In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. ~ Proverbs 3:6

Saturday, June 23, 2012

DIY Fabric Softener Crystals




            I mentioned in my last post that as I run out of store-bought cleaning products, I am replacing them with my own DIY version.  At the beginning of the week, I shared with you a dry DIY laundry detergent recipe.  Today, I’m going to share with you frugal, smell-good fabric softener crystals. 

            Store bought fabric softener averages anywhere from $4-6 a bottle for 32 loads.  My new DIY fabric softener cost $1.65 a batch for the same 32 loads.  Before I tell you what I use for my fabric softener, let me just say that in my research, I found there to be a few things that can be used as natural fabric softeners for the frugal soul.  One of those is baking soda.  It won’t leave your clothes scented, but it does supposedly make clothes soft and could possibly be the cheapest fabric softener out there.  I’ve also read that vinegar has been known to get laundry soft.  I personally can’t stand the smell of vinegar and try to avoid it when possible in my cleaning products, but it is a common natural fabric softener for many people.  The fabric softener that I chose to use is……Epsom salt.  Yep, I read that it makes laundry soft and you can also put essential oils in it to make it smell good.  It's also supposed to help with stains, so that's a plus.  Since my store-bought fabric softener of choice was Purex crystals, I decided to give Epsom salt a try.  Coarse sea salt is also supposed to work, but Espom salt is less expensive than sea salt. 


INGREDIENTS:

4 cups of Epsom Salt

40 drops of Jasmine Essential Oil
(Can be found at GNC or health food stores.  Any essential oil can be used.  I found the scent of jasmine resembled traditional fabric softner smells more so than other scents of essential oils.)

DIRECTIONS:


            This is hardly a recipe since it only has two ingredients, but here it is.  Mix one cup of Epsom salt with 10 drops of essential oils.  My container held four cups of salt, so I used 40 drops of oil per batch.  You don't have to use oil at all if you want a fragrance-free softener.  You can also use as much Epsom salt as you think necessary in a load of laundry.  Either way, you will still save money using Epsom salt instead of store-bought softener.

        Using the lid that I use for the Purex crystals, I will be able to get 32 loads out of my four cups of fabrics softener.  I should note that just like the Purex crystals, this recipe is to be added to the actual laundry in the washing machine before the wash cycle starts.  It does NOT go into the part of the washer labeled "fabric softener". 


      Now, the next question is "How did it work?"  I have to say that the results of the Epsom salt were good.  It succeeded in making my laundry nice and soft.  The only downside to my recipe was that I couldn’t really smell the jasmine in the finished laundry even though it was very fragrant in the actual batch of fabric softener I made.  I even tried adding a few drops of jasmine to the beginning of the wash cycle and still nothing seemed to make it smell as fragrant as the Purex crystals.  I may have some tweaking of this recipe to do in the future, but for now the results are good enough for me to finish this batch.


            Now  let’s break down the cost.  Cost of ingredients is as follows: one bag of Epsom salt - $1.98, one bottle of jasmine essential oil - $5.99.  That’s a total cost of about $8.  Cost of ingredients in each batch of fabric softener is as follows: 4 cups of Epsom salt - $.65, 40 drops of jasmine essential oil - $1.  That brings the cost of each batch of DIY fabric softener to $1.65 for 32 loads, compared to the $4.76 I was spending on my Purex Crystals.  Saving money on fabric softener was a sucess!!!  The next recipe I'm going to share is dishwasher detergent, so stay tuned folks. 



56 comments:

  1. I was interested in making laundry crystals and found your blog from a Google search. I must say - while the font and the background of your blog looks nice, it's incredibly difficult to read. Consider using a more reader friendly font and ditch the pretty background.

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    1. You should be fine just changing the font and the font color. Stick with a nice basic font. Thanks for the salt tip, I may try this.

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    2. Girl, your font is fine.
      People are tripping.

      She gives you ideas on how to save $ and you criticize her font?!
      This is why the world hates America.

      I ♥ you d.i.y projects!

      Although, I suggest Lavender oil...it's soft amd feminine! And the smell lasts a while.

      Thanks!

