Saving Money on Fabric Softener
Reuse Fabric Softener Sheets
If you use those fabric softener sheets, don't throw them out after just one use. I collect them all and reuse them. Believe it or not, I've used them even three times, so my one box goes a very long way.
Homemade Fabric Softener Sheets
I have found that using a damp white washcloth with a dime size dab of inexpensive hair conditioner works as well as a fabric softener sheet to throw into the dryer with your wet clothes. This keeps the static electricity from developing in your clothing and makes them smell nice too. For a $1 bottle of conditioner (from the dollar store), you can make hundreds of homemade softener sheets using the same washcloth over and over again by just rinsing and re-applying a spot of conditioner.
Alternative to Fabric Softener Sheets
I use vinegar. A gallon cost $1.98 at Wal-Mart. I switched because of the smell of fabric softener. I did notice a decrease in my "allergy" type symptoms since I've switched. Fabric softener will build up on your towels and cause them to be less absorbent. I'm not sure if I really save any money using vinegar, but I like using it so I will continue with it.
Homemade Fabric Softener
2c baking soda
2c white vinegar
Mix ingredients and store in a plastic or glass container in your laundry area. Label the container and keep it out of the reach of children. To use, shake the mixture and add 1/4 cup to the final rinse in your washing machine. If you have hard water, use 1/3 cup.
Homemade Fabric Softener Sheets
Instead of using fabric softener sheets in the dryer, I spray liquid softener (about 20 squirts) on a small piece of towel and place it with the load of clothes to dry. It works great. A bottle of generic liquid softener costs $1 and lasts months.
Claudia J. in Forest Hill, Maryland
Heavy Duty Fabric Softener Sheets
Instead of buying fabric softener sheets for the dryer, use an old cloth that you have. Everyone has a ton of these. Put the old cloth in liquid fabric softener in a bowl and let it soak for about 1/2 hour. Take the cloth out of the fabric softener and wring it out back into the bowl of fabric softener. Put the leftover liquid back into the fabric softener bottle. Hang the cloth somewhere to dry (I use my oven door handle) and you have homemade fabric softener sheets. One "sheet" will last you up to 45-50 loads of clothes.
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