Friday, June 25, 2010

Replacing Fabric Softener

I have finally done it! I quit using fabric softener. And it wasn't as difficult as I thought it might be, either.

I made a set of wool dryer balls using wool yarn purchased with a 40% off coupon from Hobby Lobby. (You can see what the current coupon is here and print it if you don't get one in the newspaper.) I followed the instructions in the above Tipnut link, and it worked like a charm! One skein of yarn was enough to make the four balls shown, plus a tiny ball that my cats have seriously enjoyed batting around. In fact, I had to pick it up because they were tearing it apart. They enjoy the large balls, too (as does the three year old!) but I try to keep them safely out of reach of little paws and little hands.

Per a post that I linked to a couple of months ago, 12 Surprising Ways to Reuse Aluminum Foil at Wise Bread, I tried tossing a (clean!) ball of foil in the dryer along with the dryer balls. While static wasn't eliminated completely - especially depending on what was in that particular load - I thought it was greatly reduced. The clothespin is in the picture to represent my clothesline (you can see what a nerd I am about it in that post - lots of tips and tricks) which I use faithfully when the weather permits. I have reused the foil ball many times, and while it has gotten smaller and more compacted, it is still working just fine. I'll wait until it's falling apart to replace it, recycling the old ball, of course.

My clothesline went down for a bit this summer, though, and I had to use the dryer. I was pleased with the outcome using the wool and foil. As noted in my clothesline post, I also toss my line dried items in the dryer for a few minutes using low heat or air only, and the balls help soften them up, too.

For more frugal ideas, visit Life as Mom.


frugalfarmfamily said...

Very cool idea! I do not use fabric softener either. I use baking soda and vinegar in the wash. I also place a few drops of essential oils on a wash cloth or small item I am already throwing in the dryer. I love the wool idea! Will have to try!

Cindy said...

What a cool idea. I have never heard of this method but I do use vinegar in the rinse...thus no dryer sheets.

If I forget to add vinegar to the rinse cycle ~ which is often, I pour vinegar on a wash cloth and throw this in the dryer with the wet clothes. Can't wait to try this. Thank you for sharing!

Melissa said...

I use vinegar rinse just like the ladies above. In fact, I use very little detergent (my biggest problem with our laundry is stink and grease and so I use ammonia and some dish detergent) I am not sure but I might not need detergent.

I've been considering making these for sometime but have yet to get to it.