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Thursday, January 3, 2013

Duggars' Homemade Fabric Softener

There is no better way to start the new year than with new money saving techniques. We have posted the Duggars' recipes for liquid laundry detergent, baby wipes, and brown rice baby cereal. How about homemade fabric softener? They have two different recipes, one for the washer and one for the dryer.



Recipe #1 (Washer)
1  Cup white vinegar


Add vinegar to rinse cycle. Removes residue and odors and helps keep washing machine and hoses clean.


Recipe #2 (Dryer)
1  Container of name brand fabric softener*
4  Inexpensive sponges, cut in half


Pour entire container of softener into a 5 gallon bucket. Fill empty softener container with water twice, and add to the bucket (2 parts water to 1 part softener). Add sponges to softener/water mixture. When ready to use, wring out extra mixture from one sponge, and add to the dryer as you would a dryer sheet. 

*You can use any amount of fabric softener, as long as you add two parts water.

40 Comments (Click Here to Add Yours):

Anonymous said...

The ingredients call for 4 sponges, cut in half. So that is only 8 sponges for all that mixture. Do you keep re-using the sponges by tossing them back in the bucket after each use?

Lily and Ellie said...

@Anonymous

Hi Anonymous,

Yep, you can reuse the sponges.

~Lily and Ellie

Cathy said...

I've done this for awhile now, though not in the five gallon bucket size. I just take storage bowl with a lid that seals, add a cup of the softener with two of water, throw in the sponges... and I'm set! The sponges will last for a long time, and my clothes smell great and are as soft as the expensive sheets.

Anonymous said...

can anyone tell me why my clothes still is coming out dirty after useing my home made soap? my husband keeps telling me and i see some dirty stains on it, how can i make it better? sholud i add more borax? i been having to use clorox 2 and still it comes out dirty but since im trying to save money,im not trying to keep spending money by buying clorox 2 all the time. also does anyone know where could i buy essential oil and how much does it cost and where is the cheapest place or site you've seen it at? thanks

Anonymous said...

that is wastful you are still buying the product anyway. does that make any sense?

Anonymous said...

A reminder to not use any kind of fabric softeners too often on your kitchen and bath towels. It coats the towels and decreases their absorbency.

Lily and Ellie said...

@Anonymous

Hi Anonymous,

Here is an article that will give you a few suggestions on how to get your clothes looking cleaner: http://frugallysustainable.com/2011/10/help-i-make-my-own-laundry-soapbut-my/

Adding essential oils is optional, but they can be purchased online or at grocery stores like Whole Foods and Trader Joe's.

Hope this helps!
Lily and Ellie

Aspiemom said...

I am going to try this dryer sheet recipe. Do I need to be concerned about where I place the wrung-out sponge when I toss it in? I don't want it leaving a mark on the fabric it lands on since it is wet and a fabric sheet is dry.

Anonymous said...

I can think of several better ways of starting the new year than with new money-saving techniques.

Lily and Ellie said...

@Aspiemom

Hi Aspiemom,

As long as you wring the sponge out well, it shouldn't leave a mark.

Happy Washing!
Lily and Ellie

Erin said...

but 1/3 of liquid fabric softener (2 parts water).. and even less since you aren't using a cupful, but just what is coating the squeezed out sponge. It stretches a bottle a LONG way.

Erin said...

Se people add oxy clean (or a generic oxygen cleaner) to their homemade recipe.. especially for baby or kids stains.

blessedmom said...

If you have stains on your clothes you would need to pretreat as with any laundry soap. I recommend mean green. You can buy it for $1 for a small bottle at dollar general and right now th we e is a 35 cent off coupon floating around f Rom a circular a couple weeks ago. It doesn't specify a size!! I also add a small container of fabric softener to my homemade soap. My dtr loves the smell of gain so I use that brand. It's about $3 for a small bottle. Still a bargain for 10 gallons of laundry soap!!! At times i have added borax or washing soda directly to my washer for hubbys greasy nasty clothes. Awesome stuff!!! I also water my fabric softener that I add to my washer 3 to 1!!! Works just as well and gives you a seemingly never ending bottle of fab softener. Hope this help!s

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous
Try adding some TSP Tri Sodium Phosphate. It's like a multiplier. It takes what ever you have and makes it that much better. You can also keep one of the bars you use for the recipe and rub on the stain with water before washing. For the fabric softener, I use free samples, works great. Just add the water 2-1 ratio and you are still good.

Anonymous said...

The homemade softner left stains on my clothes no matter how much I wrung them out...:(

Anonymous said...

i am probably going to try the fabric softener sponges, but not sure i will try it on whites and light colors. maybe my towels and darks.

