While laundry detergent is a necessity for obvious reasons that do not need to be outlined, liquid fabric softener is an optional additive to your load.
It makes a big difference in how your clothes feel and smell, but that's not the only thing it's useful for.
There are a plethora of ways you can use fabric softener around your home, from fighting tough stains to repelling bugs.
1. Keep paintbrushes soft
Paint can be a hassle to remove from the bristles of the brushes, and even if you do manage to get it all out, the bristles harden once they're dry.
To prevent this from happening again in the future, rinse the brushes in water with a drop of liquid fabric softener. Wipe the brushes dry before storing them as usual.
You'll notice a big difference the next time you use them.
2. Clean hard surfaces
Water alone isn't enough to keep dust away from the hard surfaces in your home, so this is where fabric softener comes in.
The laundry product repels dust and eliminates tough residues on glass, tables, shower doors, and other hard surfaces around your home.
Just mix 1/4 cup of fabric softener with a cup of water in a spray bottle, then apply a little solution to a clean cloth and wipe the surface. Then polish with a dry cloth.
3. Erase soap scum
Getting rid of soap scum and hard water stains from the tub, faucets, toilet or sink can be really difficult. To make it easier, just apply some fabric softener onto the stains and scum, then let it soak for at least 10 minutes.
Use a damp cloth to wipe the stains off, then rinse, if needed.
4. Remove baked-on grime
Scrubbing is not only tiring, but if you don't do it right, it will ruin your pans. If a casserole dish, pot or pan has a tough stain or burned-on food, just soak them with liquid fabric softener.
First, fill the cookware with water, then add a few drops of fabric softener into it. Let it soak for about an hour, or until you're able to easily wipe away the residue.
5. Remove old wallpaper
Are your walls in need of a change? If you're ready to take down old wallpaper, fabric softener will make the task a breeze.
Add a cap-full of the softener into a quart of water, then use a sponge to apply the mixture onto the wallpaper.
Let it soak for about 20 minutes, before you start removing the paper from the wall.
Some wallpapers have a water-resistant surface, so use a wire-bristle brush to scrape the paper before you treat it with the solution.
6. Take out hairspray residue
It's hard not to get hairspray on the walls, mirror, and vanity whenever you use it. A simple way to ensure that the residue buildup comes off is to clean it with a solution made up of one part fabric softener and two parts water.
Spray the mixture on the surface, then use a dry cloth to wipe it clean.
7. Stop static
Did you know fabric softener doesn't only keep your clothes soft, it also eliminates static and prevents them from sticking together?
You can also get rid of static from the carpets in your home by spraying a fabric softener solution on them.
Combine one cup of softener with two-and-a-half quarts of water, then add the mixture to a spray bottle and lightly spray it on the carpet.
Let the carpet dry overnight, and the static should disappear, at least for a few weeks.
8. Deodorize your home
Fabric softener makes your clothes smell amazing for a long time, so it makes sense to use it to also deodorize your home.
Dilute one part fabric softener and two tablespoons of baking soda in two parts water, then add it into a spray bottle and spritz it around any space you want to deodorize.
Just keep in mind that some people are sensitive to the ingredients and the strong scent of liquid fabric softeners, so make sure to spray it in a well-ventilated room.
9. Repel bugs
Most bugs hate strong scents, so fabric softener works great as a bug repellent.
One of the easiest ways to keep pesky insects away from your home is to fill up a spray bottle with water and a few drops of fabric softener, then spray the solution in areas were bugs frequent the most.
You can also mist indoor plants with the solution to keep bugs at bay.
If you happen to have dryer sheets, you can also place them around your home, including the basement and garage to make sure rodents and other pests do not invade your space.
10. Remove pet hair
In addition to getting rid of the static shock, you can treat your carpets with fabric softener to help you remove pet hair.
Mix one part softener with two parts water and spray it on the carpet before vacuuming. You'll notice that the hairs will be much easier to clean up.
11. DIY dryer sheets
Save money by making your own dryer sheets using fabric softener. All you have to do is dampen an old washcloth with a teaspoon of liquid softener, then add it into the dryer with your load.
Do you have any other fabric softener uses? Share it in the comments!