Clothes with tough fabric will rub against our skin and make us uncomfortable. We want our clothes to be soft to make us relaxed. But then softening clothes through chemicals may not appeal to everyone for two reasons: it’s expensive, and chemicals pose various health risks.
In this article, we reveal various natural ways to soften our laundry and put a sweet smell on our clothes. These methods are simple, harmless and cost-effective – which cannot be said of all commercial fabric softeners.
Soak the Laundry in Salty Water
Ever seen a person soaking their new shirt in a bucket of salty water and looked at them as though they are crazy? Actually, they precisely knew what they were doing.
Saltwater is not only beneficial as far as softening fabric, but it also stops the fading – it’s a classic dye fixer. Saltwater eliminates the coating that makes the fabric stiff.
For the best results, make sure to add half a cup of salt for every 34 ounces of lukewarm water. Push the laundry into the bucket and make certain that the saltwater penetrates every inch of your laundry.
After soaking the clothes for at least an hour, you may proceed to wash them with soap and detergent.
Use Baking Soda
Another natural and cost-effective means of softening your clothes is through the use of baking soda. It displaces various chemical compounds that needlessly stiffen up clothes.
Unlike other fabric softeners that can potentially harm your skin, baking soda is totally harmless. And what’s more, you can use it together with other detergents.
If you are using a washing machine, you first put the detergent as per the manufacturer’s instructions, and then add the baking soda into the dispenser. You may add a quarter of a cup for small loads, a half cup for medium loads, and a full cup for large loads.
Apart from softening your laundry, baking soda also has freshening properties; it rids clothes of odors and other funny smells.
To make scented vinegar the following is needed: a gallon of white vinegar, fresh mint leaves, a sufficiently large glass bottle, and a sieve. Put the fresh mint leaves in the bottle and pour a stream of white vinegar into the bottle so that the leaves are floating. Close the bottle and let the content stew for at least 24 hours.
Then sieve out the mint leaves and you have scented vinegar. Store it in a cool place away from direct sunlight to preserve potency. Now you can use the scented vinegar during the rinse cycle and it will leave your clothes not only tender but also sweet-smelling.
Note: if you have no access to mint leaves, you may substitute with already-made essential oils like lemon, orange, and lavender.
The thing about making homemade fabric softeners is that, to a large extent, it is a test of one’s creativity. The combinations are endless. You only have to pay attention to the ingredients.
Homemade crystals can be made from Epsom salt and essential oils. You may also throw in some baking soda and stir to mix well. Close the mixture in an airtight container. You may use these crystals as fabric softeners during your washing. They also add a sweet aroma in the clothes.
Homemade Dryer Sheets
The importance of dryer sheets is to minimize the static energy generated as laundry gets dried by machines. But dryer sheets are also useful as far as softening fabric and making clothes easier to iron.
Yes, you can make your own dryer sheets, and make your laundry both softer and sweet-smelling. Obviously, homemade dryer sheets don’t have a similar softening capacity as the commercial dryer sheets, but there’s a great leverage on the aroma side. You can play around with the essential oils and various other ingredients to lace your laundry with indescribably sweet smells.
To get started, cut out five squares from a cotton garment and place them in a container. Put a liberal amount of your favorite essential oils in the container. Let the cotton absorb the essential oils for at least 48 hours. You may use them during dryer cycles. Once they begin to lose their potency, repeat the process. Homemade fabric softeners are not only simple and cost-effective, but they also flex your creative mind.