This recipe is so easy, I am almost ashamed to make it a post of its own.  Along with making my laundry soap for the past couple of years, I began making my own fabric softener.  I make if for pennies a load!  The only ingredients used are inexpensive hair conditioner (I usually pick up Suave because they make a couple of fragrances that I love), white vinegar and water! That’s it! A gallon jug can be made for $2 or less and will last a very long time.  It can be added to the washer like the liquid made by the big companies.  

I hang my clothes on the clothes line on all but the rainy/snowy days and this formula works great.  I like to use the fragrances that are nature smells, Mountain Air, Spring Rain, etc, but you can use whichever fragrance you choose.  I show a bottle of coconut, because that is what I have on hand for my hair!  😉 I use a kitchen funnel and pour all ingredients into a plastic milk jug. The jug makes a great storage container and is great for pouring.  Using only 1/8 of a cup per regular load makes this go a long way.  I jug will last 3-4 months, easily.  I have little to no static cling, even in the winter with the extra dry air of wood heat.

Large Batch:                                                          Small  Batch:
3 Cups conditioner (22-24 ounce bottle)              1/3 Cups conditioner
4 1/2 Cups white vinegar                                      1/2 Cups white vinegar
9 Cups HOT water                                                1 Cup HOT water

There is nothing complicated about the recipe.  And it is just one more way I can save money and Do-It-Myself on this Modern Missouri Pioneer journey.  Next week I will show you how I use this fabric softener in the dryer, for those cold rainy/snowy days when I don’t hang my clothes out to dry.

I’ve been asked about what I use for stains and tough farm dirt.  The above picture shows the bottle of stain remover I use.  The recipe is on the label.  Excuse the peeling label; this bottle gets used A LOT.  It is simply equal parts Dawn, Ammonia, and water.  I usually use one cup of each so that I get a good amount that fits easily into my quart spray bottle.  I buy the Dawn in the 5 gallon buckets for $35 from a local vendor ($0.22/cup).  Ammonia is $1.00 for a half gallon at my local Dollar General ($0.125 /cup). This makes a total cost of 34 1/2 cents  for a 24 ounce bottle!  Excellent cost per use.  Even with heavy use, I won’t use more than 3 or 4 bottles in a year.  How well does it work?  The best example I could come up with while preparing for this post, was the collar of my uniform shirts.  They get very grimy and discolored.  If you are anywhere near my age, you might remember the old commercials regarding “ring around the collar” on the Whisk commercials….and that is exactly what I have…Ring Around the Collar! 

The inner collar and neckline of my inner and outer shirts soak up the skin oil and become very dark very quickly.  They look greasy.

I spray the effected area and scrub gently with a scrub brush.  The best results are found after allowing this to set for 12 to 24 hours after treatment, however, I am usually in a hurry and not organized enough to treat that far ahead.  The pictures below are how the collar areas came out by spraying, scrubbing, and dropping immediately into the washer with my home made laundry soap. 

Although not perfect, the improvement is obvious.  If you have a tough stain, retreat and rewash before placing in the dryer.  Remember heat will set a stain, so if you aren’t happy with the results from ANY stain treatment, try something else BEFORE placing in the heat of the dryer for a better change of removal.

These two products do not allow us to avoid buying items at the store completely, but they do allow us to purchase basic items with multiple uses for much less than the finished products.  The part of my life as a Modern Missouri Pioneer that is to keep more money in my pocket that I spend at the store is satisfied with these types of products.  If you trying to avoid buying anything at any time, these products will not be for you, but if you are interested in continuing to utilize your modern appliances and dramatically cut the costs of doing so, these two items will help you do just that. 

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