Fabric softener?

I've read all sorts of advice and tips regarding "DIY fabric softener" - vinegar, bicarb soda, borax, lemon essence, just to name a few. From all the different things I've read, I have no idea what works and what doesn't. If anyone has tried using any homemade/DIY fabric softener that truly works for clothes HUNG OUTDOORS (as opposed to simply a fragrance additive), I'd like to hear about it. While adding something like lemon essence may give fabrics a really nice smell, I doubt it will do much to soften the fabric. What I'd also like to know is how fabric softener actually works (i.e. how it softens fabrics).
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Gas Bag wrote:

I dont bother. I always hang the washing out outside and even the jeans are fine.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I think it's like hair conditioner. It adheres to the fibers and lubricates them so they don't stiffen. Look at the list of ingredients. Chances are, its a short chain polyethylene glycol.
DB
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Gas Bag wrote:

How very nice to see some life in a.h.c. Many in this group have sworn by vinegar. Myself, if I want soft washing, I use my relations water, they live five miles away but have a different water provider. I never need conditioner there. At my home the water is so hard the washing is stiff as a board despite all sorts of conditioners being tried. When the washing is dry a hot iron will soften it - as long as the material is suitable.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Why not invest in a good water softener? We have a Ecowater brand 3500 series and it's wonderful. The dishwasher and washing machine require far less soap to perform their duties as well. Showers are shorter and cheap garbage soap lathers quite well with softened water.
Our water is 25 hardness. No more deposits when you boil water for your veggies.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
The Henchman wrote:

I don't know anyone who has a 'proper' ***water softener dear, they are not too popular hereabouts, I am not sure why not. I don't have a dishwasher and my washing machine uses automatic liquid or powder so no bubbles anyway. I also don't have a shower! Oh dear, you must think I am from a backward country. A handful of soda in the bath or a bath bomb works wonders - I HAVE invested in a mixer tap so hair washing is not such a problem. I think the hard water is healthier? It certainly tastes a lot different to the water across town, the tea there is awful, almost soapy. I am aware Yorkshire Tea makes tea bags specifically for hard OR soft water so I must try them out.

bit of white in the under pan sometimes but that rinses out. I don't know how to measure my water hardness, it would be interesting to see what it is.
*** I have seen adverts for a wrap around the pipe coil that is supposed to remove limescale and soften the water but as yet have not found anyone that can vouch for that type of system.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

The orginal topic for this was fabric softener so I simply raved about a water softener in that context. There are differening debates about the health of water softeners but that doesn't fit into the topic of softer fabrics.
I swear by water softeners for washing of clothing, and showering/bathing. It's simply much easier on clothes and skin and require far less soap and lathering to accomplish cleaning.
I'm in north Halton area of Ontario Canada. Most people here have water softeners.
And no I \don't think you are from a backward country (or County even...)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 10/20/10 11:50 AM, Mrs Bonk wrote:
[snip]

[snip]
In modern countries, we pour soda into a cup, stir in cherry syrup, add ice, and drink through a straw. If you try it, I'm sure you'll quit drinking it by the handful or using it to bathe or wash your hair.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
J Burns wrote:

I doubt I would, it's one of lifes little pleasures - accidently sitting on a bath bomb...
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 10/25/10 8:42 AM, Mrs Bonk wrote:

residents enjoy taking tea in their quarters.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Mrs. Bonk aptly noted:

Alas, I don't find vinegar to be a softening agent, but the water here is also quite hard. They do say it has disinfectant properties as well, which seems unlikely. Perhaps they own stock in the major vinegar-making corporations.

All of my family members live farther away. I have moved myself closer and, oddly, they move as well, always farther.

Oooh, my relations simply refuse to do it. Even when I ask nicely, they bring out maps and such, and soon they're off to yet another residence... need I say even more distant?
Ironing just isn't my cup of tea, and you are most fortunate to have a kind and generous family.
In fact, would you believe my second cousin thrice-removed -- well never mind. That's for another forum.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 10/19/10 8:15 AM, Gas Bag wrote:

For cotton, an emulsion of soap and oil will work. It could be olive oil, corn oil, or tallow.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.