If you have run out of fabric softener for your clothes or simply want to resort to a more natural option, far from many of the chemical compounds that most cleaning products include in their composition, also those intended for washing and caring for clothes, this practical idea can be very interesting. With basic ingredients, which you probably have at home, you can make an effective fabric softener, with the aroma you prefer and in a very short time.
Vinegar, the key
Considering its strong and particular smell, surely you have never thought that vinegar could be a perfect ally for laundry care. This seasoning, which never ceases to amaze with the multiple uses it offers for cleaning and caring for the home, is also effective in leaving different garments pleasant to the touch and, curiously, without smelling ‘strange’ once washed. and dry.
It must be clarified that the best for these tasks is the White vinegar, although you can also use the apple one. Other varieties, with dark tones derived from their origin (red wine) could cause color alterations. As an essential ingredient in your homemade fabric softener, vinegar will help the fibers of the different fabrics to remain looser and more flexible, helping to eliminate any tiny residue, including the minerals themselves present in the wash water.
White vinegar will not harm the washing machine or its machinery, nor will it damage the drain pipes. On the contrary, it will promote optimal cleaning by reducing the presence of accumulated lime, a problem that usually occurs in geographical areas with particularly hard waters. Also, the static electricity that some garments sometimes seem to present can decrease with the use of this homemade product.
How to make your fabric softener
You will always have to reduce the potent action and smell of vinegar diluting it in water. If you also add sodium bicarbonate in the right dose, you will achieve an even deeper cleaning of each fabric, reducing the stiffness of each of the fibers. The result is going to be a soft and ‘fluffy’ garment. You just need to incorporate the aroma that you like the most in the form of a few drops of your favorite essential oil.
Step by Step:
First you will have to mix the water and vinegar in the right proportion, which as a general method is: 2 measures of water for 1 of vinegar.
- In a plastic container, first pour the vinegar necessary for the amount of fabric softener you want to make (1, 2, 3 … cups). Next, add a tablespoon of baking soda for each measure of vinegar. Incorporate it slowly, not suddenly and carefully because, on contact, the chemical reaction will cause the mixture to fizz. In these minutes you should not stir it.
- When the bicarbonate has dissolved, add the necessary amount of water (double), which can be from the tap, although if it is from the bottle and with low mineralization, the better. Now you can stir.
- Your fabric softener is almost ready. Now, with the help of a funnel, the liquid is transferred to a plastic bottle, which can be from a previous conventional fabric softener. Before wash it properly.
- If you want, to finish, add a few drops (5 – 8) of essential oil. Lavender is especially recommended, but you can also opt for eucalyptus, mint, rosemary, fruit aromas … you choose.
Other ideas and some tips
This is not the only formula to make such a natural product and everyone can make their own ‘secret’ mixes. There are those who take advantage of some cream or mask capillary or body, which you no longer use for some reason, such as having left the container poorly closed and that it is somewhat dry, to make a great homemade softener. In this case, you would have to do without bicarbonate and mixing, for example and following the indicated proportions, 500 ml. of water, 250 ml. of white vinegar and approximately 150 – 200 grams of cream. It will be necessary to shake very well, even with the help of a mixer, and let it rest for the necessary time.
Before using any of the chosen mixes, you must wait at least 2 – 3 hours although the ideal is to leave it for the day after preparation.
The homemade fabric softener is used the same as any of those that are marketed. Pour it, normally, directly into the corresponding compartment of the washing machine tub, respecting the limit set by the maximum quantity.
After the wash cycle, your clothes, especially those home textiles like sheets or towels, they will be soft and with a pleasant aroma. In addition, your washing machine will be cleaner and with less limescale thanks to the joint action of vinegar and bicarbonate.