Avoid Using Fabric Softener on These Garments

Find out which garments you should avoid using fabric softener on. Softner can damage the unique qualities of certain items, including baby clothes.
Avoid Using Fabric Softener on These Garments

Last update: 13 April, 2023

Fabric softener is a popular product in most homes, but it turns out that you should avoid using it on a number of garments. The reason why is very simple, fabric softener can damage some items.

In some textiles, this liquid, which is added to the machine during a specific washing cycle, helps to make clothes fluffy, leaving them feeling soft and smelling fresh. It also helps to make ironing easier, by eliminating static. However, certain fabrics are easily damaged when they come into contact with fabric softeners.

Do you want to know what they are? Of course you do! Keep reading to discover more.

Avoid using fabric softener on these clothes

Before we start detailing which garments you shouldn’t use fabric softener on, we want to tell you the specific reason why. The composition of softener incorporates chemicals that create a film on the fibers of the fabrics that come into contact with it. This means that softeners may damage the fibers in the garments. 

Some items of clothing are ideal for washing in softener, but others are not! So without further ado, we’ll explain what those garments are.

1. Baby clothes

Ideas for organizing baby clothes
You shouldn’t use fabric softener on baby clothes, as this will ultimately make them feel abrasive.

Baby clothes are generally noted for their softness and as such, this clothing is made from delicate fibers to support sensitive newborn skin. If you add softener to your wash, you can spoil the delicate qualities, making the material feel abrasive. Moreover, you can also encourage allergies to develop. 

For this same reason, it’s recommendable to use hypoallergenic or pH-neutral laundry soap. It’s even better to wash baby clothes by hand or at least in the gentlest cycle of the washing machine.

2. Woolen garments

Wool is a natural fiber used to make many different garments, from coats and jackets to blankets and cushions. Its qualities are softness and warmth, providing a touch of elegance that must be preserved through washing.

When it comes to washing any wool garment or textile, you should always avoid using both fabric softener and hot water. The first damages the natural softness and fluffiness of the wool, while hot water can shrink wool.

3. Avoid using fabric softener on sportswear

Sportswear is made of a special fabric that’s designed to absorb moisture and is commonly used to make bras, leggings, and t-shirts. When we expose these textiles to fabric softener, an invisible film is gradually created, causing the item to lose its functionality.

If you use fabric softener on this material, you’ll notice that over time, your sportswear starts to smell bad and look old. It also loses its elasticity and becomes uncomfortable.

4. Waterproof clothing

Waterproof garments are made from a special material designed to repel water. Pants, coats, and jackets lose this proofing ability when you add fabric softener to the wash cycle. Gradually, the material loses its properties and allows the water in.

The correct way to wash waterproof clothing is either by dry cleaning or by hand. Just remember, never to use fabric softener.

5. Delicate textiles

colored silk.
Silk is soft by nature, using fabric softener on delicate garments can damage them.

Delicate textiles like damask, silk, polyester, cashmere, and polyamide are anti-softener. This is because they’re manufactured in a particular way that makes them soft and elegant. These properties are lost when you use fabric softener. 

In this case, it’s recommendable to wash delicate textiles by hand, using cold water and avoiding fabric softener. As for the laundry soap, use a special one for delicate fabrics that’ll also protect the colors.

6. Avoid using fabric softener on bathing suits

We finish our list with bathing suits, be they swimsuits, bikinis, trikinis, shorts, and even beach towels. All of these textiles are made in a unique way and are designed to repel sea salt, sand, and chlorine in swimming pools. By using softener in your wash, you’ll spoil these qualities.

Moreover, when regularly washed in softener, towels lose the property of being able to dry the body well. The same is true for any microfiber textile.