7 Clothes That Can Be Damaged by Fabric Softener

Last Updated on January 2, 2023

Clothes That Can Be Damaged by Fabric Softener: Some lose their elasticity, their absorption capacity or wear out more. If you put fabric softener on everything, you need to read this.

7 Clothes That Can Be Damaged by Fabric Softener

Clothes Damaged by Fabric Softener

The fabric softener makes clothes soft and with a very pleasant touch and smell. It even removes static electricity from garments and makes them easier to iron. But some garments or fabrics spoil and lose their qualities when we add softener to them. See what they are and extend the life of your clothes. 

1.  Technical and Sports Clothing

These garments do not need softener since it clogs the structure between the fibers and does not allow them to breathe well. When you take it out of the washing machine, it will smell great, but it will be less resistant to bad odors, and when you use it the next time, it will smell even worse. The best thing to keep technical clothing like the first day is to use a neutral soap with high degreasing power.

2. Baby’s Clothes

Baby’s skin is very delicate, and there are very aggressive products that can lead to allergies or dermatitis. When washing clothes with fabric softener, chemicals remain attached to the fabric that can irritate your baby’s skin. If you don’t want to do without it, use a hypoallergenic and natural product. There are more tricks to washing your baby’s clothes.

3. Wool Garments

Wool is a fragile and delicate fabric, and applying fabric softener reduces its natural ability to regulate moisture and body temperature. In fact, the idea is to wash woolen garments on a gentle program with lukewarm or cold water –never hot because it would shrink– with a mild soap. And no fabric softener or bleach.

4. Waterproof Clothes

The raincoat or snow coat also loses its properties when, when washing, the softener is added. This product damages the waterproof layer and makes the garment lose all its properties to insulate against water and moisture. The ideal is to wash these garments as little as possible, air them out after each use, and do not keep them wet. When washing them, always check the label, and choose a gentle wash cycle with cold water and neutral soap.

5. Swimsuits

Although you have to wash them after each use, so they don’t get damaged by the salt and sand from the beach or the chlorine from the pool, always avoid fabric softener, as it makes them fade. To do it correctly, the ideal thing is to use a mild liquid soap, a short program, and rinse them by hand – the washing machine can also cause them to wear out and lose color. 

6. Towels

Fabric softener components reduce the water absorption of fabrics and, therefore, their drying capacity. Avoid using it on towels, bathrobes, and terry kitchen towels.

7. Microfiber Clothes

The same thing happens with towels. The oil used in fabric softeners to fix the odor and make them less rigid makes the microfiber less effective and also accelerates its deterioration.

Is Fabric Softener Necessary?

Fabric softener is not suitable for all fabrics. On cotton, linen, or hemp clothes, fabric softener improves softness and finish. Still, it has a more limited effect on natural fibers such as wool or cashmere and hardly any on those made of polyester or polyamide. Considering that almost all of our garments are a blend of fibers, their effect is quite limited. Linen, cashmere, and damask cushions.

Can Adding More Fabric Softener to the Washing Machine Enhance the Result?

Adding more fabric softener to the washing machine does not enhance the result; quite the opposite. In addition to the fact that clothes can come out stained in the washing machine, the environmental impact is also much greater. Use the amount recommended by the manufacturer in each wash.

Fabric Softener vs. Vinegar – Fabric Softener Alternatives

In alternative to fabric softener, there are other natural options. Vinegar is one of the best known since it also eliminates bad odors in addition to softening clothes. Includes a jet of cleaning vinegar in the softener drawer. If when you take the clothes out of the washing machine, they have a slight smell of vinegar, don’t worry, because it will disappear when it dries. In addition, it also reduces static electricity from garments. 

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