Do You Make Your Own Fabric Softener?

United States
June 30, 2007 4:06pm CST
Baking Soda and white vinegar are known to help whiten and clean clothes in the wash. I make my own fragrance free fabric softener for a fraction of the cost of commercial brands. I pour 2 cups of baking soda into a gallon-size container then add 2 cups of white vinegar. I combine them very slowly because the mixture of ingredients fizzes and bubbles up. I add 4 cups of water, mix and pour into a 1/2 gallon plastic jug. In the final rinse, I add 1/4 cup. I have used this with much success. However, Now that the dog is shedding so much I also use Bounce in the dry as it keeps the hair from sticking to our clothes so much.
8 people like this
23 responses
@ctrymuziklvr (11063)
• United States
30 Jun 07
Saving Money - Ways to save money
I haven't tried the fabric softener but I now make my own "febreeze" which I love!!! All it takes is some of the cheaper fabric softener and water in a spray bottle and wa la....great smelling everything and at a very cheap price.
@emeraldisle (13158)
• United States
1 Jul 07
I make my own Febreeze as well but I add in vinegar to help eat the odors away. It really makes a difference in the way it works. I splurged a bit and got a Downy fabric softener, it's one with vanilla and lavender, but even with the splurge it doesn't cost me much to make up my own bottles. I use a 1/2 a capful of the Downy, a capful of vinegar and then 25 ounces of water. It lasts a while too and I find I like it better then the regular febreeze.
• United States
30 Jun 07
Do your clothes not smell like vinegar?
2 people like this
• United States
30 Jun 07
No it does not smell like vinegar. I have often just used vinegar alone and it is great.
@Modestah (11195)
• United States
30 Jun 07
surprisingly I have never smelled even the slightest hint of vinegar in the clothing as I remove them from the wash. Interestingly enough, if the clothes have soured a little from not getting put on the line quickly enough, I will run them through a vinegar rinse and it neutralizes every trace of sour scent from them.
• United States
30 Jun 07
Ok so no vinegar smell that is good, can you safely add a scent to it, like a scented oil or something
@emeraldisle (13158)
• United States
1 Jul 07
I am really going to have to try this. I'm so sensitive to scents and so many of the fabric softeners leave too much scent on the clothes for me. Even when I make my own febreeze I don't use a lot of scent for that reason. Also this sounds cheaper and although some may not want to hear it but if you are on food stamps you can buy this on it unlike regular cleaners or fabric softeners.
1 person likes this
• United States
1 Jul 07
I remember a friend using vinegar in her wash to soften the clothing. Doesn't the vinegar make the clothing smell like vinegar?
1 person likes this
@Jemina (5784)
1 Jul 07
This is one of the most interesting topics I have come into. I have heard about vinegar use before but never really believed because I got the information on a site that does not have real people discussing about it. Now that I have more proof I will buy a bottle of vinegar and from now on I will use it in my laundry instead of bleach. I used to use bleach to get rid of unpleasant smell in my clothes but of course I have to rinse them very well or they get too smelly of bleach.
1 person likes this
@GardenGerty (92273)
• Marion, Kansas
1 Jul 07
I used to use baking soda in the wash, but have not in quite awhile. Since I started on myLot I have switched to using vinegar in the fabric softener ball, instead of softener. I am really pleased with it. I wonder if soda in the wash and vinegar in the rinse would be as effective as combining them. I have liked the brightness of my clothes with the vinegar. For really soiled things I have added oxiclean type ingredients, but not all of the time. Of course I buy mine at Sam's club, and that makes it even cheaper than using the store brand from Dollar General. I buy baking soda at Sam's Club as well, in ten pound bags. Your clothes definitely come out odor free using either of these.
@Feona1962 (7529)
• United States
30 Jun 07
I always buy mine but I am going to try your method..thank you and I will let you know how it works for me.....
