by Charlotte Wood
(last updated February 21, 2009)
I love fabric softener sheets. I love the way they smell and the way they make my clothes feel. They're probably one of my favorite aspects of laundry—I just love the dryer sheet. When I first left home to go to college, my mom gave me a big bag of dryer sheets for me to use on laundry day and it took me over a year to finish them up (which was most excellent).
I soon realized, however, that dryer sheets are kind of expensive. If cost is an issue for you or you just don't want to spend your money on dryer sheets, there are a couple of alternatives for making your fabric softener sheets.
To create your own fabric softener sheets, all you need to do is mix a cup of liquid fabric softener with two cups of water. Keep a bottle of the solution in your laundry room. When it's time to dry your clothes, dampen an old washcloth and toss it into the dryer with your wet clothes. This method is great because you can still get the cozy smell of dryer sheets and the luxury of not having to spend extra on it—you can use the fabric softener you already have on hand! The cloth will dry with the rest of the laundry and then you can use it for the next load.
If you don't use regular fabric softener or don't want to use your fabric softener as a dryer sheet, you can opt for the vinegar tactic. Basically you do the same thing with the rag, but spray a bit of diluted vinegar on it. Throw the rag into the dryer with the rest of the damp clothes. Vinegar is a natural fabric softener and can work in place of name-brand softeners. With this approach however, do be aware that your clothes may smell a bit funny. (You'll want to test it out to see if this actually happens.)
There are a number of ways you can increase the softness of your clothes through the use of your dryer. Whether you use name brand or generic dryer sheets, or the homemade kind, your clothes can always be feeling great!
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