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fabric softener
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# 1
Gingermonkey
Old 13-05-2006, 10:22 PM
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Default fabric softener

Please forgive me for this, I have read numerous bits on this thread about using white vinegar and essential oils as a fabric softener but I'm confused!!!!! please can someone give me the low down? What is white vinegar and what oils are good to use, there was a warning about citrus oils on metal, what is safe and what others aren't?!!!
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# 2
manicdays
Old 13-05-2006, 10:51 PM
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white vinegar is with all the other vinegars in the shop. Its called distilled vinegar.

I usually add a generous splash & a drop or 2 or lavender oil.

HTH

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# 3
elona
Old 13-05-2006, 10:56 PM
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I get an old bottle of fabric conditioner - fill it with a bit of white vinegar,bicarb of soda,water and a freebie sachet of comfort or lenor etc.

That way no one notices and I do not get grief from my dear daughters etc.
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# 4
Debt_Free_Chick
Old 14-05-2006, 1:08 AM
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Wait for rain. Wash clothes. Hang outside. Wait for rain to drench clothes.

Nature's fabric softener ... honest
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# 5
Queenie
Old 14-05-2006, 7:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gingermonkey
Please forgive me for this, I have read numerous bits on this thread about using white vinegar and essential oils as a fabric softener but I'm confused!!!!! please can someone give me the low down? What is white vinegar and what oils are good to use, there was a warning about citrus oils on metal, what is safe and what others aren't?!!!
I buy a large container of distilled white vinegar from my local Health Shop and a large bag of bicarbonate of soda.

I have an old fabric conditioner (FC) bottle that I use to make up HM fabric conditioner. I don't use citrus oil, I use lavender essential oil (EO) . Others use tea-tree EO.

Using the lid of the FC bottle this is the ratio I use (from Galtizz/Judy's recipe):-


~ 2 parts bicarb
~ 4 parts water
~ 2 parts vinegar
~ 10 drops of EO

3 times this recipe will fill a 750ml bottle if using the lid as a measure. I use 1 - 2 capfuls per wash.

However, the bicarb tends to clump and go a bit grainy in the bottle - but a good shake will help break that up. I have less washing these days, so I won't be making up 3x the recipe in future.

elona - I have some free satchets that I've been adding too; now, if I could just find a permanent supplier of free satchets, I'd be well away

D_F_C: You're absolutely right there about the rain water Pity I can't rely on that too frequently
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# 6
halloweenqueen
Old 14-05-2006, 8:59 AM
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I read somewhere that someone used cinnamon - Mr HQ likes the smell of that - so going to sound really thick - I guess they meant a cinnamon essential oil and not a spoonful of the spice!!!!!
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# 7
Queenie
Old 14-05-2006, 9:34 AM
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Hmmm, HQ, never tried that ... cinnamon ... would the ground spice could leave a stain? :confused: The stick would snap ... can we buy cinnamon EO?

Think I'll stick with the lavender It compliments the lavender squirts that I use on the bedlinen when I make the beds
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# 8
mamaoba
Old 14-05-2006, 9:39 AM
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I use a glug of distilled vinegar in the fabric conditioner drawer. I've tried adding bicarb but find the vinegegar on is own fine. I find bicarb quite hard to get hold of and more pricey than some items, so save it for the jobs where its REALLY needed iykwim. (My budget is miniscule lol!)

it was me who mentioned NOT to use citrus in the washing machine. citrus essential oils are one of the few things that will eventually corrode stainless steel. so although orange smells wonderful and is very cheap avoid it to prolong the life of your washing machine parts. save it for the ceramic shower or bath where it's wonderful for getting rid of soap marks.

It was also me who admitted to using cinnamon essential oil at Xmas for the sheets and towels Made the house seem more Xmassy iykwim. Vanilla or chamomile can be nice for sheets too if you are suffering from insomnia but they are mild scents so you have to be generous with the dosage. I personally wouldn't want to use it all the time, partly cos I've a toddler so use lavender as it's cheaper and safe for all babies over 3 months old. I buy a BIG bottle of lavender annually and stick with that 99% of the time.

safe oils:-
any except citrus and those recognised as being likely to cause adverse skin reactions

baby safe oils - under 3 months roman chamomile (unless there is a family history of hayfever)
-over 3 months lavender (natural anti-bac) 5 drops, over 6 months 10 drops
- over 6 months if baby does not have sensitive skin 5 drops ONLY tea tree oil
- over 12 months if baby does not have sensitive skin 6-10 drops ONLY tea tree oil.

be very careful if using teatree on the nappies as it is too harsh for many children. stop using straight away if you spot any irritation.


Items for storage
It's worth using citronella or cedarwood for anything you want to put into long term storage to deter moths, though you may want to rinse the items through when you take them out of storage as these aren't particularly pleasant scents. If using on baby gear wash thouroughly, and double rinse before using on child.


I do make nappy bucket deo discs from bicarb that get added to the occasional wash in the summer though. (pm me if you want the recipe) Bicarb is a wonderful natural deordoriser so is useful for anyone who has toxic nappies or sports gear to wash from time to time. I find I get a good enough softening effect without having to mix up the fabric conditioner recipe below. Agree about rainwater too - leaving stuff out on the line for 2 or 3 days is a great idea.

