Monday, March 30, 2009

Replacing Fabric Softener

I have never been a big fabric softener user, but when we started to go more chemical-free, then I really didn't want to use it. I still wanted soft clothes, but didn't want to spend extra money on chemicals. Here are a few solutions I found that have worked for us:

  • Dryer balls are a great little invention. They work well to reduce dryer time and soften clothes without any of the nasty chemicals that are found in liquid fabric softener. You can find them in just about any store that carries laundry products. I bought a pair and they lasted about one year before falling apart.
  • Use dryer sheets. They really do help to soften clothes and get rid of static cling. Here are a few more tips about saving money with dryer sheets.
  • Vinegar. Use this just as you would fabric softener. It helps to soften the clothes and helps to rid them of any leftover odors that the detergent may leave behind. And I never smell vinegar on the clothes after they are dry.
Do you have any tips you would like to share?


  1. I use wool dryer balls. They are a nice natural alternative to the balls you find in the store and they make great toys too.

    A word of warning on vinegar. It does not mix well with hard water. The minerals react with the acid and it will make your laundry stink to high heaven. Learned that one the hard way.

  2. * Take your fabric softener and put it into an ice cream bucket or something and mix with half water. Use an old washcloth and soak it in fabric softener. When you are ready to dry your clothes, take the washcloth out of the container and squeeze dry and then throw it in with your laundry in the dryer.
    * Throw in an aluminium foil ball for static. (have not tried, but sounds like an interesting idea)
    * Mix equal portions of regular liquid fabric softener with hot water in a spray bottle. When adding clothes to the dryer follow with several spritzes onto a washcloth and toss it in the dryer. You could also just spritz into the dryer.
    * homemade laundry detergent -
    3 cups vinegar
    2 cups Hair Conditioner (Suave has a lot
    of fun scents and is pretty cheap)
    6 cups water

  3. Thanks for the ideas, Michele! I've heard of the aluminum foil ball, too, but have not tried it.

  4. Thanks for that tip about hard water, Courtney. We used to have hard water and it could be such a pain.