Fluffy PJs can make you feel cosy on even the coldest winter night, but that extra soft fabric comes at a price. Fabric softener may seem like a harmless shortcut to cuddly clothes, but it may be doing more harm than good. Discover why fabric softener is bad for your clothes and a few clever alternatives to take with you on your next trip to the laundromat.


How Fabric Softener Works

Fabric softener works by depositing a layer of electrically charged chemicals on your washing. This coating makes the fibres fluff up and feel softer on the skin while also neutralising static charge, which prevents clothes from clinging together. All of this sounds great, but it does come at a cost.

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Dangers of Fabric Softener


Fabric Softener will Soften Your Clothes, But Dirty Your Washing Machine

As fabric softener and washing powder meet within your machine, a troublesome waxy residue named “scrud” can form. Scrud can quickly build up in your machine’s nooks and crannies, potentially damaging your washer and contaminating your laundry.


Fabric Softener Might Be Ruining Your Favourite Top

The coating left behind by fabric softener is bad for the longevity of your wardrobe. While this waterproof coating initially makes your clothes softer, it also lessens their ability to absorb water and washing powder over time. Bad smells will soon start to burrow deeper into your clothing with no way of getting them out.


Workout Gear and Fabric Softener Do Not Mix

The material used in most workout gear is moisture-wicking, which moves sweat away from the body and to the outer layer of clothing to help dry the fabric faster. Fabric softener is bad for this type of clothing as it clogs the pores, ruining its wicking abilities.


What Good is a Soft Towel If it Doesn’t Dry!

Fabric softener wears down the water resistance of materials which can be a problem for items such as towels, especially those made of microfibre or terry cloth. If your towels aren’t drying well, it’s time to set the softener aside.


Alternatives to Fabric Softener

You can use tin foil to get rid of static cling without fabric softener. Ball up a small amount of tin foil and throw it in the dryer with your clothing to remove the clinginess.


Baking soda and white vinegar are great alternatives to fabric softeners, softening your clothing without damaging it or leaving residue. Next time you want to soften your clothing, open the pantry instead of the laundry cupboard. Just remember never to add baking soda and vinegar simultaneously unless you want to turn your washing machine into a sudsy volcano experiment.


You Don’t Need Fabric Softener to Have Soft Clothes

Some shortcuts simply aren’t worth it, and that includes fabric softener. Fabric softener is bad for your clothing; by using it, you may be ruining wardrobe without even knowing. Next time you want to fluff up some of your clothing, bring a few of our suggested alternatives along with you to our Silverdale laundromat.