When Not To Use Fabric Softener
Add fabric softener to laundry - YES or NO? An ecologist will certainly make a different decision than the mum of an allergic child or a mum who wants to have long term fragrant bedding in the cupboard. I used fabric softener until recently, when my son developed eczema and was scratching himself so much (even at night in his sleep). This led me to write this article, in which we will have a look at the advantages and disadvantages of using fabric softener.
What Are The Benefits Of Using Fabric Softener?
If you washed one T-shirt with and another without fabric softener, you could probably tell the difference right away - by its softness and smell. The fabric softener contains just such ingredients which take care of the softening of the laundry and its scent and is, therefore, an extension of detergents.
Softener is also useful in removing electrostatic charge, especially in man-made fibres, because without it, the fabric would stick to the skin, and in addition, an electrostatic charge would attract dirt.
Thanks to fabric softener, the laundry is also easier to iron, it stays clean for longer, and the next time you wash it, the dirt will be washed out better too.
What Are The Disadvantages Of Fabric Softener?
- Fabric softeners contain a number of chemicals that are not suitable for young children or allergy sufferers because they can cause skin irritation.
How to prevent skin problems in children? Click here.
- When using fabric softener on white clothes, the clothes turn grey or yellow over time. For white laundry, it is necessary to use a product specially designed for light clothing. It is also ideal to add one tablespoon bicarbonate of soda to each wash. Soda softens the laundry and retains colour fastness.
- Also be careful to pay attention when adding fabric softener to elastic clothing, such as sportswear or underwear. Elastic fibres are destroyed with its use and clothing loses its elasticity.
- Softener reduces the functionality of breathable clothing with a functional membrane and microfiber fabric.
- In the case of terry towels, the fabric softener wraps around the surface of the fibre, forming a layer on it that reduces absorbency. It is better to dry the towel in the tumble dryer at a lower temperature, it will fluff the fibres and the material will be soft and absorbent. (Beware of over drying or drying in direct bright sunlight, as this can turn a soft terry cloth into a rough grater).
- Fabric softener is not very ecological, it is difficult to break down from wastewater because it´s full of chemicals and perfumes.
What To Use Instead Of Fabric Softener?
I tried several different fabric softeners, which were intended for children with sensitive skin, but even so, my little one was scratching after I used them.
Then my friend gave me a tip to use ordinary vinegar instead of fabric softener and any other substitutes, and it works really well. Just add 30-100 ml instead of fabric softener. You don't have to be afraid of its smell, it evaporates during the washing and the laundry is softened and naturally disinfected.
In addition, vinegar cleans the washing machine of limescale and neutralizes any odour from the washing machine. To make the clothes smell a little better, I occasionally add a few drops of essential oil to the washing machine (when rinsing).
Of course, the smell of fabric softener will not replace it, but I will do anything to prevent my son's eczema from getting worse.
And what are your proven tips for fragrant and soft laundry? Share them with us :)