Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Bounce? Not so much

I've always used dryer sheets. You know,those white slips you put in your dryer to keep the static off your clothes and add spring rain fragrance to your socks; those gossamer gremlins that end up stuck to a pant leg and unseen until you are at Starbucks for a mocha. Those sheets.

Always been a fan because heck, adding one of those is just what you do, right? You can't dry clothes in a dryer without one because...well, it just isn't done.

Until you move, and you don't have any, and you are drying a load of towels. Then you check out alternatives to your favorite chemical sheet. It came as a surprise to me that laundry can be static free without them. Surprising but true.

Adding just a splash of white vinegar to the fabric softener dispenser helps diffuse the static and nothing comes out of the dryer smelling like boiled eggs. I have a front loading machine, so I use about a tablespoon of vinegar in the dispenser. For top loaders, I have read that 1/2 cup of vinegar is needed, but I would test this out with a load or two.

I would not recommend this if you use bleach in your wash - bad high school chem lab experiments come to mind. But for normal loads, a little dab will do ya. I've washed towels, socks, everything that used to get a dryer sheet (heck, sometimes two sheets) and haven't noticed anything - no vinegar smell, no static. What I have noticed is less lint in the dryer, no annoying shriveled white sheets stuck onto socks and less money spent on laundry supplies.

So necessity was the mother of invention on this one (not like I invented anything, just searched out an option) and I'm sticking with it. A jug o' white vinegar is a dollar or so, versus four bucks for a small box of sheets. The jug will last for ages and losing the sheets might help prevent build up in the dryer lint trap, which could wear out your machine faster (some people think dryer sheets cause this). Vinegar might even help keep colors from running, so that's an added benefit.

I'll just gladly spend the four bucks somewhere else. Like on a mocha at Starbucks.

1 comment:

Julie said...

Let us know how the vinegar works out long-term with the high-efficiency machine, would you?
I can't use chlorine bleach at all (many front loaders will get leaks if you do, the manuals aren't joking), and I worried that vinegar might create similar woes. But if you've tried it and figured the right amount out, this is good.