Ah ha! At last, the old school secret to keeping your clothes soft and snugly without toxic chemicals. It's time to say goodbye to those expensive detergents that do more harm than good. You can even enjoy truly soft and wrinkle free clothes if they are hung properly without wrinkles. Alternatively, simply adding one cup of apple cider vinegar to your wash load during the rinse cycle will help avoid stiff clothing. This mostly happens with jeans and towels, but can be used whenever you would like to soften your clothes. Any vinegar odors will dissipate as the clothes dry, but you can add a few drops of lavender or lemongrass essential oils in the vinegar to enjoy a natural pleasant aroma.
Be sure to use only 100% natural essential oils to ensure no spotting occurs. If you want to increase the natural pleasant aroma from the essential oils, you can dilute the essential oils with water in a spray bottle and spritz your clothes while their hanging on the line. Vinegar is known to reduce fading and brighten colors.
Washers work differently between makes and models so adding vinegar during the rinse cycle will vary, but in most cases adding vinegar to the fabric softener bin will release the vinegar during the rinse cycle. Using vinegar is completely safe and works perfectly using all natural ingredients so you won't be putting the health of your family at risk and there's no need to wait around to fill the bin.
Vinegar can work wonders without any harmful effects to your washing machine and it does not cause rust. Vinegar works during the rinse cycle to help remove the excess detergent still remaining in your clothes. Store bought fabric softeners are designed to reduce static in synthetic fabrics and the recommended care for most synthetic fabrics is line drying. The care label will often say "air dry" or "line dry" because it eliminates most all of the static. Fabric softeners serve no purpose with natural fabrics.
Fabric softeners work by leaving a residue on the fabric which never completely washes out. This causes towels to become less and less absorbent over time and eventually makes them nonabsorbent. Vinegar solves this problem and can even help restore absorbancy. Store bought fabric softeners can cause allergic reactions through skin contact and inhalation. Fabric softeners may also contain carcinogenic coal-tar dyes, ammonia and very strong scents. When fabric softeners are exposed to hot water, heat from dryers or ironing, vapors may be emitted which can be deeply inhaled, increasing their impact.
On a very sunny day, It also helps to remove your clothes from the clothesline when they are completely done drying as the longer they sit in the sun, the crispier they become. Another option is to dry items that tend to stiffen up in a hot shady area or even inside the house. In low humidity environments, the heat tends to soften and relax fabrics. Jeans dry best hanging upside down, by the legs. And while water is the most important ingredient when washing clothes, many areas have hard water with lots of minerals which are rough on the clothes. If your area is prone to hard water, you may want to consider a quality water softener to soften your water.