Recipes

Fabric Softener
2 Cups White Vinegar
2 Cups Baking Soda
4 Cups Water
10 drops essential oils
Combine slowly and carefully over sink. The baking soda and vinegar will fizz.
Pour into plastic bottle, cover, and shake.
*Hint - Reuse your "Lenor" bottle.
Use 1/4 cup in the final rinse or in a "laundry ball".

Ironing water
2 desertspoons Orange Blossom water
up to 1 litre water (pref distilled or if not boiled and cooled)
pour ingredients into 1 litre drinks bottle (I use an old tonic water bottle)
The orange blossom water can be obtained anywhere they sell vietnamese/chenese ingredients - look in oriental sections of sainsburys or in specialist chinese food shops.
It only costs about 50 - 60p for 1/4 litre so is a really cost effective way of scenting your laundry. You could also use rosewater approx £1.35 from Boots or lavender water

Last edited by mamaoba; 14-05-2006 at 9:53 AM.
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# 9
Queenie
Old 14-05-2006, 9:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamaoba
... I find bicarb quite hard to get hold of and more pricey than some items, so save it for the jobs where its REALLY needed iykwim. (My budget is miniscule lol!) ...
I agree that buying it in those small 'baking' sized tubs makes it very expensive. I think I mentioned above, I buy mine at our local health food shop, might be worth checking out if you have one near you? Or, maybe ask at your Chemist? Some get it from Asian shops. Worth hunting down because it has heaps of uses and it really does pay to buy in bulk.
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# 10
mamaoba
Old 14-05-2006, 9:59 AM
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I order it in bulk from a local iranian grocer so do get it cheap he gets it for me at cost price fom the wholesalers at Xmas - but it's still more expensive per kg than soda crystals and I'm a tight mini I do an annual order for 6kg at a time but use it to make bath bombs for Xmas pressies (his wife gets some bathbombs). I'd rather use it for nice stuff like that than the general laundry.

My vinegar is 1.99 for 5l. My budget is really really tight as I'm a sp with a mortgage.
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# 11
Gingermonkey
Old 14-05-2006, 10:31 AM
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Thank you all so much for all the tips, will definately give it a go!
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# 12
Queenie
Old 14-05-2006, 10:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamaoba
I order it in bulk from a local iranian grocer so do get it cheap he gets it for me at cost price fom the wholesalers at Xmas - but it's still more expensive per kg than soda crystals ..
May I just clarify that soda crystals are not the same as bicarbonate of soda.
I notice your fabric softener recipe is the same as the one I posted but you refer to bicarbonate of soda as "baking soda" - which is correct, they are both the same, ie bicarb being the UK terminology and "baking" soda being US.

Soda crystals (UK) are the equivalent of 'washing' soda (US)
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# 13
mamaoba
Old 14-05-2006, 11:23 AM
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thanks for that clarification I should have made it clearer in my post - I always use the term baking soda as that's what my Cornish Granny used to call it lol! "washing soda "(blue packet 52p in tescos) and "baking soda" (bicarbonate of soda) so we didn't add the wrong thing when making fairy cakes

I still use the same phrases so I don't get em mixed up despite being 34 now not 4. I freely admit to being a natural scatter brain I'll try and remember to make it clear which one I mean in furture posts.

My cleaning recipes and most of my cooking ones are all converted to cups as I just find it easiest to remember without having to look them up every time.
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# 14
halloweenqueen
Old 15-05-2006, 9:26 AM
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Thanks - I thought it must be EO and not the spice, I don't seem to see OE on sale as much as it was a few years ago, wheres the best place to buy it please?
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# 15
anguk
Old 15-05-2006, 9:29 AM
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Could I use a few drops of Essential Oils in the ironing water or would it mark the clothes?
Dum Spiro Spero
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# 16
clairehi
Old 15-05-2006, 11:26 AM
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Im a bit confused as to why you would combine vinegar and bicarb in a cleaning recipe.

the cleaning power of vinegar is because it is acidic; and of bicarb is because it is alkaline, on their own they react with various types of dirt, grease etc to dissolve it and remove it from surfaces.

but when you mix them together they effectively cancel each other out as per the following reaction from GCSE chemistry

ethanoic acid (vinegar) plus sodium hydrocarbonate (bicarb) = salt (sodium ethanoate) plus water plus CO2.

am I missing something here?
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# 17
halloweenqueen
Old 15-05-2006, 9:41 PM
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I may be wrong but the fabric softener doesn't aid with the cleaning as such, Its more of a rinse aid that provides a nice smell and keeps the clothes soft?
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# 18
Gingermonkey
Old 17-05-2006, 10:17 PM
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BIG BIG THANK YOU! to all of you who helped, I have been using vinegar and lavender oil this week, my clothes feel cleaner rather than coated with something synthetic and smell trully gorgeous!!!!
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# 19
halloweenqueen
Old 18-05-2006, 8:27 AM
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I've nearly come to the end of 750ml bottle so will be giving this a go soon, I have hunted through the cupboard and found a few bottles of EO - knew they'd come in handy!
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# 20
halloweenqueen
Old 18-05-2006, 2:20 PM
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Guess which muppet forgot about the reaction - even after doing the 'volcano's' with DD!
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