Monday, January 9, 2012

What about Fabric Softener?

White Vinegar.

That's it.  I use white vinegar in exactly the same amounts, and the same place in the washing machine as liquid fabric softener.  It will help to get all the soap out of clothes, and will get all the residual "gunk" out of the fabrics from years of fabric softener.  And no, your clothes will not smell like pickles.

Some people will make scented vinegars - adding essential oil drops to the vinegar.  Another trick is to add fresh herbs to the vinegar, let sit for several days, and strain it.  But since my house is the 'House of Perpetual Laundry', I simply don't have time for all the fuss.

If you absolutely can't stand vinegar, another trick is to wet a washcloth, and dab a teaspoon of your favorite hair conditioner on it and rub the fabric together.  Toss this in the dryer.  When I did this, my favorite was a lavender conditioner available at Bath & Body Works.  I'm not sure they still sell this, though.

What about "static cling"?  The best way to eliminate static cling is to have as many natural fabric clothes as possible.  Acrylic, polyester and nylon are static cling magnetos.  I use the vinegar, and dry only my cotton items.  All man-made items are hung to dry when possible.  Also, "dryer balls" made of wool yarn can be used to minimize static cling.  Also, I avoid micro-fiber like the plague.  I detest the stuff - it attracts cat hair like a magnet.

Have you ever wondered what the "Goodwill" smell is when you enter a thrift store?  You know the smell that every thrift store in the country has - immediately identifiable, and still mysterious as to its origin?  I finally figured out what it is.

I volunteered at a thrift store for a few months, and that odor would immediately waft out of every bag of donated clothes as soon as it was opened.  Until I opened up one of my bags of donated clothes, and there was no smell.  Now remember, I use vinegar for fabric softener.  And it hit me.  That smell, the elusive immediately identifiable "thrift store smell" is the smell of years and years of fabric softener in clothes.

Ugh.  Enough reason not to use the stuff.

1 comment:

  1. It is amazing how fresh you laundry is with just vinegar. Plus your towels will be more absorbent. I just add about a 1/2 cup of vinegar when I start the load. That way I don't have to remember listening for the rinse cycle. I have even used it in my bed clothes and they still smell fresh weeks later.