All our children are grown and out of the house, so it seems that the Goat and I should have a lot less laundry than when five of us lived here. Not so. All of our hobbies involve dirt in one form or another so we always have a pile of clothes by the washer. At the end of one particularly long, hot, backbreaking day playing in the dirt, I discovered that 1) I had no yard-working clothes left that hadn’t already been worked in, and 2) I had used my last fabric softener sheet a couple of days before. We live in the country, and the closest grocery stores are twelve miles away. Drive nearly twenty-five miles for the sake of a stinky pile of clothes? No way!

So, of course, I turned to the internet. What I learned worked so well that I will never buy fabric softener again, and now I’m passing the hint on to you. Grab a roll of aluminum foil and tear off enough to make a fist-sized ball. Throw it on top of your wet laundry in the dryer, turn the dryer on, and let ‘er go. I don’t understand it, but somehow the aluminum foil prevents static cling. I’ve used it with all of our clothes that we normally dry (even those delicates that I dry just enough to get the wrinkles out) and we’ve never had anything snag or rip. It’s fun to see how the ball changes. Since we do so much laundry, it only a couple of weeks for the ball to shrink from the size of a baseball to a tennis ball to a golf ball. When it got to the size of the ball in a game of jacks and kept getting lost in our clothes, we threw it away and started over.

The aluminum foil ball is primarily for static cling, not to soften fabric, so I did some more research and learned that one-fourth cup of vinegar added to the rinse cycle works just as well as commercial fabric softener. Take that, Snuggle Teddy Bear! And, no, your clothes don’t come out smelling like vinegar.