Tuesday, February 23, 2010


I am a homemaker and I take my job seriously.  That's right I said JOB.  Because it's WORK.  I feel that part of my job as a homemaker is to find ways to stretch our one income as far as it will go.  This is an on-going procedure that is constantly being tweaked as I learn more and improve my homemaking skills.

One of the easiest areas I've found to shave $$ is in the laundry room.  I began making my own laundry soap probably a year or so ago.  I began using straight vinegar in the place of fabric softener about that same time.  Oh, we tried going back to store-bought fabric softener a couple of times 'just to see' - but, we  like what the vinegar does for our clothes better.  It's really much better at cutting down on static, too.  Not to mention...it's way cheaper. 

Well, a few weeks ago I ran across a recipe for homemade fabric softener that piqued my interest.  I wish I could remember where I saw it, because I would give credit where credit is due.  But the recipe was so simple I remembered it.  It used vinegar, water and baking soda. 

My homemaking wheels began to churn.  I pay $2.69 for a gallon of vinegar.  If I could successfully dilute it, then I could stretch my vinegar further - therefore saving some fundage.  So, I tried it yesterday.  I don't have any pictures, but really, there's not much to see.  Just use your imagination.

I used an empty gallon sized vinegar container to make it in.


1/2 c. baking soda
6 c. vinegar 
8 c. water.
10-15 drops of essential oil.

First, put the baking soda in your gallon sized container and add the vinegar.  Shake a little at a time to incorporate baking soda without cause an eruption. Not that I did that or anything. OK. Yes, I did. I was lying. Sue me.:0)  Well, not really.  Anyway...  add the water already. 

I don't think that the essential oil would be necessary, but I had it so I went ahead and added some.  It smells sooo good.

I haven't completely worked out the economics of it.  But, I figure I can get at least two batches out of the vinegar this way cutting my cost from $2.69 to about $1.35.  I have the added cost of baking soda, but I can get that for about $.50 per box and only need a 1/2 cup per batch.  So, I figure that the cost for a gallon of fabric softener would come in around $1.50 - probably less.
I washed our sheets with this new fabric softener yesterday and my husband said that he thought they felt softer.  I thought they did, too.  I don't know what would cause this - unless the baking soda has some sort of effect on it.  But, I'm pretty pleased with it.  I'm sure I'll continue to make it.
Happy Homemaking!


Gina said...

I love this idea! Thanks for sharing!

Jennifer Alvarado said...

Hi, where do I purchase the essential oil?

Thank You,


Pam said...

You can purchase essential oils any number of places. Usually, health food stores have them. You can also order them online. Mountain Rose Herbs is a great source online, as well as Native American Nutritionals.