Science | Jul 31
Many of us were either brought up before the introduction of fabric softener or grew up right after the craze for the detergent started to go down. If that’s true for you, maybe the way that this detergent should be used is till a mystery to you. Now, we all know that all clothes need some kind of soap or detergent to be properly washed, but when and how should we condition them? Do all linens need fabric softeners all of the time? Is fabric softener really that necessary? How do you even use the stuff correctly? Well, to appease your thoughts, we’ve put together this handy guide. Take a look!
Why fabric softener? What’s the actual, factual point of using fabric softeners in your laundry? Well, since the dawn of...fabric softeners... people have been using them to soften their clothes after a washing cycle. Fabric softeners also add an extra layer of fragrance to your clothes, which many people like! Fabric softeners also straighten fabrics in garments, making them easier to iron.
The most common use of fabric softeners is on towels. (Know how we know? Just take a look at a Downy Fabric Softener bottle; what do you see? Yep. Towels). Because of the moisture wicking nature of towels, they tend to come out a bit rough from a washing and drying, which make the actual process of drying less...pleasurable. Fabric softeners reduce this roughness and the static on the garments.
When should you use fabric softener and when should you avoid it? As previously stated, fabric softeners work especially well for towels. However, because of the chemicals in fabric softener, you should definitely avoid it when washing clothes for people with sensitive skin or when washing baby clothes. If you’re prone to allergies, you may find the scents used in fabric softeners a little strong, too so beware.
A word of caution! Fabric softener is added in the rinse cycle (not the wash cycle) because a good wash cycle would remove the chemical residue left behind by fabric softener (the chemicals that make clothes softer). Fabric softeners are not great for your washing machine either. Over time they can cause a gunky buildup that affects the performance of the machine. Maybe switching to non-toxic or natural detergents is more up your alley!Take all of this into consideration when deciding if you should use fabric softener or not!
The moment we’ve all been waiting for. How to use it? It depends on which type of washer you have, but it is definitely simple!
Front loader? Simply add the recommended amount of fabric softener to the dispenser or detergent drawer on your washer. Read your instructions carefully so you know which is the fabric softener dispenser and which is the laundry detergent dispenser.
Top loader? If your top loader has a dispenser (it’s usually on the center column in the drum), just drop there the recommended amount of fabric softener at the same time you pour or place your laundry detergent on the drum and wash as you normally would. If there is no dispenser on your machine, you have to add the measured fabric softener right AFTER the washing cycle and BEFORE the rinse cycle begins.
Want an alternative to the chemicals that fabric softener adds to your laundry? Check out if maybe dryer sheets are for you! Another great alternative to fabric softener are wool dryer balls!