Monday, August 20, 2012

Soften Me Up

Due to unfortunate circumstances GB and I have a bum dryer on our hands. It seems fixable, but it just hasn't been fixed yet. We have been hanging our clothes to dry, and surprisingly, we've really liked it. We could have gotten a new dryer at any time - but just haven't felt the need to. There are some perks to hanging our clothes to dry - it's much more earth friendly, and somewhat whimsical and romantic to have our clothes drying in the summer breeze. 

There's one thing I don't like about it. A majority of the time, the clothes are lacking in softness. I've never used liquid fabric softener but thought that this might solve my softness problem. I already make my own laundry detergent as seen in the Clean and Green post. I wanted to stick with a homemade version of fabric softener. Luckily, I have a great book, gifted from my sister Sly, with such a recipe. The book is called Salt, Lemons, Vinegar and Baking Soda. As the title obviously suggests, the book contains hundreds of household uses with those items. It offers great tips for cleaning and other uses, for example, how to remove sweat stains from a shirt. This offers great alternatives to buying chemically-laden products. In a day and age where we are so used to buying something to fix our problems, I'd rather make something to fix those problems. This book helps me with that. 

The recipe for the fabric softener is simple. Combine 2 cups of cold water with the juice of 4 lemons. Then toss in a teaspoon of baking soda and shake it all up. Luckily, I had all of the supplies on hand. 

I chose an old plastic drink container that we no longer used. 

I was surprised at how much juice 4 lemons actually produces. 

Unfortunately, my lemons had many seeds. I used cheese cloth to pour the lemon juice into the container and separate the seeds.  

The real action happened when I added the baking soda. Bubbles exploded everywhere. I closed the lid, following instructions, and shook the contents to make sure everything was thoroughly combined. 

The true test was the first load of laundry. I had to wait awhile to make sure the clothes were dry before I made my assessment. I had to ask GB what he thought to make sure I was accurately judging the true test of the fabric softener. We were elated to find our clothes were soft! They weren't as soft and cuddly as when they come out of a dryer , but a huge improvement to our previous situation. If you are into the homemade household products I would absolutely recommend making this fabric softener and while you're at it, get the Salt, Lemons, Vinegar, and Baking Soda book. 


  1. How much do you use? & put it in the center, or a downy ball, our just straight in the water?

    1. Our washer has a spot to pour the softner in and it is time released. If you don't have that or another manufactured home for the softener, I would suggest a downy ball. Thanks for reading!