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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Crunchy Tutorial #2- Fabric Softener

               I do two loads of laundry a day.  Beau insists that I use Tide with Bleach detergent.

It is, after all, what his Mama used. I don't mess with that. 

But I did have to cut out additional fragrances and additives elsewhere.  Roman breaks out in angry hives every time a fragrance even comes near his skin.  Chase started to develop red and bumpy rashes on his face.  

My first plan of attack was to switch our bath products.  I tried five or six different kinds of soap and special washes. I even spent $20 on a special organic baby shampoo.  Of course, it still made Roman break out.  Dummy. :)

Then I bought some Dr. Bronner's peppermint soap.  It comes in a huge bottle for $10 and has only a few natural ingredients- saponified coconut, jojoba, hemp and olive oils, and peppermint oil.  Success! It does not make the babies break out.  I am using it on my hair and body as well.  I love it! It stings the eyes like a mother, though. Use caution.  I figure I will save about $15-$20 a month by using only one product on all of us.  It will take probably three or four months to break even after my special-soap-hunting spree.  Oh, well.  
As I read further about dyes and fragrances, I realized a likely culprit in the boys' breakouts was this:



oops.  No, this:
I had been using the cheapest dryer sheets I could find. I didn't even like the smell.  They were just inexpensive.  I was trying to save money.  But we were not living better...

So I chucked the sheets, searched the internet, and found another use for white vinegar.  
When added to the rinse cycle of your laundry, white vinegar does a fantastic job of softening your clothes. Amazing. 

I added this as well:


I really love this peppermint oil! It has so many uses.  The bottle is less than $5.00 on Amazon and it lasts forever, through many homemade experiments. 

I pour a half of a cup of vinegar to my rinse cycle, and add a generous shaking of peppermint oil to the vinegar.  While I thought I loved the smell of dryer sheets, there is nothing like opening the washer to the fresh, minty smell of clean laundry.  

I have experimented with adding this mixture to a washcloth and putting it in the dryer, but the clothes come out no softer, and a faint smell of vinegar lingers.  There is no vinegar smell when I use the concoction in the rinse cycle.  

I won't claim it is as cost-effective as cheap dryer sheets, but it is really close.  The gallon of vinegar lasts three weeks, and the peppermint oil lasts probably six months.  Like I said, that is with two loads every single day.  It costs about three dollars a month.  Not too bad.  

Have you ever used this method? Would you like to try? Let me know :) 

4 comments:

Farm Girl said...

Well since I happen to love white vinegar, I never thought about using it in the wash cycle before. Nor the peppermint. I had to laugh about washing your hair in the other stuff. Well if you must know, my husband loves making soap so we do make our own soap. Bar kind. I have looked around at stuff to make affordable dryer sheets but haven't found anything I liked yet. I would like to make my own laundry soap too.
I wish I had some cute idea for dryer sheets but as of yet nothing. :)
I will let you know if I do.

Kessie said...

I haven't used dryer sheets in years. Sometimes I get static cling, but usually it's pretty negligible. If I dry a lot of polyester it becomes a problem, but usually cotton isn't very staticy.

I like the idea of the white vinegar and peppermint, though. I'll have to try that sometime when I have some white vinegar. I do go through it. :-)

Randy / Hayley said...

I have heard dryer sheets are good for cleaning baseboards. They pick up the dust exceptionally and help in the dust not settling as easy the next time. Though I haven't tried it myself. Just thought I'd share if you still had some dryer sheets left over.

Trying the vinegar on my laundry today. I've been trying to find something for softener but didn't want chemicals. I use vinegar for a lot of things, mixed with other.

Vinegar and Dawn dishsoap works incredibly well for cleaning showers (ration 1:1).

*I think this is the first time I've left you a note on your blog.

Brandy @ Afterthoughts said...

I wonder what I am doing wrong...I have used vinegar during our wash cycle for years, but I have still needed dryer sheets--otherwise the clothes seem stiff like cardboard! Am I just picky about softness? I wonder...

Actually, I just reread your post...perhaps I'm not using quite enough. I doubt I use 1/2 a cup...Maybe 1/3 but definitely not half. Or maybe it is because I don't use Tide? (I use Charlie's Soap.)

Hmmm...

I love these posts, by the way, Jen! :)

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