Thursday, April 28, 2011

Simply Thrifty: Fabric Softener

As promised, here are some easy to use tips for homemade and thrifty ways to use fabric softener.

Dryer Sheets

I personally use dryer sheets. I use them because my mom used them and that is what I know. A really simple way to save money on dryer sheets is to....

cut them in half or in thirds.

Simple, right? That is why I love this tip. It is so easy to do and still saves you money. You simply cut the dryer sheet in half or thirds. Then, throw one section in with the load.

You can also make your own resusable dryer sheets with cut up pieces of flannel. Directions can be found here.

Fabric Softener

The most common homemade fabric softener is not really even homemade. It is just plain old vinegar.

Vinegar is the wonder product of homemade cleaning solution. (Cream of Tartar would the other cleaning wonder in my book.) There is a whole website with tips for using vinegar here.

As a fabric softener, you simply add 1/2 cup of vinegar to your rinse cycle. It gets rid of odors and residues. If you need to you can add more until you get the desired results.

Another tip is to use a Downy ball and simply put vinegar in it.

I have used vinegar before with my husbands work clothes. If he has been working on the car or some other smelly project, I always add a little bit of vinegar to the rinse cycle and all the smells go away!

The best part is that vinegar is available everywhere and is much less expensive than any other fabric softener.

If you are partial to brand name fabric softeners.

You can simply dilute the fabric softener using 2 parts water to 1 part fabric softener. Or, just 1/4 to 1/2 of the recommened amount the bottle says.

For a lot more tips (including using hair shampoo and conditioner!) visit this website.

Do you have any simple tips for saving money? If you do we would love to hear about them. Just send us an email at

Happy Savings Everyone!


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Tannie Datwyler said...

You can also make a dryer ball and use that instead of dryer sheets. It won't make your fabrics as soft, but it makes sure they aren't staticy and you can reuse them for YEARS - talk about saving money!

I have 3 in my dryer that I use (a friend made them for me). I've only been using them a few weeks and we haven't used dryer sheets in those weeks. Like I said, the clothes aren't as soft, so I don't like that, but they are static free.

Here's a website with directions on how to make a dryer ball of your own.

Alyssa Harper said...

So, I always thought that quantity mattered for dryer sheets. The side of the box says to use 2 sheets for large loads. Do you see much of a different in fabric-softeness when you cut them in half?

Lisa said...

Alyssa, I have never noticed a difference in fabric softness. I have been using only 1/2 a sheet for a few years now.

If you are unsure you could always cut back to just 1 sheet. If that works for you then you could try 1/2 a sheet.

Definitely play around and see what you like best.

Tannie - I had not heard of dryer balls. That should be interesting to look into. Thanks for the tip!

Anonymous said...

I use vinegar to color treat fabric as well. Somehow it helps the dyes stay in the fabric. I just soak the material in a bit of vinegar in the sink for a few minutes and then wash the material on a normal cycle. The colors stay brighter longer in my projects! Vinegar is a wonderful thing!