I have discovered that in place of fabric softener, which can be expensive and hard on the skin, if you are an allergic type person, there are two natural products that can be used that work great! They are vinegar and baking soda!! Yep, when I put in a load of laundry, instead of putting in my fabric softener, I put in some vinegar (up to the fill line in my washer), and then I sprinkle in some baking soda slowly. It will bubble significantly, which is why it's best not to just dump it in! It's fun to watch, and a good science lesson for the kiddos! It works just as well as fabric softener, and although your clothes won't come out smelling like a mountain breeze....they will smell fresh and clean!!
Now, in the event that you do what I often end up doing on my busy evenings, and leaving a load overnight in the washer...ugh! Here's what I stumbled upon to fix that musty, been sitting overnight smell issue. I take a small sandwich baggie, put some baking soda inside of it, and poke some small holes into it with a fork (very carefully). I make sure the baggie is tightly closed, and then I throw it into the dryer with the smelly load. Works like a charm! After the load is done...I just throw the baggie away!
I hope these tips will be helpful to someone out there, who is looking to save money on laundry products, but still wanting to maintain the freshness!
I would share more here about cleaning with baking soda and vinegar, but due to lack of time I would love to point you to the blog of a friend of mine who is a great homemaker, and has blogged already about how to make and use homeade cleaners! Check her out here. It is so important for us wives and moms to find as many ways to keep our homes clean without breaking the bank, or without exposing our families to harmful substances.
Have a great laundry doing day!! God Bless!