Anonymous said...

I also had darkened spots left on my whites and light colors from the fabric softener. I am wondering if I use a white liquid fabric softener instead of a blue liquid if it would not leave the spots. This really does save a lot of money.

Anonymous said...

Are these ingredients safe for he(high efficiency ) washer and dryers I've seen some that you could use essential oils in mixtures is this safe?

Lily and Ellie said...

@Anonymous

Hi Anonymous,

Yes, the ingredients are safe for HE machines.

Happy Washing!
Lily and Ellie

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous i buy my essential oils at vitacost. They r cheaper than amazon or stores. Tea tree or lavender

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous I've used the homemade detergent @3 years now..buy GLADE refills with a coupon or store brand essential oils.my clothes smell like 'lavender'. 'ocean breeze'. whatever change. i cannot wait to try the fabric softener!

Anonymous said...

Essential oils for soaps, etc... can also be purchased at Hobby Lobby or Michaels. Be sure to get the correct ones. The oils for candles are not the same as for soaps. Michaels has a multi-pack of like 8 bottles for $35 but if you use one of the 40% or 50% off one regular priced item coupons, it's alot cheaper than buying individual bottles and lasts forever!!

Anonymous said...

Always double rinse towels - you would be amazed at how much soap you get out on the additional rinse.

Anonymous said...

Another recipe: 3 cups white vinegar, 2 cups hair conditioner (the cheap dollar store stuff, your choice of fragrance), and 2 cups hot water. Mix well. I just reuse an old fabric softener container and shake it well each time I use it.

Rebecca T said...

I have been looking online for cheap and easy ways to save money and I came across this one for fabric softener.
2 cups of hair conditioner
12 cups of boiled water/ warm water
6 cups of distilled white vinegar
Mix all together and use 1/4 cup per load it should last up to 192 loads. Try this out and see how that works out for you. OH YEA You can use the cheap hair conditioner like Swave (probably spelled that one wrong I am up late sorry) But I get mine from Walmart for 97 cent per bottle.

Dana Welch said...

If you fill a one gallon jug with orange peels and then top with vinegar, you will have orange scented vinegar for the laundry and a way of reusing your orange peels.

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous
Be sure that you only use vinegar in the rinse cycle becasue it will cancel out the detergent. Also add some more washing soda for a boost.

Anonymous said...

Love the vinegar and orange peel idea. I'm going to try it with lemons

Anonymous said...

White vinegar is best for these
Vinegar has antibacterial properties.

Anonymous said...

You can find the essential oils at the GNC stores. I make the laundry soap for the Humane Society and it cleans very good. I do add more soap per load. The towels come out smelling clean right out of the washer.

Marlene Tombleson said...

i have been making my own detergent for awhile now and i love it. it saves me $$$ not just cuz its pennies per load, but i dont have to run to the store for it. i have passed this recipe on to my friends and my sister. even though i already save $$$ by using generic dryer sheet, i want to try the softener next with my own essential oils. i love being frugal and my kids like it because it saves more $$ for other things!

Mamma said...

What size sponges do you buy?

Lily and Ellie said...

@Mamma

Hi Mamma,

Regular sized kitchen sponges will do the trick.

Hope you had a Merry Christmas.
Lily and Ellie

Anonymous said...

Made your laundry detergent recipe this evening. I am so excited!!! As a mother of three and wife of a sweetheart this is a blessing. We are a homeschooling family and this was a fun part of our evening. You all have been blessed! Thanks so much for the time you share with other families to help make their lives easier.

Anonymous said...

www.apothecary.com has essential oils, or you can go to the nutrition stores (more expensive there)

Anonymous said...

Why are you cutting 4 sponges in half? If only 1/2 sponge is required per load?

Anonymous said...

Do you put all 8 sponges in the dryer at one time? Not sure why you need 4 sponges cut in 1/2?

Lily and Ellie said...

@Anonymous

Hi Anonymous 37,

You only use one sponge per load. Keep in mind that the Duggars have multiple dryers, so they would need more than one. But even if you just have one washer, it is nice to have a few extra sponges sitting in the mixture and ready to use.

~Lily and Ellie

brittanybaxter101 said...

I have been using the home made laundry soap for over a year now and I will never buy it in the store again! My autistic 4 yr old has extreme bowel trouble and the laundry soap is the only thing that completely removes the stains! Cant wait to try the fabric softener ideas!!

Anonymous said...

I have been using your reciepe for laundry detergent and will NEVER go back. My clothes smell wonderful and are just as clean, ie; I do add a container of generic oxy clean because my boys are really rough and dirty (greasy). I am about to try the fabric now! I save a bundle on detergent.

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