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    3. Lol. Agreed. Don't enter someone's house as a guest and then find fault with their decor. Thanks for sharing your money-saving ideas.

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    4. Agreed...too many opinions. Read and comment if productive. I am so excited to try the. Epsom salt is my new best friend. Just started using it as fertilizer...now softener. Yay!!!

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  2. i noticed in the ingredients that purex crystals has kaolin clay and sugar in it. maybe that'll help. maybe the clay is a fixative?

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  3. I thought your page was easily read. Thanks for the info! :)

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    1. I agree...I LOVE font and the fact your page is so pretty...makes me want to be here :)

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    2. Perfect eyesight is not a luxury that everyone enjoys. This page may be pretty but it is not easy to read!

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    3. People think it's okay to be rude online, especially when they're anonymous. No one is making you read this blog. If you have poor eyesight then it's your responsibility to deal with that issue (with Lasik, glasses, a magnifier, a helpful reading partner). How imposing of you to demand the entire world adjust their style and font size to suit your preference! It's such a childish demand it's almost funny...Almost.

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    4. "Perfect eyesight is not a luxury that everyone enjoys. This page may be pretty but it is not easy to read! "

      X out the page, and try to think happy thoughts.

      Anyway, to the owner of the blog thank you for the recipe!

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  4. I tried hair conditioner et sea salt this morning.my sweater feels like satin, smells like hairconditioner.gonna try Epson salt/ hairconditioner next time.

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    1. Just regular hair conditioner with all the chemicals or did you find some natural one. Would love to try this without the chems :)

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    2. I have used hair conditioner (VO5), vinegar and hot water as the fabric softener and it worked great. There was not a distinct odor of vinegar. I have made and used it a number of times. Averages out much less that 50 cents per load.

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    3. Hair Conditioner and Epson Salt works? Does Bath Salts work in laundry?

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  5. You can get icecream/rock salt/sidewalk salt in large quantities for even cheaper! Works just as well ;) And look into adding bentonite clay (the active softener in the purex stuff).

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  6. Can you add this to the beginning of the rinse cycle.?
    Thank you

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  7. Just FYI...if you use the 1 Cup of vinegar (in your Downy Ball) for every load, as recommended in other blogs, your clothes do not end up smelling like vinegar. As an added bonus, the vinegar will prevent any build up of residue, especially lime if you have hard water, thereby extending the life of your washer.

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    1. Wow, good to know..thanks!

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    3. Yes! Vinegar is incredible as a fabric softener..I just bought a gallon from Sam's Club! I am 52, have been doing laundry for years, and just found out detergent and commercial fabric softeners leave a residue that builds up in the fibers of your clothing. My whites, despite bleach, were looking so dingy. I started adding about a half cup of vinegar to my machine's fs dispenser and all my clothes are as soft as they would be with commercial fs...plus, there is no vinegar smell. Now, you don't get the perfumed scent, but the clothes are soft. I've also stopped using bleach (bad for environment) and use baking soda and peroxide in the whites along with making my own detergent. Cheap and environmentally friendly!

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  8. Here's my question... with using the homemade product since the original posting, how have your clothes held up? Did the PH break down the fabric?

    I also saw a question on how much do you use? I want to know this as well.

    Also would like to know of any issues with buildup, within the washer. I use a front loader, so this is a huge concern, as it is harder to clean all of the drum section.

    If using OXY clean typed powder, any reactions?

    Can you use the "garden" section one as well? It is cheaper by the oz. It appears that both are Magnesium Sulfate... but are both the same things, other than granules?

    This post is not and should not be complete. There are several questions that are unanswered. Including the source of your reading on Epsom salts for laundry.

    Please update us.

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  9. Thanks everyone for your input about different kinds of fabric softeners. I certainly appreciate your input, and I appreciate you taking the time to visit my blog. I could do without some of the rude (or at least what I consider to be a rude comments, but I've been blogging long enough to know that you just have to look past those kind of things.


    I'm not on my blog very much, therefore my account is set up to have all comments sent directly to my email. I respond to comments via email on my phone, because I am rarely on Blogger unless I am writing a new post. If your account is set up as a "no reply" blogger, then you've requested to not have comments sent to your email....and therefore, you have not gotten my responses via email.

