I have always hated buying fabric softener. Not only is it expensive, I didn’t like the heavy scents that came with most fabric softeners. Even the so called “unscented” always had an odd scent to me that I just didn’t care for. I also had spent to many times rewashing clothes because fabric softener somehow made its way to getting on the clothes and causing stains. So like any frugal person, I started looking for alternatives. Here are my top 3 frugal fabric softener finds:
1. Vinegar – Yes you can use vinegar as a fabric softener. Google it, you will find many satisfied frugal people who know about this little secret. Vinegar only stinks when its wet, think about it, its true! I could do a whole post on how you can use vinegar to clean your house (removing pet stains, using in the rinse cycle of the dishwasher etc) but for now I’ll stick to the subject. You can buy vinegar in bulk from your favorite warehouse store. Using 1/4-1/2 cup per load (add at the rinse cycle or in place of where you would put your fabric softener) equals clean clothes for pennies per load.
As a side note this works great for towels as fabric softener causes them to lose their absorbency.
2. Shaklee’s Soft Fabric Concentrate – I know I’m biased because I am a Shaklee distributor and Shaklee certainly isn’t known for drawing in the frugal shopper, but there is a secret to using this. Take a 16 oz. spray bottle and fill it 1/2 (8 oz) with Shaklee Soft Fabric Concentrate and the other half with water, shake well. Before putting your clothes in the dryer, spray the fabric softener and water mix on the inside of the dryer drum. Load the clothes in the dryer and spray a few more sprays on the clothes (Shaklee does not use synthetic oils like commercial fabric softeners so there is no worry about the softener harming your clothes). Turn on your dryer, that’s it! One 32 oz bottle runs about $10 (or $8.80 for members – distributors pay less). I generally use 1 32 0z bottle every roughly every 6 months. Figuring I do about 4 loads of laundry a week over a 26 week period that equals out to be about $.09 per load (paying $10.35 per bottle). Not to bad for a top of the line product from a reputable company.
3. Use nothing – it is possible to do laundry and not use fabric softener. If your using the right laundry detergent, you probably won’t even miss this step. This is especially good advice if you are washing things like rags, socks, underwear etc.
Following these simple steps can help you eliminate the high cost of fabric softener from your shopping list. Do you have any frugal fabric softener tips? If so, I’d love to hear them, feel free to leave a comment below.
Photo Credit: Image: Rob Wiltshire / FreeDigitalPhotos.net