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Thrifty Thursday - Laundry Series: Using Vinegar for Fabric Softner

Shelf Reliance Mom: Thrifty Thursday - Laundry Series: Using Vinegar for Fabric Softner

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Thrifty Thursday - Laundry Series: Using Vinegar for Fabric Softner

Welcome Back to our Thrifty Thursday Laundry Series!

According to this study the average American Family does 400 loads of laundry per year... ouch.  That's a lot of laundry!  With my sister and her kiddos living here I am sad to say that I definitely surpass this amount. But, just because there are alot of clothes to be washed and folded, doesn't mean that it has to be a huge budget breaker when I hit the store.

So far we have told you how we wash laundry for a WHOLE YEAR for under $20. (For my current household it would probably be closer to $30, but still... AMAZING!)

This independent study completed in Feb 20102 shows that when you shop at the store, even the absolute cheapest laundry option will cost at least $44.40 for the average household 400 loads.  If you are using a nicer, more popular brand, you will be paying upwards of about $124-$168 just for the laundry soap. Plus, this is if you accurately measure the amount.  It was found that many people use 1.5-2 times the amount of soap per load so some people can double this cost.

We've taught you how to skip out on laundry sheets and dry your clothes for less that $5/ year.

And today, we will talk about this super quick and easy switch that takes no prep time at all!  The average family buys fabric softener for between $6-$11 per bottle.  These bottles last for between 40-50 loads if measured out correctly, you should be using between $25-$45 per year of fabric softener.  Let's cut this down by almost a tenth of the cost!

Option 1
Just add vinegar! For all of you worriers that think your clothes will smell funny, just know that the vinegar smell disappears as soon as it dries.  It also serves as a deodorizer for your washing machine.  I can dilute mine to make it stretch further but even without doing so, I typically put about an 1/8 cup in per load which comes out to about 64 loads of laundry per gallon ($1.84 at Walmart) which comes out to less than 3 cents per load or $11.50 a year.

Option 2
If you are willing to put in a little prep time, you've got to try out this simple recipe for laundry softener that allows you to keep your clothes scented, but stretches the cost of the vinegar even further because of the addition of water so that the cost per load is only about 1.6 cents per load. That's only $6.40 over the course of the year!

You will need a mixing spoon, bucket for mixing and a bottle to store the mixture in.  I split up my mixture into an old conditioner bottle with a pump that can premeasure the usage for me and put the remainder in a re purposed container (aka old applesauce jar).  It makes about 88 oz.

6 c warm water
2 c hair conditioner (1.00)
3 c distilled vinegar (.50)

1. Pour warm water into a container.
2. Add conditioner and vinegar and stir until few clumps remain.
3. Pour into your storage containers. And you're done!

View original post here.

Option 3
Want to keep it green and have just family friendly ingredients that are proven to be safe on your clothes?  If you already have essential oils in your home, just add a few drops of oils to your jug of vinegar and you have yourself some awesome smelling clothes for a fraction of the cost.  Note: DO NOT use lemon as lemon is know for its ability to eat through certain things like plastic and styrofoam.  That would be a sad thing to find out later down the road :)

Thanks for following along in our series.  Check back Saturday for the Shopping List that lists all of the items you need for all three swaps coming to just $30 for a years supply of products! Be sure to tune in next month to find out how we save money in a whole other arena.

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