Laundry Tips

What You Need to Know About Softeners

September 02, 2021

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When laundry day comes, you use the basics: laundry detergent and softeners. Of course, you know that detergent cleans your clothes and gives them that fresh scent that you love, but what is so important about softeners?

Fabric softeners are not essential for cleaning your dirty clothes; however, they go a long way in keeping clean laundry fresh and soft. Whether you wash your clothes at the local laundromat or in the comfort of your own home, you probably notice a difference in your clothes when you use fabric softener versus when you don’t.

Fabric softeners do more than keep your clothes smelling fresh and feeling silky-soft. They can extend the life of your fabrics by reducing friction and maintaining the integrity of the material.

Types of Fabric Softener

Fabric softener comes in different shapes and sizes. There are three types of fabric softener that you may already use.

Liquid fabric softener – The most commonly used liquid fabric softener works the same way as a liquid detergent in your washing machine. It is the most effective way to remove odors; however, it is also expensive. Liquid detergents are more effective for large-capacity laundry. They can even mix with regular detergent to create a two-in-one liquid.

Dryer sheets – Made of lightweight material, dryer sheets are a convenient option. They take up less space than a tub of liquid softener and are easy to use. Dryer sheets go in the dryer with your wet clothes and reduce odor and soften your fabrics. They are a space-saving option that often works just as well as liquid detergent.

Dryer balls – Dryer balls are the cheapest fabric softener option and are environmentally friendly. Similar to the dryer sheets, they go into the dryer with your wet clothes to refresh laundry as it dries. The only downside to these eco-friendly balls is that they have the potential to stiffen your clothes.

Deciding which type of fabric softener to use depends on a few factors.

Dryer sheets are ideal for those who don’t want to carry large containers of liquid fabric softener to and from machines. Liquid softeners are more efficient at removing odors and leaving clothes soft and refreshed. Dryer balls are the most eco-friendly option and are ideal for those with sensitive skin or allergies.

Fabric Softener versus Conditioner

Fabric softener and conditioner are very similar, but they do have a few slight differences. Fabric softener works by reducing the odor of your laundry and smoothing out the fibers of your clothes.

Fabric conditioners improve the integrity of your clothes by helping to prevent fading and stretching. You can pair softener and conditioner together to enhance the look and wear of your clothes; however, most people use one or the other.

Which Clothes Do You Use Fabric Softener On?

You may think that fabric softener is safe to use on all clothes, but the fact is that some fabrics react differently than others. Before loading your washers and dryers, check if any of the following are in the load.

  • Towels
  • Gym clothes
  • Flame-resistant fabrics
  • Water-resistant clothes

Although using a softener when washing these fabrics will not destroy your clothes, it may affect the integrity of the material. For example, using too much softener on towels will impact their ability to absorb water. The resistance in flameproof and waterproof clothes may be affected with too much or the wrong softener type.

Use a small amount of fabric softener when washing these materials.

How Does Fabric Softener Work?

Fabric softeners work by smoothing the fibers in your clothes to leave them feeling soft and odor-free. Softener reduces the friction in your clothes to leave them static-free and more durable. This can help extend the life of your clothes while providing extra fragrance after each wash.

Fabric softener is a part of any typical laundry routine and does more than soften your clothes.

A quality fabric softener will:

  • Improve the integrity of your clothes
  • Reduce odors
  • Prevent static.

Knowing about the different fabric softeners can help you identify which one works best for your laundry.

The Great American Laundry knows what it takes to professionally clean and maintain your clothes. From coin-operated aching to professional fold services, we are here to free up your time by providing quality laundry service.

Call us today at 931-546-8551 to learn more about what The Great American Laundry can do for you!

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