Many people reach for fabric softener when doing their laundry, as they want their clothes and linens to smell fresh and feel cozy. Some even use a two-in-one detergent and softener product. But do fabric softeners actually work?
What Is Fabric Softener
Fabric softener, also known as fabric conditioner, works by coating fibers with natural oils or synthetic polymers, adding a layer of protection beyond what detergent alone can provide. It is an essential laundry item for softening clothes and making them more comfortable to wear against the skin. It also works to reduce static cling and helps keep clothes looking new.
Additionally, fabric softener adds a pleasant fragrance to the garments, adding a touch of freshness. The properties of fabric softeners vary by brand and type, so selecting the one best suits your needs is important.
The Benefits of Fabric Softener
Using fabric softeners while washing clothes can bring about various benefits. Some of these benefits include the following:
- Softener helps maintain fabrics in better condition for longer periods of time, preventing colors from fading and fibers from becoming matted or frayed.
- Fabric conditioners can also help improve absorbency, allowing clothes to dry faster, and saving energy and money on drying costs.
- Fabric conditioner also helps to keep colors vibrant and fresh, leaving clothes looking brighter and cleaner after each wash
- As an added bonus, fabric conditioners can help make your clothes smell fresher and more fragrant than ever before!
All in all, fabric conditioners are a great way to care for and protect your clothes, helping them look as good as new. The smoothing process of fabric conditioner helps reduce static clinginess and makes the fibers softer, which in turn allows creases to drop more easily when taken out of the washing machine.
Can Fabric Softener Be Used on All Kinds of Laundry?
This is a very common question that many people will ask. Fabric conditioner is generally safe to use on all types of fabric, but certain items may benefit from a wash without. Fabric conditioners leave a silky film on clothing which can hamper its absorbency, so it's best not to use it on towels, tea towels, microfiber cloths, and quick-dry sportswear
To ensure that towels remain soft and fluffy but still absorbent, alternate washes with and without fabric conditioner is key. When washing any fabric item, always read the care label on the item itself and the label on the fabric conditioner to ensure the best results.
What Items Should Fabric Softener Not Be Used On?
A fabric softener may have an adverse effect on a variety of fabrics, such as water-repellent fabrics, flame-resistant clothing, towels, athleticwear, and microfiber fabrics. Water-repellent fabrics may experience a reduction in their water-repelling performance when exposed to fabric softeners.
Similarly, flame-resistant clothing may no longer be able to self-extinguish if exposed to the same. Towels too can suffer a loss in absorbency when fabric softeners are used. Due to the effects of fabric softeners, athleticwear and microfiber fabrics may have impaired moisture-wicking properties or stain-absorbing abilities.
Therefore, it is advisable to avoid using fabric softeners on these delicate or special-purpose fabrics altogether; however, if necessary, use them only in moderation.
How To Use Fabric Softener
Fabric softener is a great way to quickly and easily care for your clothes. All you have to do is add it to your washing machine and let the machine take care of the rest. Below, we will go through some easy-to-follow instructions to use when utilizing fabric softeners.
- First things first, check your clothes care labels. These labels will offer laundry symbols and instructions on the best way to wash your clothes.
- After checking the label, you need to measure out your selected fabric softener. Typically, when washing a typical load, you will need around 35 ml to 55 ml. This will be added to the small detergent drawer in your washing machine. The smaller compartment will indicate this is where it should go.
- Next, you must add your detergent. By using the pre-measured laundry detergent strips from Tru Earth, you will simply need to add a strip to the load, and start your machine.
- You can choose the necessary temperature of the water and pick the cycle that is the best fit for your load of clothes. From here, simply let your machine do the rest.
Fabric softeners can also be used for hand washing clothes. When hand washing, it's recommended to use 18 ml of softener. You can add this to your cleaning bucket or tub, and mix it well with your hands.
Adding your clothes into this mixture will be next. You can ensure that your clothes are fully coated with softener before dumping out the contents. From here, you need to rinse your clothes with water and hang them to dry.
It's important to remember that when you are hand washing your clothes with fabric softener, washing your hands directly after use is crucial. For many, fabric softener will irritate the skin and, in some cases, cause rashes and longer-term damage
Fabric Softener Alternatives
Dryer balls are an effective, safe, and allergy-friendly alternative to fabric softeners and dryer sheets. They can be used to reduce static cling in clothes, add a slight softening effect, and come in different forms, such as unscented wool or plastic.
And, you've guessed it, Tru Earth has got you covered again. Our eco-wool laundry balls provide an all-natural, chemical-free way to soften laundry and shorten drying time. Made with 100% sheep wool, they are great for those with sensitive skin or babies.
These wool balls replace liquid fabric softeners and dryer sheets and last for more than 1000 loads. Not only do they save energy and money, but they are also handmade, environmentally friendly, and free of petroleum products.
Overall, wool laundry balls are an excellent eco-friendly alternative to traditional fabric softeners that keep your clothes clean, soft, and smelling fresh without harmful chemicals or synthetics!