Don’t you just love the cute fluffy little bear that giggles and rolls around in his soft and cuddly towels and laundry? We’ve been sold the idea that our clothes have to be super soft and snuggly, and smell of lilacs and wildflowers and rain in the mountains. But what is really lurking in those fabric softeners that make our clothes that way?
While it’s important to avoid conventional fabric softeners, which is something I’ll be discussing next week in my guest post at Green…Your Way, many of us still like our clothes to be soft and smell nicely.
If you’re unable to hang your clothes out on the line, or if you want to soften up your clothes or towels after you bring them in from the line, these natural homemade fabric softener sheets are a great alternative to chemical and fragrance filled conventional dryer sheets.
Of course, it’s best to use these along with a natural detergent for a complete natural laundry routine!
(adapted from Northern Cheapskate)
- Flannel Fabric cut into strips or squares (I used a flannel receiving blanket)
- Natural Fabric Softener (the best/only one I’ve found is by Ecover and I really love it!)
- Warm Water
- Empty Wipes Box, or some other type of container to store the wipes
1. Start by cutting your flannel into strips or squares. I made strips because they work best for rolling up as in the very top picture (the strips are folded in half the long way in the picture above).
2. Mix together 1/4 cup of natural fabric softener with 3/4 cup of water in a small bowl. Use warm/hot water to help it mix better with the softener. Use a fork or a whisk and mix quickly, but it may be a little separated and not completely combined – that’s okay.
3. Place your wipes inside the container you are going to store them in. I usually use a repurposed disposable wipes container. You could also roll your wipes together* and stand them up in a glass jar so you can pull a wipe out from the middle. Honestly, I’m too lazy to do this most of the time, but it is convenient and looks pretty!
*To roll your wipes up, lay them out in a line so they are overlapping. The more they overlap, the easier they are to pull apart from the middle of the roll. Lay your first strip down and then lay the next one over 3/4 of the first strip. Then lay the third wipe down so it is overlapping 3/4 of the second strip, and continue until all your strips are laid out in an overlapping line.
Start rolling up the stripes, making sure to grab the underneath strips as you roll. Once they’re all rolled up you can place them in a jar or other upright container, and start pulling the wipes from the middle of the roll. I hope that makes sense, sorry I didn’t take a picture to better show you how to do this step.
4. Pour your softener and water mixture over the wipes and shake gently to combine. Let sit for at least an hour so the wipes can absorb the solution before you use them.
5. Shake the container a little before using, and add one sheet to the dryer with each load of laundry. It’s okay if the solution is not evenly distributed on the wipe, or if the wipe is not completely moist, it will still work just fine.
6. Dry your clothes as usual.
Enjoy your soft, lightly scented, and chemical free clothing!
If you want to use fabric softener as a part of your laundry routine, this is a great way to save money and extend your bottle of natural fabric softener, which can be a little bit pricey. You can also use Ecover’s Fabric Softener to make a great natural air freshener .
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