Did you know that fabric softeners and dryer sheets generally contain ethyl acetate, benzyl alcohol, camphor, ethanol, limonene, linalool, and a-Terpineol? These chemicals can cause respiratory irritation, headache, nausea, dizziness, anemia, liver and kidney damage, central nervous system disorders, and respiratory edema. Many of them have EPA warnings to wash hands after handling and some are on the EPA’s Hazardous Waste list. Sounds delightful doesn’t it A few months back I posted a recipe for DIY Laundry Detergent I thought it was about time I followed it up with a chemical free fabric softener. What alot of people don’t know is that fabric softener should really only be used on synthetic fabrics to reduce static cling. It is pointless using it on natural fibres.
I recently made the switch to a Natural DIY fabric softener. Guess what it is…vinegar. Yep, the plain white vinegar you have in your kitchen cabinet. Just pour 1/4 cup in the fabric softener dispenser of your washing machine when doing a load of laundry. Not only is vinegar free of those nasty chemicals, it also removes excess detergent and softens the water to help prevent limescale buildup. You may need to use up to 1/2 a cup, depending on the size of your washer. Not to worry, you won’t walk around smelling like a pickled onion. There may be a slight odor if you use too much, but it will disappear as the clothes dry. If you want something a little more special that will lightly scent and soften your clothes try this recipe.
YOU WILL NEED
1 cup baking soda
6 cups white vinegar
1 cup of water
10 -15 drops of essential oil of your choice. I like 7 drops Sweet Orange, 5 drops Ylang Ylang & 3 drops Patchouli it smells divine
* Add the baking soda to the bucket
* Add the water to the baking soda in the bucket
* SLOWLY add the vinegar to the bucket, take care though as it’s going to bubble up like a 5th grade paper-maché volcano
* When all of the vinegar is added to the baking soda and has settled, stir it a bit so that the majority of the baking soda dissolves.
* Get a large empty plastic bottle and pour the vinegar/ baking soda/ water brew into it, add the essential oils.
* Add 1/2 a cup at the start of the rinse cycle ( be sure to give the bottle a good shake to disperse essential oils through liquid
You may have been told you need to use “special soap” for your HE front-load washing machine. Let me enlighten you as to why. HE front-load washers require “special soap” for one reason and one reason alone…low suds; because they use less water, they require soap that is less sudsy. The good news is, the homemade detergent mentioned in this recipe is VERY low suds. Just make sure you use the recommended amount of detergent.
The HE designation is just another advertising mechanism the industry is using to try & swindle consumers into buying “special soap” that they charge unnecessarily exorbitant prices for.
By Nellie Lee Luhrmann