After trying several techniques, I have come up with the way that works for me to soften and prevent static cling on my clothing that ends up going through the dryer.  I much prefer to hang my clothing on the clothes line to dry naturally and at no cost.  There are those rainy days and those cold winter days when you can’t hang them out.  For the times I have to use my propane dryer to dry the clothing, I wanted an inexpensive way to avoid static cling and soften the clothing.  I tried the wool dryer balls, balls of aluminum foil and other suggestions found on the internet and from friends but none of these ways gave me the results I wanted.  I set out to find a way to use my home made fabric softener in the dryer. 

I needed to find a way to make sure the clothing was exposed to the fabric softener without being stained by the actual liquid touching the fabrics.  I tried soaking wash cloths and this technique worked reasonably well, but it was very messy wringing out the wash cloth.  I ended up with more on my hands and the top of the dryer than ended up in the dryer.  I realized that a sponge would hold an adequate amount of the liquid softener without dripping.  So I now have a canister of softener soaked sponge strips ready to toss in the dryer.

The procedure is very simple.  I purchased cheap sponges at the dollar store and cut each one into three or four strips.  I used enough to fill a plastic canister, packed tightly.  I’ve probably got 8-12 sponges that I use.  I pack them into the canister tightly, pour 1/2 cup fabric softener, or the amount needed to soak the strips, over the top of the sponge strips.  You may have to flip the canister over to allows the excess liquid to run back into the strips.  After setting a half an hour or so, the strips will soak up the fabric softener and, when the canister is sealed, will remain moist until ready for use.

I use two strips per normal load in my home dryer.  Though the clothing does not have a strong linger scent from the fabric softener, it does have a soft feeling and very little, if any static cling.  I ran out of soaked strips a couple of weeks ago and had just a small load.  Due to the weather and company coming, I did not have the option of hanging outside and didn’t want them hung around the house, so I tossed them in the dryer without the sponges.  I could tell a big difference when the clothing came out of the dryer.  My T-shirts were full of static and were more stiff than normal. 
This is yet another item that we no longer purchase from the store.  Considering I seldom dry clothing in the dryer in the Spring, Summer or Fall, which mean I only use my dryer in the Winter, I only have to make two or three batches during an entire year.  This is just one simple step in our Modern Missouri Pioneer journey. It may seem insignificant but it is the little things in life that add to one another make up the life that we live.   

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