It’s only natural to want your clothes to be as soft as they can, in particular your sheets and towels. This is especially true if you’re hanging your clothes on a clothesline to dry. While this method of drying clothes is the most eco-friendly, it’s not very pleasant when your clothes come off the line stiff as a board. But using a fabric softener can ensure that your clothes are nice and soft, no matter what method you use to dry them. If you’re concerned about the chemicals in commercial fabric softeners, don’t worry, because there are many natural options for you. Let’s look at a few of these that will be safer for the environment, and will also save you money.
Vinegar is one of the most useful natural substances for all kinds of household cleaning jobs. As well as being an excellent all-purpose cleaner, did you know that it also makes a great fabric softener? Just add ½ cup of white vinegar to your final rinse. Another plus is that vinegar removes the soap residue from your clothes. You can also use a mix of equal parts baking soda and vinegar to two parts water to use in your wash.
There are many other recipes using all-natural ingredients for fabric softeners. For instance, you can add ¼ cup of Borax to the rinse water. Another trick is to use any store brand of hair conditioner, and dilute it with one part conditioner to three parts water. You can also use one cup of glycerin diluted with one gallon of water and add ½ cup to your wash or final rinse.
If you still want to use a commercial fabric softener, you can try these tricks to dilute it. Put an old washcloth cut into four pieces in the bottle of fabric softener. Wring out the washcloth well, and toss it in the washing machine. You can also try diluting fabric softener with water. Try four parts water to one part fabric softener, and play around with the proportions to find a blend that still softens your fabric. Another trick is to use a mixture of one part fabric softener to three parts water in a spray bottle, and spray the inside of your dryer before putting in your laundry. Any way you choose to dilute your fabric softener, you’ll reduce the amount of chemicals that are being released into the environment, and save money at the same time.
If you hang your clothes on the line to dry, and still want them to be soft, try this trick. Keep your clothes on the line until they’re almost dry, then pop them in the dryer for a few minutes. Your clothes will be softer without using any chemicals, and you’ll save electricity by not having to run the dryer as long.
As you can see, there are so many options for natural fabric softeners. You can rest assured that if you want to start living more “green,” you don’t have to give up nice soft clothes!