one else is going to wash anything!)

I tried roughing it for a while (no pun intended). In the long run, I realized I was perfectly fine with the homemade laundry detergent, but needed a little help from traditional fabric softener manufacturers to get my towels fluffy and smelling good.

Well, at least I’m spending half as much as I used to spend on fabric softener and it’s going twice as far (a small consolation).

About the author: Felicia has learned the hard way that health, whether good or bad, is a result of daily choices and habits. On this blog, Felicia shares what she’s learned and the healthier choices she now makes as a result of her new knowledge. She hopes to encourage others to experiment to find alternative solutions to nagging problems (she’s also is a bit of a tree hugger and likes to share ways to lighten the toxic burden on the environment).

in Cleaning, laundry

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Jill September 7, 2008, 5:04 am

    Try going without fabric softener on your towels. Well, liquid fabric softener anyway – I don’t know much about dryer sheets, except that they effectively repel rodents and insects.

    Anyhow, liquid fabric softener will make your towels less absorbent. I discovered this myself 20 years ago when my son was lying on his back when he peed in his cloth diaper, and the urine leaked out the back. I had tried to ‘soften’ his diapers with liquid fabric softener (which had the opposite effect on his cotton diapers, by the way), and it made them non-absorbent. Ever since, I have reserved liquid fabric softener for winter, when I have static cling frustrations.

  • Felicia May 23, 2008, 10:50 pm

    With a front loader I only put in one tablespoon of powdered home made detergent, so it rinses out very well. It’s just that I happen to like the smell of the fabric softener.

    I tried a little vinegar but still preferred the diluted fabric softener better.

  • seventh sister May 23, 2008, 9:45 pm

    I don’t use fabric softener unless I have something that has to go in the dryer and that will have a lot of static cling without it. I keep a small jug of 7th Gen. for that. I have to keepit in the fridge so it won’t go bad before I use all of it. I don’t like the way softener makes clothes smell and feel. It makes towels and other things a lot less absorbant as well. You may not have liked the way your clothes felt after a while because unless you use a little vinegar in the rinse water with homemade laundry soap, it won’t rinse out well.