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I feel kind of foolish to ask this but I know someone will know the answer to this.....

I've been spoiled my whole life because I've always had a washer and dryer available. However, after our move 700+ miles south, using the laundromat became a major $$ expense. We recently purchased a small used washer but we're relying on the clothesline and God's fresh air to dry our clothes. I'm having a hard time getting used to the air-dried bath towels and wash clothes. I don't use fabric softener in them because I know it affects the absorbency of them, but I'm just at my wit's end and really hate the 'sandpaper' I've been using to dry myself off with after my shower.

Does anyone have any suggestions, hints, comments on what I can do to make the 'softer'? I know they won't ever feel like dryer-dried towels. I will resort to using fabric softener if I have to, but....

Thanks for your help!!!
 

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I've never tried it myself, but I'm told that white vinegar does a lot to soften clothes. Simply add 1/2 cup to the final rinse cycle. Also said to freshen them as well and cheap cheap cheap! Let me know how it works!
 

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I've never tried it myself, but I'm told that white vinegar does a lot to soften clothes. Simply add 1/2 cup to the final rinse cycle. Also said to freshen them as well and cheap cheap cheap! Let me know how it works!

Also found this:


Fabric Softener


# 1/4 cup baking soda
# 1/2 cup white vinegar

1) Fill the washing machine or basin with water

2) Add the baking soda, stir it around to dissolve, then add the clothes.

3) After rinsing the clothes, make a final rinse and add the vinegar to it.

Another way to soften clothes is to add 1/2 cup baking soda to the wash water, or use 1 part soap flakes and 1 part borax in the wash water before you add the clothes.

And this:


Uses for Vinegar: Doing Laundry

by Christine Halvorson

Vinegar is a veritable powerhouse when it comes to pretreating stains, softening water, and boosting regular laundry detergents. When cleaning fabrics, distilled white vinegar is preferred, but apple cider vinegar works just as well if that's what you have on hand.

This article includes a number of ways you can use vinegar to do a better job with your laundry. We'll start with the basics. (Please note: None of the tips listed here should be tried with dry-clean-only fabrics.)

Blankets: When washing cotton or washable wool blankets, add 2 cups of vinegar to the last rinse cycle. This will help remove the soap and make blankets soft and fluffy.

Clothes softener: Add 1/2 cup of vinegar to the last rinse cycle of your wash to soften clothes.

Lint: Reduce lint buildup and keep pet hair from clinging to clothing by adding vinegar to the last rinse cycle.

Vinegar can be used in a variety of ways to improve laundry.

Add some vinegar to the wash to soften your clothes.

New clothes: Some new clothes may be treated with a chemical that can be irritating to sensitive skin. Soak new clothing in 1 gallon of water with 1/2 cup vinegar. Rinse, then wash as usual.

Static cling: A good way to control static cling is to add 1/2 cup of vinegar to the last rinse cycle of your wash.

Special Fabrics

Delicates: If you're washing delicate items by hand, follow the garment's care instructions, and add 1 or 2 tablespoons of vinegar to the last rinse to help remove soap residue.

Leather: Clean leather with a mixture of 1 cup boiled linseed oil and 1 cup vinegar. Carefully apply to any spots with a soft cloth. Let dry.

Silk: Dip silks (do not soak) in a mixture of 1/2 cup mild detergent, 2 tablespoons vinegar, and 2 quarts cold water. Rinse well, then roll in a heavy towel to soak up the excess moisture. Iron while still damp.

Halvorson, Christine. "Uses for Vinegar: Doing Laundry." 16 March 2006. 30 June 2008.
 

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Not much you can do soften air dried towels. They feel like a loofa to me.
 

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HAve you tried bringing them in as soon as they are dry. I have noticed that if I take them off the line as soon as they dry it helps but fabric softener in a downy ball ( I dilute my fabric softener 50/50 to make it last longer and it works just as well.) I also buy any fabric softener that is on sale cheap and I have a coupon for... That is actually one of my stockpile products because my DH complained about the whites and towels being rough...
I'm curious about the vinegar though. From the article that vwalker posted it sounds better than fabric softener!
Good luck.
 

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Seriously, I use fabric softener on my towels ALL THE TIME. Sometimes both in the washer AND the dryer. (I like how soft and fluffy it makes them!) I have never once had an absorbensy problem. I;ve heard ppl talk about it, but I have never found it to be true. They're still not going to be as soft as if they went thru the dryer, but it will help them be less hard and scratchy.
 

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I've never tried it myself, but I'm told that white vinegar does a lot to soften clothes. Simply add 1/2 cup to the final rinse cycle. Also said to freshen them as well and cheap cheap cheap! Let me know how it works!
This is what I have always use.
 
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