Learn how to use fabric softener! Fabric softeners are designed to make clothes feel fresher and softer. Moreover, these softeners are available in different forms. Every type also has its share of advantages and disadvantages, although most, if not all, of them are easy enough to use with a few tips to get you started.
How to Use Fabric Softener
What is Fabric Softener
Before going into details on how to use fabric softener, it’s better to know what this product is. Fabric softeners are substances that have lubricating components that coat the fibers of the fabric. As a result, your clothes feel fresher and softer.
Fabric softeners come in different types, but essentially all coat the fabric using positively charged ions. The reason fabrics feel softer to touch after using fabric softeners is because these positively charged ions stick to the negatively charged ions located on the fibers.
What Fabric Softeners Do
To make clothes softer and prevent them from becoming wrinkled, you can use fabric softeners to condition them. If you know how to use fabric softener, your clothes can last longer. This is possible because there is less static clinging to the fibers. Some fabric softeners in the market are also scented, which gives your clothes an extra freshness.
Types of Fabric Softeners
You should note that not all fabric softeners are the same. There are three standard fabric softeners you can choose from. These are liquid softeners, dryer sheets, and dryer balls.
Liquid Fabric Softeners
Liquid fabric softeners are generally the most expensive, yet, this fabric softener type is the most effective in making your clothes fresher. Since it is in liquid form, it is better absorbed by the clothes during the washing process. However, the primary disadvantage of using liquid fabric softeners is that they can stain your clothes or cause a buildup in your washing machine.
Dryer sheets are small sheets that have a stearic acid coating. Once the dryer starts to heat, the stearic acid dissolves and penetrates your clothes’ fibers. The stearic acid also lessens static, so clothes feel softer. In addition, they are more affordable compared to liquid fabric softeners. These sheets are also effortless to use since you just need to place 1 or 2 sheets in your dryer at the beginning of the cycle.
Similar to dryer sheets, these wool balls can be thrown into your dryer to make your clothes fresh and soft. This is one of the simplest methods of how to use fabric softener. Aside from this, dryer balls also make the drying of clothes faster. They soak up moisture from the fabric since they are made from wool, which allows your clothes to dry more quickly. Another advantage of dryer balls is that they can move around more, making them more effective than dryer sheets.
How to Use Fabric Softener Liquids
Now that you understand what they are, it’s time to learn how to use fabric softeners. Unfortunately, many people get confused when to add the fabric softener. Do you add them after pressing start or in the middle of the washing? What part of the washing machine should you put your softener in?
To know the answers to these questions, here are some helpful steps on how to use fabric softener in liquie form.
1 - Reading the Label
Start by reading the instructions on the particular fabric softener bottle you are using. Also, check the laundry symbols on the clothing pieces you are planning to wash for any temperature or special instructions.
2 - Measuring the Fabric Softener
Following the packaging instructions, measure the right amount of fabric softener. Fortunately, many liquid fabric softeners come with a convenient measuring cup. This makes the process of getting the right amount easier. You will also see the max line of your washing machine’s dispenser. Aside from the amount of fabric softener, it’s also essential to check how many clothing pieces or fabrics you will wash.
3 - Pouring the Fabric Softener into the Machine
This is the step where you add the fabric softener. Here, you need to look for your washing machine’s built-in dispenser and pour the fabric softener directly there. Checking if you are pouring the fabric softener at the right place is imperative. It is also best if you also dilute your fabric softener first to avoid staining your clothes.
The built-in dispenser of your washing machine will automatically add the fabric softener to the water before mixing it with your clothes. You will also need to determine how to pour it, depending on the kind of washing machine you have. For example, front-loading washing machines often have a compartment where you can store and easily access your detergent. The dispenser for top-loading washers is usually found in the middle of the agitator. The agitator looks similar to a tall cylinder standing in the middle of the washing machine. With these machines, you can put your fabric softener together with your detergent before you start the wash cycle.
Note that you should never add your fabric softener directly to the drum of your washing machine. This is because it needs to be diluted before the softener comes in contact with your clothes.
4 - Letting Your Washing Machine Do the Work
After pouring the fabric softener into the dispenser, your washing machine will automatically add it to your clothes during the rinsing process.
Common Mistakes People Make When Using Fabric Softeners
Making mistakes while still learning how to use fabric softener is common. For example, many people tend to believe that fabric softeners can remove all the smell from clothes. This is not the case since fabric softeners aren’t designed to eliminate odors and make clothes cleaner.
Aside from that, fabric softeners aren’t really essential when washing your clothes. This is especially true for people with sensitive skin since the fabric softener can irritate their skin. If this is the case, use special laundry detergents made for sensitive skin when washing clothes instead of fabric softeners.
When to Use Fabric Softeners
When you’re learning how to use fabric softener, it can be tough to gauge when to use it. It’s generally better to add it whenever you do your laundry. Many fabrics do well with fabric softeners, and they tend to have fewer wrinkles and feel soft to touch.
However, some materials do not do well with fabric softeners. For example, most athletic wear doesn’t fare well when used with fabric softeners. The reason for this is that many of these pieces are designed to absorb moisture when you exercise. Using fabric softeners can block the open weave of the fabric. This can result in negating the moisture absorbing ability of athletic wear in the long run.
Most people wonder if fabric softeners can be used on all fabrics, such as towels. In most cases, the answer is yes; fabric softeners are usually safe to be used. However, some fabrics are better without fabric softeners since they can affect the fabric’s absorbency. For instance, some towel types like microfiber cloths, hand towels, tea towels, and bath towels are designed to absorb water. So, using fabric softeners can affect this function.
Affordable Fabric Softener Options
The most affordable option among the different types of fabric softeners is dryer sheets. They are less expensive compared to other fabric softener types. You can also use alternative solutions if you’re tight on budget. For example, the classic combination of baking soda and white vinegar has a similar effect as liquid fabric softeners, and they contain none of the harmful chemicals.
Another advantage of this fabric softener alternative is that it reduces the soapy residue left in your washing machine and pipes. Moreover, purchasing baking soda and vinegar in bulk is more affordable compared to buying fabric softeners.
In Conclusion - How to Use Fabric Softener
Finally, you know more about fabric softeners and their different types. You also have a better understanding of how to use fabric softener. Overall, it’s highly recommended to use fabric softeners when you do your laundry. You just need to take note of the reminders given on when not to use them. Adding fabric softeners can result in your clothes not only feeling softer but also smelling better.
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