Monday, August 26, 2013

Cleaning Up Part 4: Homemade Fabric Softener

Well, this homemade cleaners business is beginning to get out of control. Even I am aware of that. And yet…I am continuing on. 

I have not yet begun to clean!

No really…I spend too much time making the cleaners that I have no time for cleaning.

(Thanks folks, I’ll be here all week. Try to veal.)

So I got to thinking (it’s dangerous when that happens…Mr. Always Random has learned that something big may be coming his way when I begin a sentence “So, I was thinking…”)

But this isn’t all that big. It could be life-changing, but it’s not B.I.G.

It’s homemade fabric softener. And this stuff…it is so easy, ladies (I say ladies because even though I know  a handful of men read my meandering posts, the majority of my loyal fans are women. No offense to the gentlemen…if you choose to make this fabric softener it would probably be simple for you too.)

When I began Googling homemade fabric softener (as you know, it is my preferred method of research), I found that most of the recipes were very similar if not virtually identical. Ratios might differ slightly, but the ingredient list really does not.

So…since you were so excited to have a go at it (ok, not really but I’m pretending here), I won’t delay it any longer:

  • 6 cups water
  • 2 cups hair conditioner
  • 3 cups white vinegar
  • Optional: 20 drops of Essential oil

Simply mix the ingredients together and pour into a container for use. You can either put this solution in your fabric softener dispenser (or a Downy ball), or soak a clean washcloth and throw it in the dryer as you would a dryer sheet.

I chose to mix mine in a spray bottle, and because it is not a large one, I had to divide the ingredients into thirds (and yes, my math skills were tested a bit there; I should have just asked the 10yo who is about to exceed my math skills any day now.).

Also, even though I chose to put my fabric softener in a spray bottle and spray the wash cloth, some recipes I read instructed you to fully immerse the washcloth in the mixture and then ring it out before throwing it in the dryer. Either way is probably fine, but to me it seemed like a little much. Plus a little bit messier; I know I worked in a preschool for 7 years, but truth be told, I don’t make a mess if I can avoid it.

To make the full batch (I went ahead and bought enough to make the recipe as I have it listed) I spent the following:

  • $1 for a 24 ounce bottle of conditioner at Dollar Tree
  • $1 for a bottle of vinegar
  • $1 for the spray bottle
  • $1 for a set of three new washcloths

(FYI: I didn’t have enough Essential Oil so I left it out this time…but I find that there is enough fragrance in the conditioner I chose to suit me.)

So this means in the future, assuming the spray bottle and washcloths have any durability, I will only have to spend $2 for 10 cups of fabric softener.

Seems pretty good, right?

If you decide to try this, please let me know what you think! Also, if you alter the recipe, please let me know what you did and if you think it is equally good, better or worse. I want to make the best possible fabric softener my $2 can buy!

Yes, you astute IS the exact same picture from my hand soap post...why reinvent the wheel, right?


  1. Shoot, even I could do that! Probably won't, but I could! :)

    1. Oh honey, I know you won't...but thanks for at least acknowledging that you could. :)