White Vinegar is what I consider the “miracle ingredient” for homemade cleaners. It is a natural disinfectant and a must have in your arsenal if you are going to start making your cleaners at home. This stuff is cheap, natural, and amazing! Your kid can drink it and no poison control center call is ever needed. 🙂
Fabric Softener is not an item I consider a necessity or must have on my laundry list, so of course, I don’t want to spend much on it. Most commercial fabric softeners contain a lot of nasty chemicals (Downy Free and Sensitive is ranked an F on the EWG), can cause allergies & asthma, and can cause build up on your clothes. On the flip side they do make your clothes smell fantastic!
About two years ago I was on a mission to get rid of static cling naturally without using dryer sheets (still working on this). I did come across the idea of using white vinegar with essential oils as a fabric softener. I tried it and never looked back! Vinegar makes our clothes so much softer while removing any musty smell from those towels. There is also never a vinegar smell on the clothes itself.
I have a top load washing machine, so I just fill up the fabric softener dispenser for large loads and about half for small loads. They say about 1/2 C, but I don’t have the time or patience to measure, so I just throw it in there. Just make sure to shake the bottle each time before use to mix the oils and vinegar together.
The recipe is super easy:
– old fabric softener bottle, rinsed out
– fill the white vinegar to the top of the bottle
– add 20-30 drops of essential oils (lavender is my favorite)
– pour it in your fabric softener dispenser and you are all set
The total cost is $1.20!! The vinegar would cost around $1.19 as you can buy a 128 oz bottle at Giant Eagle for $2.99 on sale. I typically do not go organic for white vinegar that I use for cleaning.
The lavender oil is $.01 (for 20 drops) as you can buy a 4 oz bottle for around $15.99 on sale at Lucky’s. You can also buy a 1 oz. bottle on iherb for $7.63. You can typically get 2400 drops out of a 4 oz. (30 ml) bottle. Then, just reuse an old fabric softener bottle that you have at home – free!
You can play around and add different oils to the vinegar. Orange and lemon are a great citrus scent that can help brighten and get rid of stains. Peppermint is refreshing and great for the holidays, and tea tree oil is a natural disinfectant. There are many combinations of natural oils to use in the vinegar while getting a natural, refreshing scent on your clothes.