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.