I am really excited to tell you about this weeks project because it turned out so wonderfully, and I have added this to my laundry system in full confidence.
First let me start by tell in you that I am already a fan of homemade laundry soap. I started making my own laundry soap about a year ago and have been happy with the results, and the money savings. I use this recipe that I got from a friend and it works like charm.
When I came across this pin for fabric softener and dryer sheets I knew it would be something that I was going to try right away. Now I've seen DIY softeners before, but never dryer sheets. And what made this recipe stand out to me was the essential oils. I LOVE ESSENTIAL OILS! I use them almost daily at my house. My son rarely takes a bath that doesn't involve a little aromatherapy; a bonus for mom that sits in the bathroom while he plays to his little hearts content, which can sometimes be way beyond the point of wrinkled skin. I'm telling you a little lavender and eucalyptus oil will do wonders before bed, especially during allergy and the cold and flu season.
DIY Fabric Softener
The fabric softener just calls for plain white vinegar mixed with the essential oil of your choice. I decided to opt out of using the essential oil in my softener because the scent will not stay on your clothes. It's more of an added bonus when doing laundry. Essential oil can be pricy, so I only stuck to using it on the dryer sheets, which I will explain in a minute. But the vinegar worked great as a softener! Does it leave your clothes smelling like vinegar? Not. at. all. But here is what it does do:
- Naturally softens your clothes
- Removes soap residue in the washing machine
- Reduces static in the dryer
- It's antibacterial
Now, if you would prefer to add a little pep to your laundering process by adding the essential oils to your softener, diyNaturals recommends using lavender for its calming effect, sweet orange to help fight stains and brighten clothes, and peppermint to help fight strong odors on your clothing. You can get the exact recipe for this vinegar/essential oil concoction directly on their website.There are many other essential oils that you could use too, these were just the main ones they highlighted.
DIY Dryer Sheets
This worked BEAUTIFULLY! diyNaturals has the following instructions for making your own:
"Cut cotton cloth into small squares. I use 5-inch squares of cotton t-shirts that I’m retiring. Add 3-5 drops of essential oil to your cloth and throw it in the dryer with your next load. These cotton dryer sheets can be used for 2 or 3 loads, each time adding 3 more drops of your favorite essential oil. Wash the cloth after a few uses and experiment with a new fragrance the next time! Some of my personal favorites are lavender, lemon, or grapefruit." - diyNatural.com
They also have some other recommendations for safe alternatives to dry sheets if you are not into essential oils, or just don't have any. What do I mean by "safe alternatives"? Well I would have to write another post to explain this, but I found a great website that can break it down for you. Check out what Holistic Health Secrets has to say about the safety factor of your dryer sheets.
Well I tried these dryer sheets using a scrap dust cloth to test it out. I also used lavender, my favorite essential oil. OH. MY. WORD. Let me just tell you how much more enjoyable it was to fold my laundry. I kept taking deep breaths of all my clothes. They smelled like fresh lavender, not that fake lavender smell that commercial products offer. And not only did my clothes come smelling great, but when I walked out to get my mail I could smell the lavender coming from the dryer vent that goes outside. At first I thought to myself "hmmm, my lavender plants have bloomed already?" No, it was my laundry! And the BEST parts, yes it does get better, is that the scent from the oils that you use on your dryer sheets will remain on your clothes. Not like the fabric softener. I'm telling you that this is the next best thing to drying your clothes on the line, yes I still do that as well. You know that dust mites can survive a run through the washer and dryer? Think about that when you put your freshly "cleaned" sheets on your bed.
To sum this all up, my advice for the best smelling, cleanest and I mean CLEAN, softest, most natural laundry routine is this:
- Wash your clothes using an all natural detergent using the recipe from diynaturals, the recipe that I use, or another recipe that you can find. There are many out there.
- Use vinegar fabric softener
- Hang your clothes on the line to dry and fluff for a few minutes in the dryer using your DIY essential oil infused dryer sheets. I at least recommend rotating your clothes so that get line dried at least once a week to kill those dust mites. I can understand not be able to line dry every time you do laundry, but try to get those clothes out there every so often. The sun really does a tremendous job of killing bacteria, and there is not one essential oil that can compete with the smell of nature. God really does always win.
And just because I like to add a little style here and there around the house, I created these cute reusable dryer sheets. Coming soon to my Etsy Shop (a work in progress).
Good Luck on your laundry! Let me know if you try any of these recommendations. I'd love to hear how they work for you.
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