I have known for a long time that vinegar is a natural liquid fabric softener. The only reason I never made the switch was because I was in love with the fragrances of store bought. I have been wanting to switch, though, in the effort to continue to cut unneccesary chemical usage out of my home, as well as for the purposes of cutting costs. I finally found a pleasing solution to that problem.
It is really quite simple, and I can't believe I never thought of it before! Basically what I did was to take a large jug of vinegar, and add 1 to 2 teaspoons of a fragrant essential oil. Before each use, I shake the jug, just to make sure it is all mixed up well. And for ease of use, I use a Downy liquid fabric softener ball to dispense my homemade fabric softener during the wash cycle. It has been working quite well for us so far, and right now my fabric softener is lavender scented. I won't be buying any more of the store bought liquid fabric softeners, although I will be buying some new scents of essential oils to experiment with :) While essential oils can seem expensive, since a little bit goes a long ways, they really do last for quite a while. For saving money on my essential oils, I order them from www.vitacost.com .