While the price of fabric softener continues to climb, I found a way to keep it lower and achieve a sense of accomplishment at the same time. It uses my favorite household cleaner, white distilled vinegar.
No matter what type of vinegar you buy, there’s always 100 uses for it besides just in salad dressing. I use it to clean tubs and sinks, sprinkling a little baking soda over it after a few minutes for rough spots to create extra abrasion when I scrub.
I also love to watch it sizzle and foam, which is pretty cheap entertainment, even if it is a sad commentary on my choices in that area.
- 2 cups hair conditioner, pick a scent you like
- 3 cups distilled white vinegar
- 6 cups hot water
- a container to mix it in
I just combine the 3 cups of vinegar with inexpensive 2 cups hair conditioner and 6 cups hot water. Mix all the ingredients together. You may be tempted to shake it, but stirring it until mixed is best.
When the mixture has a smooth consistency, you can either add a few drops of essential oil or simply pour it into your container.
For instance, Suave brands are on sale now for $1.00 a bottle. However, I’ve hunted the shelves of overstock stores and found off brands that were even cheaper. The conditioner adds the scent, so choose one that you really like.
The only other things you need are a bottle with a lid for storage—I continue to reuse my old softener bottle, bowl, measuring tools, spoon and hot water.
A funnel is almost mandatory when you pour the softener into your bottle. You can get them for around a dollar and they’re great to have available.
Time to Get Creative
I’ve seen similar recipes online and sometimes people add a bit of essential oil to give it a stronger scent, create an antibacterial conditioner or give it some other property—such as adding lavender to promote sleep. Frankly, I find it a bit too much, so I don’t.
How Much to Use
When it’s time to use, you’ll have it bottled and ready. You’ll use ¼ to ½ cup per load, depending on the type of washer you have.
High efficiency or HE washers—normally front loaded—use less water so they require less softener. Regular washers will use the half cup and HE the fourth cup.