Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Frugal Fabric Softener

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Have you ever visited a new town and thought to yourself, "The water here tastes funny and smells bad."?

Well, we moved here almost 5 years ago and I'm still thinking that. Everyone we know who lives here has Culligan come to their house every month to service their water treatment system. Everyone who is not the most frugal family in town, that is.

I have read The Complete Tightwad Gazette from cover to cover. I had some spare time when I was in the hospital on bed rest for a month during a difficult pregnancy.

If I ever saw Amy Dacyzn in the drive through at McDonald's, it would be that moment of realizing my guru had fallen from her pedestal. *shudder* You know, like when you find out that "child raising expert" you idolize has kids who torture small animals for fun.

I have been know to call my husband at work to report that I just fed the kids lunch for under 10 cents each. I have saved my receipt for weeks, just to admire it, when a local grocery store went out of business and marked everything down 98% to get rid of it. (I filled up my pantry for $2.72!) I'm just saying... I'm a frugal zealot!

Are you wondering what all of this has to do with fabric softener?

Well, I normally wouldn't spend extra money just for fragrance sake, but we have extenuating circumstances, you see.

Our water staaanks! If the clothes go through the wash cycle with only detergent, they have that smell.

Of course, I won't pay good money for name brand fabric softener, but something's gotta give. Thus, I have come up with Connie's Frugal Fabric Softener. I buy the generic bottle of liquid fabric softener. At home, I pour out half and save it for later. Then I fill up the half filled bottle with vinegar. Vinegar is a great rinse agent, especially for hard water. It also neutralizes odors and is an all around general purpose, multi-use good guy. Not to mention, it's cheap!

I put my frugal fabric softener in a "Downy Ball" and toss it in every time I put in a load of laundry. It works great! I can also splash a little on a rag and toss it in the dryer if I feel like it. Now my laundry doesn't smell like wet sneakers at a water treatment plant in a low lying swamp.

What about you? Do you have any frugal tips? Do tell.


Jamie said...

I have to agree with you about our water here. It does stink, and it definetly tastes funny to me. Every time my family goes out to our farm, we take gallon jugs and fill them up with the well water we have down there. It tastes so much better! I have not heard about that vinegar trick you use, but I will try it sometime.

Myfriendconnie said...


Will you tell about your mom's vinegar in the dishwasher routine?

Jennifer Meachem said...

that is SUCH a good idea! i left a load of towels in the washer and even though i washed them again... they still stink! i am going to wash them and use your recipe. thanks!

A Hopeful Hollar said...

Long time no see. My frugal tip is making my own "cream of soups". I use a basic white sauce found in any basic cook-book and just add the flavor that I want such chopped chicken or sauteed mushrooms.

Nikki said...

I have been stalking your blog for the past week, I think. And I love it! So, do you use half vinegar and half fabric softener in the ball? If you used just vinegar, would it be strong enough for your stinky water problem?

I like "a hopeful hollar's" frugal tip. Thanks for sharing!

Jamie said...

Sure. My mom puts a cup of vinegar in the dishwasher every night. The dishwasher repair man told her to do it, on account of us having to call him out to fix our three month used dishwasher. It keeps the soap and hard water buildup down a lot. You just fill up a cup with vinegar and set it down on the bottom shelve. It works great.

Kim C. said...

We have Texas water too - stinky, hard beyond belief. I'm going to try this!

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