what can I do about clothes that are stiff/non-aborbant

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I have been hanging our clothes either outside on a clothes line or inside on a line in our pantry (on rainy days) for more than a year when I refused to let my husband repair our energy-hungry drier...

But now some of our towels and dish towels, that sort of thing...are kind of non-absorbant...somebody said putting vinegar in the rinse water will help.

I don't really want to use a bought fabric softener because of my multitude of allergies....is there something more natural I can use to put in the rinse water. thanks!

-- Suzy in Bama (slgt@yahoo.com), March 01, 2002


Suzy..I too do not like using the softners. I use vinegar in the rinse water.

-- Sher in se Iowa (riverdobbers@webtv.net), March 01, 2002.

I second the vinegar. We've been using it for quite some time now and it really does soften. Plus I do believe it is much better for the machine than the liquid softeners you put in the wash. I had to take apart the auto-dispensor in the agitator before I started using the vinegar and the gunk I found in there was unbelievable (due I'm sure to the liquid fabric softener). I use about 1/4 cup per large load.

-- Pamela in San Diego (pcoomey@cox.net), March 01, 2002.

My response makes it unanimous... VINEGAR. and that gunk you found in your washer... its wax.

-- Kristean Thompson (pigalena_babe@yahoo.com), March 01, 2002.


We use white vinegar for so many things! It removes the lime build up on my faucets, I rinse my hair with it, it removes spots off the carpeting, I pour it in the clotheswasher and the dishwasher. It helps to cut the grease and also remove soap build up. I keep a spray bottle of vinegar under the sink so I can quickly spray my faucets to clean them. We also take a couple of spoonfuls of apple cider vinegar each day.

-- Charleen in WNY (harperhill@eznet.net), March 01, 2002.

I recently saw a tv news report that fabric softener makes the clothing MORE flamable, so those that use it (I do on some things) don't use it on childrens clothing (specifically sleepware) or bedding or hot pads or any other cloth used anywhere near fire.

-- Thumper/inOKC (slrldr@yahoo.com), March 01, 2002.

ms.suzy, as you wash your clothes the ph goes to the alkiline side because of the detergent not totally washing clean & the excess soaps will affect the cloths ability to absorb moisture.

our skin is acid in ph so very alkiline can iritate it. if you miss adding vinegar to the rinse water, use the pre-soak or pre-wash cycle to add 1/8 to 1/4 cp vinegar to the wash. works for me!

-- bj pepper in C. MS. (pepper.pepper@excite.com), March 01, 2002.

Hi, Suzy! You can also try adding baking soda to the rinse. And here is a natural fabric softener recipe (Oh, using a commercial fabric softener usually makes towels, etc LESS absorbant because it coats the fibers. That is why it is not recommended for use with diapers.)

Mix 1 cup of liquid glycerin (natural vegetable glycerin can be found in natural food stores) with 1 gallon water. Add 1 cup of this mixture to the wash or rinse cycle.

-- Bren (wayoutfarm@skybest.com), March 01, 2002.

I'm buying a new bottle of vinegar when I go to town this morning!!! Thanks so much!

-- Suzy in Bama (slgt@yahoo.com), March 02, 2002.

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