@TerryZ (22146)
• United States
30 Jun 07
Oh thankyou my friend Im going to try that one. I hate buying fabric softer its too expensive. You always come up with good ones.
1 person likes this
@Modestah (11195)
• United States
30 Jun 07
I use baking soda and vinegar frequently in my wash. often times I use the baking soda instead of detergent. Vinegar as my rinsing agent (much better in the septic) I love how fresh and soft vinegar makes the clothing. We line dry and towels can get quite stiff, but not when vinegar is used for the rinse.. thank you for the recipe and method. I printed it off and will tape to the cabinet door in the laundry room.
1 person likes this
@Shylor (53)
• United States
11 Feb 08
this is a very good tip, I'll have to try it, because my son is allergic to most of the fabic softeners/detergents on the market.
• United States
2 Jul 07
No I just use the vinegar in my wash. I don't know if It freshens it or not. I do use it in place of bleach. I do make use of saving on soap. I grate the soap bars and mix with borax in a large container. When possible I add cheap detergent it works great. My daughters socks are whites as well.
@wachit14 (3601)
• United States
1 Jul 07
I never knew that you could make your own fabric sofener. I may try this when I run out of it, which I often do. In order to save money though I buy my dryer sheets in the dollar store. They are just as good as the name brand ones and they work just as well at a fraction of the cost. Gotta save money any way we can. By the way, a great tip for white vinegar is to put a little in a glass cup. Put the cup in the microwave and heat the vinegar up and leave it in there for a while. The steam from the vinegar will loosen up the food remnants in the microwave and are easily wiped away to leave it nice and clean.
@arkaf61 (10891)
• Canada
1 Jul 07
I know quite well the qualities of vinegar but never thought about doing this. It certainly is a much better and cheaper alternative and I am going to try it in my next wash. I have no doubts that it will work. Both baking soda and vinegar really work well for most things. I used to use arm and hammer - baking soda - in the wash when my kids were babies and I liked the results. I always look for healthier and less expensive alternatives for everything. Why pay such high prices for things that we can substitute with the same or better results and spend less money ? :) Let me just say that I really enjoy your discussions. I went trough almost all of them yesterday LOL and found so many interesting tips and things - and recipes ::):)):) - I was saving them for over an hour LOL Thanks for all the ideas and tips.
@stormygrl (763)
• United States
1 Jul 07
This sounds very goood and will definitely try making the fabric softner. I've never used baking soda does it help keep the whites from yellowing?
1 Jul 07
I dont make any cleaning products but I use vinigar to clean my washing machine, and dish washer. Just pour some white vinigar in the machine and turn it on with nothing else in to look at the machine you could tell any differance but they really do get your cloths and disces cleaners. To clean my microwave I pour lemon juice in a bowl and put it in the microwave for 30 secs to 1 min till it starts steaming then just wipe the inside surfaces clean. And use salt to clean my wok when you have finished cooking pour a good quanitity of salt into the wok and heat it up shaking it around the wok then rinse with water
@orbeltadz (506)
• Baguio, Philippines
1 Jul 07
I don't do the washing of my clothes. But I will tell my maid about it. Good to hear about this tip.
@kelly60 (4550)
• United States
1 Jul 07
I never would have thought of combining baking soda and vinegar together. I have used vinegar in the wash cycle before, but I guess I will have to try this. I prefer using the dryer sheets though, because I always forget to add things when it gets to the rinse cycle.
@babystar1 (4236)
• United States
1 Jul 07
Thanks for the great idea how to make your own fragrance free fabric softener. I never tyed this before. The next time I do some washing I sure will try it.
@fungurly1 (180)
• United States
1 Jul 07
I've never heard of this. Thank you, it should come in handy.
@gewcew23 (8012)
• United States
1 Jul 07
I have started using baking soda in my wash, but didn't know about this. I will definately have to try this. I know that the baking soda has really made a difference in my clothes. THanks for sharing this and have a great day.