Save money with homemade fabric softener
photo by Meryl CA
DEAR SARA: I’ve heard about making homemade fabric softener. Do you have a recipe? I’d like to save money. Fabric softener is expensive. — Heidi, Ohio
DEAR HEIDI: Many people simply add 1/4-1/2 cup vinegar to their rinse cycle. Some people cut their dryer sheets in half. One unique tip is diluting liquid fabric softener with water and pouring it into an old Tupperware pickle keeper. You can cut kitchen dish sponges in half and stack them insider the pickle keeper. Remove a section of sponge when you’re ready to dry a load of laundry, and toss it into your dryer. A similar concept is mixing equal parts of liquid fabric softener and water in a spray bottle. Spray a small, square piece of cotton fabric or a washcloth, and toss that into the dryer. Here are a couple of homemade fabric-softener recipes, too.
2 cups white vinegar
2 cups baking soda
4 cups water
Set mixing bowl in sink, and combine ingredients slowly. Using a whisk, mix together. It will fizz. Pour in an old fabric-softener bottle. Use 1/4 cup per laundry load. — F.W., Kentucky
6 cups water
3 cups vinegar
2 cups (16 ounces) cheap conditioner (whatever scent you like)
Mix and store in a one-gallon container. You can keep refilling your store-bought container. It may separate. Shake each time you use it. — Candy, Ohio
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DEAR SARA: My bank made a mistake in my favor. Will they catch this? I withdrew $325 in cash. I filled out the withdrawal slip. I just checked my bank account online. The withdrawal was never withdrawn from my account. They haven’t caught this mistake yet. It has been almost two full weeks. Will they ever? — D.S., e-mail
DEAR D.S.: The bank will most likely catch it. It could take a few days, months or years. It’s possible a teller transposed a number and the funds came out of someone else’s account. Or the withdrawal slip was misplaced or lost. Call your bank, and straighten out the error. There are consequences for an employee if her drawer is off — not to mention what happens if someone else’s account was debited and it caused him problems. Call the bank. Document your conversation. Hopefully, you don’t consider it your money even if it’s not resolved immediately. Don’t spend it. These matters have a way of coming back to haunt you.
DEAR SARA: Is it OK to reuse vegetable oil? — Danielle, Ohio
DEAR DANIELLE: I assume you mean after frying with it. I’ve reused it. You’ll want to strain out any food particles. You can do this by letting the oil cool and then straining it. Filter it by pouring the oil over cheesecloth. You can store it in a container such as a glass jar and place it in your refrigerator. I don’t suggest storing it long term. Plan on using it within a few weeks. I wouldn’t reuse it more than once. I won’t reuse oil that I’ve used to fry meat, fish or poultry. But if I quickly fry some homemade fries and know I’ll be making them again in the next few weeks, I’ll strain and save the oil for one more use. I’m sure others are less conservative. I don’t fry foods very often. Most everything can be baked with good results. You can tell the oil is rancid by the smell and whether it smokes soon after heated. Be sure that your oil isn’t dark in color.