We don’t use green cleaning only at work; we also incorporate it into our daily living at home. Some things are harder to give up than others!
ADVANTAGES OF USING VINEGAR INSTEAD OF FABRIC SOFTNER
I used to use a liquid fabric softener for every load of laundry. The softness and smell of the clothes after they were washed was great, but I often found that we had dry and itchy skin whenever the weather started to warm up. So, I often tried using new allergen free laundry soap and more natural fabric softener to eliminate these problems. Using fabric softeners can lead to a buildup of chemicals and decrease absorbency in towels and clothing. A few years ago I tried using vinegar in place of liquid fabric softener. One of the advantages of vinegar is less chemicals on your clothes and on your body. Vinegar also seems to help set the color in new clothes so they won’t run and fade. (Jeans are another story, it still seems to work but it takes longer)
BETTER FOR THE EARTH
Natural vinegar is made from plants so it is a renewable resource. Using white vinegar costs less per load than fabric softener so it saves you money. I use vinegar in a lot of different ways around the house, so I buy a double carton and distribute it out into smaller bottles around the house. Another important factor is that it doesn’t leave your clothes smelling like vinegar, they just smell clean without that heavy perfume smell that some softeners leave. I do notice that towels aren’t quite as soft, but they are more absorbent.
Our washing machine is over ten years old (we use things as long as we can so it won’t end up in a landfill or having to be recycled) and it has a fabric softener dispenser built in. When I used the blue fabric softener it left a gummy mess all over the top of the machine. Since I started using vinegar my machine is sparkling white on top, and my washing machine and parts will last much longer. I use a measuring cup with about half vinegar and half water, but you could experiment if you need to.
I save quite a bit of money by switching to vinegar. It is hypo allergenic and better for anyone with sensitive skin or allergies. I think it works much better even then hypo allergenic fabric softeners. Even though our skin is still a little dry, I know that our clothing is not contributing to the problem. Now, to keep my hands out of water, find a great lotion that works and drink more water!