Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Fabric Softener VS. Vinegar

For as long as I can remember I have used diluted fabric softener.  I even have a post here showing an easy way to dilute it down and it still work well.  I had a question in that post that I have finally been able to answer.  I wondered if I was using my own home made laundry soap instead of commercial laundry soap, and started using vinegar as my fabric softener if my clothes would be softer.  The answer to that is yes!  When I was using commercial laundry soap and vinegar, I still had trouble with my clothes being soft.  When I switched to making all of my own laundry soap and continued to use commercial softener I had absorption problems with towels and our clothes were not very soft.  When I used home made laundry soap AND used vinegar again my clothes after being washed a few times became very soft.  I know there is a lot of wax in both  the commercial soap and the fabric softeners and this needs to be washed out a couple of times before I could feel the results.
This is a decanter that I used to keep my fabric softener in, beside it I kept my laundry soap.  When I finished using the fabric softener in the decanter I was going to fill it with vinegar but the spout cracked when I was re-assembling it together.  I snapped this photo to show just how much wax is in fabric softeners.  I was having a noticeable problem with absorbency in my kitchen towels and decided that I would eliminate softeners in our laundry when this fabric softener was gone.  After a few washes my towels have an increased absorbency, our clothes are much softer and there is minimal static in the laundry which is not bad considering it is winter here.  The clothes do not have a vinegar odor to them at all.  I put undiluted vinegar in the softener spot in the drawer for my front loader and have had no problems because the vinegar is flushed out with water as the machine is filling for a rinse cycle.  It eliminates any problems I had previously when using a softener ball in the laundry that would leave a vinegar smell because it was not being released at the correct time.


Daphne Bryson said...

Good Morning Amy, I am sorry I have not been in touch for a while, but I have been unwell and it has taken me all this time to catch up with my favourite blogs.
I have never made laundry soap, or used vinegar, but I think I am going to give this a try. I hang my washing out to dry when the weather permits and on the rare occasions I use my tumble dryer, I find that tumble drying makes my towels less absorbant aswell.
It was interesting to see the wax residue left in your container.
If you do use a tumble dryer a friend from another blog recommended rolling a piece of tin foil into a ball and placing it in your dryer as this stops static.
You can use the ball until it starts to shred, you then replace it with another.
It's been lovely to catch up, but I will not be able to read your blog for about six weeks as I am going to India to visit my daughter and the internet connection there is dreadful.
Before I go, the photos of the snow outside your home are beautiful.
Take care and best wishes,

Donna said...

I never knew that there was such a residue from detergents and softeners. I guess I never thought about it. I don't use softeners,but I do use fabric sheets in the dryer. Vinegar would be cheaper!!!!!
Thanks for the info :) Have a great day,my friend!

Little Home In The Country said...

I use vinegar as well and have totally stopped using commercial fabric softener. The main reason was that we couldn't stand the smell! I seem to have developed chemical sensitivities ~ dare I walk down "that aisle" at the grocery store, I end up with a splitting headache by the end.

I pour vinegar into an old fabric softener bottle and I add essential oils to it. A quick shake before pouring into the dispenser of the washing machine and our clothes come out smelling great with no residue :) No static problems here, either in spite of cold dry weather!

prairieharmony said...

Daphne, thank you so very much for taking the time to stop in after being unwell. What a great tip to share about the aluminum ball. I hope you are now fully recovered, I will miss reading your blog, and your comments here while you are gone. I look forward to your post upon your return and photo's from your visit. Wishing you a very wonderful trip to visit your dear daughter. Hugs Enjoy :)

Donna, I was very surprised as well. The residue is a bit like lotion all over. I knew immediately why my towels were not absorbent anymore! They are full of this wax! Wishing you a wonderful day as well :)Hugs

Sherri, I sympathize with you and how you feel in the cleaning isle. I feel a bit overwhelmed by all the smells as I walk past just wafting out into the main isle. Some day's it's overwhelming like there has been a spill of some sort. Heavy perfume smells. Your idea of vinegar and EO is a really great idea... I wonder how a lovely orange would smell? :) Hugs