Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Works For Me Wednesday - Homemade Dryer Sheets

I’m almost out of fabric softener sheets and it’s nearly grocery time, but the thought of spending food money on laundry just isn’t making me real happy. I’d rather have fresh veggies than dryer sheets. So in my quest for thriftiness I came across this recipe for fabric softener.

Homemade Dryer Sheets

2 cups of water
1 cup of vinegar
2/3 cups of any hair conditioner


Mix in spray bottle and stir. Don’t shake, this will cause foaming. Soak a cloth rag and ring it out until slightly damp. Then throw it into the dryer with your load of clothes.

This can also be used as a liquid fabric softener in the rinse cycle.

I use dollar store conditioner so this mixture costs me just a bit over a dollar to make. I've been able to get almost 50 loads out of one batch. I keep this stored in a tupperware container by my dryer with the rag already in it so all I have to do is squeeze and add it to the load in the dryer.

Simple and cheap with none of the wax from the store bought sheets that wear your clothes out.
For more great ideas visit Rocks In My Dryer.
***this is a tip from a previous post.



Update: I had a couple of readers ask if this controls static and the answer is yes! Absolutely. Another question was how long does this stay for? I'm not quite sure what they meant by this but if you were wondering if its effectiveness wears out over time the answer is no. There is no chemical reaction that keeps it working and can wear out. It lasts until it's used up.

I also refigured my cost. Since I only use about half of the dollar store conditioner rather than the whole bottle the cost is closer to 50 cents per batch, not a dollar. Good news, right?

28 comments:

Phyllis Sommer said...

great tip! i love this. thanks for sharing it. i'm trying so hard to get rid of the chemicals but i haven't yet found a good sub for those darn dryer sheets!

Mrs. Organic said...

I will definitely try this, thanks for the tip!

Briggie said...

awesome tip - how long does the mixture stay for?

Lisa @ Stop and Smell the Chocolates said...

Really cool idea! I can't wait to try it.

Colleen said...

I use already made fabric softener with a ball of old sports socks. Helps me pick out faster which article of clothing is the dryer sheet. I'll have to try making my own softener some time. Thanks!

Shanda said...

thanks for the tip! A friend and I just made our first batch of homemade laundry detergent. It seems to be working well. It's nice to pass up that aisle in the store.

Duckygirl said...

Does this do a good job keeping things static free too? Ian's big on no static in his work slacks, so I'm curious.

-laura

Family O'Foxes said...

I'm in the same place as you...almost out of dryer sheets but hate the thought of spending money on dryer sheets.
I might give this a try. Sounds like a great idea!
~Amy

April said...

when my current box is gone I might try a batch of this!

marigold said...

I could totally use this for fabric softener. We've been using the Dryer Balls instead of sheets for over 2 years. Those things are great!

Anonymous said...

I'm trying this, too! Thanks.

Amanda T. (www.xanga.com/TrentTribe)

Anonymous said...

Know what's even cheaper? No fabric softener (sheets or otherwise) at all :-) Or only for very occasional use (like when you're washing those "fleece" blankets that get so static-y). We wear mostly cotton clothing, use cotton blankets, etc. so this works well for us. I haven't bought or used dryer sheets (or fabric softener) for a couple years now.

Nikki said...

This is DEFINITELY my kind of tip. I will add this to my arsenal of thrifty tips and use it as soon as my sheets are all used up.

Does the mixture start to separate before it's all used up?

CookingmamaG said...

I just LOVE your blog. I linked you on my blog and I look forward to trying out all your tips. Thanks!

Kelly said...

Great tip! And the new layout looks awesome!

Domestic Spaz said...

Does it take on the smell of the conditioner or the vinegar? I sort of hate the smell of vinegar so I shy away from anything containing it... does it smell vinegary?

Amy said...

Thanks for the great tip! Couple questions... what size rag do you use? Does it leave any sort of film in the dryer or on the vent? If you choose a scented conditioner does the smell stay with the clothes? I'm excited to try this!

jen said...

Oh, I LOVE this tip! I can't wait to try it! Thanks for posting such a cool and helpful tip!

ckaal5 said...

OH I am on my second batch of this! I love it! I will be using this from now on. I did notice that their is a slight scent if you use a scented conditioner. But I don't really mind that. Thanks so much for posting this!

Melissa

Mrs. Querido said...

I am so going to try this! Bounce is expensive if you don't get it on sale!

Emily Ann said...

Thanks so much for this tip! My husband is a laundry snob, and he insists on having liquid fabric softener. I'm going to see if he can tell the difference!

I just found your blog today, and I can't wait to read through it to find all your other tips and tricks.

trucksr4gurls said...

if you are going to use it as liquid, how much do you use at a time?

Lucy Marie said...

Thanks for this tip. I actually just tried it and posted about it today on my thrifty Thursday feature.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I really love this tip! I just made up my second batch of this stuff, and I thought I'd share a little "lesson" that I've learned so far: Don't use Apple Cider Vinegar! hahahaha!! I was out of white vinegar when I made my first batch, so I went ahead and used the Apple Cider Vinegar and, while the smell doesn't linger in the clothes AT ALL, I can smell it when I use it and I just don't like the smell of vinegar. However, with the white vinegar, you don't smell it AT ALL! It actually enhances the scent of the conditioner, to be honest!

Also, I soak a rag in this mix, ring it out, and toss it in the dryer as dryer sheets. I'd always end up with the mix on my hands, so I started rubbing it into my cuticles... this stuff is a WONDERFUL cuticle cream! I'm a cosmetologist so I've seen my share of nail products, and this is, by far, one of the greatest stuff I've ever put on my cuticles!! I swear, you could probably market this stuff as a cuticle cream and make LOADS of money, haha!

Thanks so much for your great tips... keep posting the homemade cleaning products! We love them!

Maria said...

I was also wondering if you use this only in the rinse cycle, how much would you use?

Amanda said...

Not sure how I've missed this great tip each time I've visited your blog but I'm so glad that I've found it now. THANK YOU.

Shannon said...

I tried this with some great smelling Suave and it works wonderfully! Great tip! I did cut the vinegar to half a cup. After my first test run, I could still smell the vinegar a little bit. Does anyone know what the purpose of the vinegar is anyway?
Regardless, it softened the clothes really well. Thanks!

Beth said...

If you have a favorite scented fabric softener, I use a container with 1 parts liquid softener and 5 parts water. I get cheap sponges and cut them in half. If you keep 2 or 3 sponges in the mixture at all times you never have to search for the sponge to throw back in. I also, found an old pickle keeper made by Tupperware, it has a "lifting grate" that works great to help drain the excess off.