Is Fabric Softener Harmful to Your Clothes?

Since its advent in the early 1900s, fabric softener has gained massive popularity over the decades. For instance, in 2019 alone, fabric softener sales in the U.S. amounted to a staggering $2.1 billion. The popularity of this product stems from its capability to soften scratchy and stiff fabrics during washing, as well as add fragrance to them. To soften clothes, fabric softeners leave a thin layer of lubricant on a piece of cloth, making it feel soft.

This layer also prevents the fabric from collecting lint or getting wrinkles. However, despite its many benefits, fabric softener can also harm your clothes, especially when you use it on the wrong fabric type. Here is more information about this topic.

Can Fabric Softener Actually Damage Clothes?

There is no straight answer to this question, particularly because different fabric types react differently to fabric softeners. For instance, while fabric softener may work just fine with cotton or any other natural fibers, it may not be the same case for synthetic fibers.

The Effects of Fabric Softener on Different Types of Materials

If you want to wash your day-to-day clothing, then using fabric softener on them is a good idea. This is because most everyday clothes are made of natural fibers such as cotton, which respond well to fabric softeners. However, if some of your clothes, like your workout clothes, are made from synthetic fiber, you should avoid using fabric softener on them. The main reason for this is that synthetic fiber has a moisture-wicking property, meaning it is porous to allow sweat and moisture to escape from your skin and leave you cool and dry. By using fabric softener on such clothes, the layer formed will block pores and promote moisture retention, something that won’t be good for activewear.

What Else Can I Use to Soften Fabric?

Considering the downsides of fabric softener, some people, including millennials, are shunning it. The good news is that there are alternative washing tips that will help soften clothes. They include:

  • Baking Soda: Add half a cup of baking soda to your laundry and let it mix well with water and the clothes. Avoid mixing baking soda with vinegar as a huge explosion may result.
  • White Vinegar: Add a capful of white vinegar in your wash and mix thoroughly. While this won’t prevent your fabric from collecting lint, it will surely make it soft.
  • Aluminum Foil: Placing a ball of rolled-up aluminum foil inside the drier will help prevent lint collection by destroying the static forces on the clothes.

Is Fabric Softener Removable?

In case your workout clothes have already undergone several fabric softeners washes, you may want to remove the layers. The good news is that it is possible to remove fabric softener from your clothes using common household chemicals. One way to do this is to add some white vinegar to your wash cycle. However, white vinegar alone will not restore the original form of your fabric. Laundromats in Chula Vista can easily solve this problem, as well as any other laundry-related issue.

Additional Resources

For more information about how to care for your clothes, contact the experts at Fresh & Clean Laundry in Chula Vista. We are your one-stop shop for all your laundry needs, whether it is laundry or dry cleaning. Visit our website or call us today at 619-691-7626 to learn how we can help you do your laundry and dry cleaning in no time.

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