Thursday, April 29, 2010

Getting Snugly

Not sure if snugly is an actual word, but I'm going with it.

I like snugly feeling clothes and towels and sheets and blankets. All things fleece are my friends, too. I do NOT like static cling and, since we live in a place that gets a bit cold for six months of the year, static cling is a part of my life. Furthermore, static cling and fleece are an almost deadly combination.

I am not a scientist, but I do have a sister-in-law who is one, which makes me pretty qualified. Based on my scientific observations while doing laundry, I think the electrical sparks I see while pulling a fleece blanket out of the dryer could probably run my Kitchen Aid mixer for a couple of hours. They are huge!

Enter fabric softener...

In the past, Bounce dryer sheets were my weapon of choice in my attempts to get that cozy, soft feeling in our clothes and the electricity out. They worked pretty well. Then one of our do-gooder friends came over and saw me folding whites on the living room couch. He saw the wadded up dryer sheet sitting next to me and made comment on all that plastic going into the ground. life upset yet again.

From that point on, I felt a little twinge of guilt each time I ripped off another sheet (even though I started cutting the sheets in half to make it seem not as bad). I bought a jug of fabric softener. At this point, you can now ask, "What about the plastic in the jug?" Yeah, I know. I thought about that, too. I tried the fabric softener, but wow, if you use it according to the manufacturer's suggestion on the bottle, that stuff goes fast. Way too fast for my budget! However, I did like the snugly feel and smell better than the dryer sheets.

Here is my solution:

I made my own dryer "sheets" out of old washcloths! The jug of fabric softener had a little spigot on it. So, now I just take my reusable dryer sheet (aka old yucky washcloth), put a tiny squirt of softener on it and throw it in the dryer. Ta Da! Comfy, cozy wearables with no static and less plastic in the ground.

As an added bonus, (yes, you knew this was coming) my dryer sheets are cheaper! If you watch your sales and coupons, it is pretty easy to score fabric softener for nearly free. My current bottle has lasted me for about a year or so, which is pretty amazing considering the amount of laundry generated here on the farm.

Any brand of softener will work; it doesn't have to be Snuggle. Great name for fabric softener, but I would like to go on record now stating that the bear's voice drives me nuts!


  1. Want an even cheaper and greener alternative? Add 1/2 C. baking soda to your wash. You can buy the big bags at Sam's for about $6 and they last a long time. Also fabric softener has been documented to NOT be good for your family's skin. Sorry to disrupt your life again. Just something to think about. Also, dryer balls are a good option too. You can find these at Bed, Bath and Beyond....and did you know that if you have static in your clothes, that ultimately it means that you are drying your clothes too long?? I just recently learned this little nugget.

  2. If a bottle lasts you a year you should never have to pay for softener again. Snuggle is free at least twice a year with a $3 coupon!! :).

    I have heard this tip but never tried it so thanks (again) for the inspiration! I've also heard of using vinegar as a softener but never tried that either. It wouldn't smell as good that's for sure and I'm not sure it could handle our WI winter static.

    Of course, the cheapest way to dry clothes with no static would be to hang them to dry. The more kids I have the less often I have done this, not to mention the fact I have no interest in learning how to freeze dry clothes in the winter. :)

  3. Cari is going to start making our laundry detergent.

  4. One of the summer projects around the farm is to get the clothes line up in the backyard. Yes, the one she asked me to put up a few years ago.

  5. Thanks...I guess...JulieL. :) More to think about. If you would have told me when I as 18 that I'd spend many hours pondering the best way to dry clothes for my family, I think I might have feared for my future sanity. I have tried the dryer balls, but didn't find that they work too well on static. I already buy baking soda in those giant bags at Sam's Club. I'll have to throw some in the laundry this week.

    Shelly, I've got Snuggle in the basement as I type. Probably enough for 2 years- all for free. :)

    Mike - been there, done that on the making my own detergent. It worked ok, but didn't seem to get some of big stains out that we frequently have around here.

    I can't wait for my clothes line, Big Guy!