    Also, I don't get paid to write and maintain a blog. I blog in my free time. I use my blog as my online journal and occasionally share a few DIY things, so if your looking for a more professional blog post....look elsewhere:)

    If you did not get my response via email, I'll try to answer all the questions here:

    1)I still use the epsom salts, and they seem to work just fine for my laundry needs.

    2)I'm still using the scoop that came with my Purex crystals. If I had to guess, I'd say it's about half a cup per load.

    3)I've had no luck with making the laundry more fragrant but am not too concerned about it.

    4) As I stated above, I put the salts directly on the clothes in my front load washer. I Don't put them in the part of the washer intended for fabric softer.

    5)I haven't had any problems with build up or chemical reactions.

    6) Epsom salt is an inexpensive DIY fabric softener. The only way you are going to know if you like the way it works is to try it. If you don't like it, try someting else. There were plenty of good suggestion in the above comments.

    7) I gave you all of the information that I had on this subject when I wrote my original post. I felt comfortable using espom salts with what information I had. If you feel you need more information about this subject before trying epsom salts, and you do not feel that I have provided sufficient answers or research for you...Google it:) Google the answers that I was not able to provide. I'm sure it won't take long before you find what you are looking for.

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    1. I just wanted to thank you for posting your recipe for the laundry soap and I can't wait to try it. I also want to say your page is VERY attractive, I myself have bad eyesight but had no problem at all reading it and I do hope you keep it as it is.

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    2. Sorry, meant to say the recipe for fabric softener.

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  10. I'm addicted to the major scent rush that the Purex gives my clothes. I usually put a hefty amount in the laundry because I like to be knocked over when I put the clothes up to my face! But it gets ridiculously expensive, so I've been looking for a DIY alternative.

    Since I know I want more of a scent, I added 20 drops of Rose essential oil (which is really strong) to one cup of epsom salts. I measured a Purex capfull and it's 1/4 cup. I added it to the wash like I normally would. I didn't notice any scent. I used the same amount on a second load - no scent. I'm thinking about adding even more oil but have a feeling it won't help. I wish I knew what Purex's secret is!

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    1. Just a suggestion, add the salt in at the beginning and essential oils in at the rinse cycle.. or scent a cloth to throw in the dryer.. Haven't tried it personally but it's worth a shot. I certainly know one of my husbands diesel smelling work socks can stink up an entire load in the dryer... :) BTW.. I thought this blog was delightful, easy to read and what I was looking for. But I have never been much for the concise point form version of the world we live it.

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    2. Essential Oils on a cloth in the dryer does work!

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  11. Hi Rachel, I found this post on Pinterest. Thank you for the DIY fabric softener recipe. I would also like to say the font you have chosen is just as easy to read as any other font. You have chosen to take time out of you very busy life to post these tips so I just want to say thank you :)

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    1. Thank you so much for your encouraging words:)

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  12. I know this is a DIY but Molly's Suds has this in it already. It also has Sea Salt which you mention can be used as well. I have not used it yet but they are sending me a sample to try. It is nice to know that both of these can be used to soften clothes. I use vinegar and like it but mainly use it to keep the washer clean.

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  13. I just discovered your easy-to-read blog and I am loving it!!!! I do have one question I could not find an answer to. How do Epsom Salts work with reference to static in the laundry? We live in West Texas, home of low humidity, hard water, sandstorms and static cling.

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    1. That's a really great question. I actually haven't thought too much about it, and that's probably because I haven't come across any static in my laundry using the epsom salt. I don't know if that's because the espsom salt is actually helping with the static or if its just because we don't have a static problem with our laundry at our home in Indiana. Wish I could help more, but that's the best answer I have. Thanks for visiting my blog:)

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  14. Thank you for this recipe. My husband is going to retire soon and we will be living on a fixed income; reading this has given me the incentive that I needed to start saving by using DIY products.

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  15. You could add the scent to wool dryer balls to expedite drying time and make your clothes smell yummy.

