Housewife MacGyver: The Damsel's Bag O' Laundry Tricks

I am SO thrilled today to welcome the Damsel of Old School fame here today. When I found her site, I was instantly in love. Each post is about doing something the way that Grandma did, in order to be self-reliant and, you know, just to know how to do that. She covers just about every topic imaginable, from home repairs and cleaning to gardening and finances. And you'll just love her writing style!

By request, the Damsel takes on one of those perplexing problems of modern life.

Static Cling. **shudder

Grandma didn't really have a problem with static cling since she hung her clothes out to dry in the fresh sunshine. The Damsel recommends you try this if you have any possible way of doing so. There are plenty of benefits. Your clothes will smell fresh, not perfumey, and because they haven't been tumbling around in an over-hot dryer, they won't be staticky either. Plus, a dryer uses a lot of energy, so you can feel good about saving money/going green by drying your clothes on a line.

Have you ever slept on sun-dried sheets? Grandma would have laughed to think of it this way, but this is one of life's best and cheapest luxuries.

The Damsel understands line-drying isn't for everyone. And for those times when you need to use the dryer, many people love the ease of using a dryer sheet to both soften the clothes and reduce static. But is there a way to make your own?

Way #1: Take a rag such as an old washcloth and soak it in liquid fabric softener for about ten minutes, or until it's thoroughly saturated. Squeeze it out, and hang it somewhere until it's dry. Now you can use it like a dryer sheet . . . just hurl it into the dryer load. You can use the same rag over and over again, without resoaking it MANY TIMES . . . months, even, depending on use, before you have to resoak it. You will go YEARS before using up a bottle of liquid fabric softener used this way. Cheeep!

Way #2: Mix some hair conditioner (a cheap kind, if you like, but one that you like the smell of) with an equal amount of water. Either do the soak method in #1, or put in a spray bottle and spritz a few sprays on a washcloth and throw in the dryer. You'll need to respray each time.

If you still have too much static (and even with dryer sheets, that happens) try crumpling up a ball of aluminum foil and putting that in the dryer. The Damsel has no idea why this works and kind of wants to know. Another part of her likes thinking of it as an unfathomable aluminum foil mystery.

Margot  is a  mom of seven and pretty much crazy from it. Online she's known as  the  Damsel in Dis Dress and blogs at the Old School ( and twitters at @the_damsel.
A blog about her writing adventures is found at Inklings.

Thanks, Margot! My husband is always bemoaning the static at our house, so this exactly what we need!

Pop on over to the Old School and check out the rest of the Damsel's bag o' laundry tricks:

This post is part of the Housewife MacGyver series on just Lu. Read more about Housewife MacGyver and see all the posts in the series here.


Jocelyn Christensen said...


Megan Harmeyer said...

Great idea about the washcloth soaked in fabric softener! I'm going to try that with my endless loads of laundry this weekend. And I like her comment about an "unfathomable aluminum foil mystery".

Pam @ The Journey Leads Home said...

Is it too late for a newbie to join in Housewife MacGyver???? I just came across your blog today.

Terresa said...

Foil ball in the dryer? Who would've thought?

Thanks for the tips, Damsel (I'm a huge fan of hers and followed her here!).

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