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  16. Do you also use fabric softner in a front loader to give extra smell. Could you use these as a scent booster instead of a fabric softner.

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    1. Like my post said, with fabric softener crystals you can only put them in the washing machine with the clothes. I don't find that the essential oils give much of a scent, so I probably wouldn't use it just for that. If you use a lot of the oils you may get more of smell, but the oils can be expensive.

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  17. I have an he washer and I put mine in with the clothes instead of my tray. I seen this recipe on here before I saw yours and thought I would give it a try. Like you I didn't think it had enough smell for me so next time I'll add more scent. But I have made several different recipes of fabric softner on here and this is my favorite. With the others I have had some static but with this I have none. Love it and will keep making it. Great thing is there are lots of scents out there so you have always make a small batch for variety.

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    1. I'm so glad it's working for you:) Thanks for visiting my blog:)

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  18. Would like to know where you got your 4 lb. bag of Epson Salts at Wal-Mart or a Wholesale Club ? Thanks for your help!

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    1. I usually buy them from Wal-Mart or Target.

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  19. Does using Epsom Salts also help with static cling?

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    1. I'm not certain, but I can tell you that I don't have any issues with static using the epsom salts.

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  20. Has anyone tried using soap safe fragrance oil instead of an essential oil? I’m mixing some up tonight and I cannot think of any reason why the scent wouldn’t be just as strong as the name brand.

    Great blog!!!

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    1. Thanks for visiting my blog:) I personally, only have experience using the essential oils.

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  21. I mixed up two cups of the Epsom salt with a tablespoon of fragrance oil and it was extremely strong!!! Went out and purchased some rock salt and put it in the food processor just to make the rocks a tad smaller and mixed 2tsp of oil and 1 cup of the now smaller rock salt in with the scented Epsom salt, now letting it blend. I am only using skin safe fragrance oils (http://www.fragranceoilfinder.com/catalog/index.php) for my own piece of mind. Basically, this is nothing more than scented bath salts that were the rage about 10yrs ago.
    One thing I do worry about when using the salt is corrosion and I wonder if that is why the Purex crystals have the sodium silicate added..??
    I did a little experiment (completely unscientific) and placed my first mixed batch, purex crystals, and my newly processed rock salt into three separate glass bowls and added hot water to see how each reacted. What surprised me was that my two dissolved completely and the commercial product never did completely dissolve and stayed cloudy, which I’m sure comes from the clay. The fragrance oil did float on top of all bowls, no surprise there.
    I remember looking at one laundry product that the main ingredient was sugar!! I will continue to try different combination to see what develops. (-:


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    1. Please keep us updated. I am loving your "experimenting." ;)

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  22. Just some food for thought and please pass the info along. For some reason people confuse Purex Crystals(& Unstoppables) with fabric softener. They are not--they are simply scent boosters. Neither product claims to be a softener. When first marketed Purex was labeled under fabric softener-- but that has since been removed.
    Cost analysis Downey fabric softener (from Walmart) runs just under 7 cents/load. The recipe above runs 5 cents/load. Not a significant difference. However, all ingredients in the DIY are controlled by you (huge difference in my book). But 7th generation (Amazon) runs 13 cents/load--so half price. That's significant.

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    1. purex crystals have softeners. The packaging has changed. I bought a bottle of purex crystals, baby scent, yesterday... I'm looking at the back right now, it reads, "Caution: Eye irritant. Contains FABRIC SOFTENERS and fragrance. Avoid contact with eyes..."

      Just for reference, the ingredients read, "Ingredients: Sodium chloride, PEG distearate, Bentonite, Sodium silicate, Fragrance, Silica."

      HTH :)

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    2. (ps. I don't use the purex for a baby... For my linens.... & I'm researching alternatives) ;)

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  23. Have you tried scented Epsom Salt? Like Lavendar? I purchased a small bag at The Dollar Tree a while back and never used it. Since I'm currently doing laundry and out of softener, I'll try it and let you know if the scent holds out! :)

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  24. I love your diy laundry detergent recipe. I was wondering if you knew what essential oils I would need to copy the tropical splash scent purex makes? It's my favorite scent

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