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# 208037 24-Jan-2017 13:18
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Have just updated our 15 year old bathroom towel sets with 2 new sets. For the past 30 odd years have always used fabric softener in any and all washes (I know not to use it with micro cleaning cloths).

 

After purchasing these new towels and prior to their 'before use' first wash to get rid of manufacturing chemicals and to do an initial de-fluff, I did some research about using fabric softener with towels . 99% of the research stated DO NOT use with towels - ever - as it dramatically reduces their drying ability. I must say after two uses and two wash & dry - one via a wet day machine dryer and the other a very hot sunny day outside line, I am never going back to using fabric softener with towels. They are definitely softer and have better drying abilities than my old towel sets which were always a bit stiff whether line dried or machine dried.

 

My research did state however that for heavy duty work clothes, bed sheets and other non-delicates, fabric softener is good as to protects the fabric from general wear and tear.

 

What are forum members thoughts on fabric softener and what sort of washes do you or do not use it in?

 

 





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  # 1708658 24-Jan-2017 13:25
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I thought the fabric softener made the towels nice and fluffy and not like sheets of paper?
Since im useless i dont buy fabric softener, Maybe ive been doing myself a favor all along? I dont have any complaints about my towels, All are fluffy and dry well. And i dont use fabric softener.
Keen to find out more as i was asking myself this exact question on Monday.


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  # 1708671 24-Jan-2017 13:38
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TimA:

 

I thought the fabric softener made the towels nice and fluffy and not like sheets of paper?
Since im useless i dont buy fabric softener, Maybe ive been doing myself a favor all along? I dont have any complaints about my towels, All are fluffy and dry well. And i dont use fabric softener.
Keen to find out more as i was asking myself this exact question on Monday.

 

 

I agree - I thought fabric softener was for aesthetic reasons only - ie to make towels etc feel nice. If fabric softener is actually designed to make clothes etc last longer by lessening wear in the machine then the marketing boffins for these companies have clearly failed, as I had no idea about that, and I suspect many other people are the same.


 
 
 
 


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  # 1708673 24-Jan-2017 13:40
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Fabric softener is great for gunging up washing machines. I clean it off using a water blaster.


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  # 1708676 24-Jan-2017 13:41
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This is why you should always listen to your mother :)

 

Fabric softener makes the towels waxy which limits their ability to absorb.  If you want them to be soft you can put them in the dryer.  Line drying will make them rougher than a dryer.  




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  # 1708685 24-Jan-2017 13:47
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TimA:

 

I thought the fabric softener made the towels nice and fluffy and not like sheets of paper?

 

 

Fabric softener deposits a micro layer of wax or teflon and other chemicals but it does reduce static in a machine dryer.

 

There are alternatives: interesting article from the Aussie consumer site - Choice and here is American Good House Keeping article.





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  # 1708744 24-Jan-2017 14:17
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timmmay:

 

Fabric softener is great for gunging up washing machines. I clean it off using a water blaster.

 

 

 

 

I remember this thread, Mum always used it and i cleaned out her washing machine to be shocked by the sludge it leaves.

 

 


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  # 1708745 24-Jan-2017 14:22
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timmmay:

 

Fabric softener is great for gunging up washing machines. I clean it off using a water blaster.

 

 

 

 

This.

 

The gunge that fabric softeners add to ones washing machine is disgusting especially in the road dispenser in front loaders or inside the agitator on a top loaders





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Using empathy takes no energy and can gain so much. Try it.

 

 


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  # 1708755 24-Jan-2017 14:43
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This is the before and after with an F&P top loader. I'd cleaned it the same way about a year earlier. I did it again because we were getting little black flecks on clothes.

 

Click to see full size


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# 1708770 24-Jan-2017 15:13
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and if you use cold water, it is essential to run a hot load through every now and then (during your free hour of power with Electric Kiwi).

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  # 1708849 24-Jan-2017 16:25
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Even if you wash with warm water exclusively (like us) fabric softener still gunks up. We tried doing a hot wash with a washing machine cleaner, it made virtually no difference.


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  # 1708990 24-Jan-2017 21:42
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jamesrobert: if you use cold water, it is essential to run a hot load through every now and then

 

 

Which includes putting a cup of white vinegar in the fabric softener dispenser to help break up gunk in the machine. That's not specifically for fabric softener, it just means it gets in at the right stage of the cycle.

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  # 1709031 24-Jan-2017 22:14
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By far, the most important thing is never letting washing powder and fabric softener mix. It creates a gunk (scrud) that sticks to clothes and never comes off.

In Timmmay's photo above, the blue goo is an example of powder and softener mixing.




Location: Dunedin

 

 


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  # 1709032 24-Jan-2017 22:15
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Not sure how you'd stop that, given any load with fabric softener also needs washing powder.

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  # 1709035 24-Jan-2017 22:23
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timmmay: Not sure how you'd stop that, given any load with fabric softener also needs washing powder.

The products are used in different parts of the cycle, and that's ok.
The most common thing is people accidentally getting powder in the softener dispenser and they don't notice/care.




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  # 1709263 25-Jan-2017 11:18
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timmmay:

 

This is the before and after with an F&P top loader. I'd cleaned it the same way about a year earlier. I did it again because we were getting little black flecks on clothes.

 

Click to see full size

 

 

 

 

Yep every 6 months, disassemble take bowl and agitator out into yard, water blast, scrub out the plastic bowl liner with a plastic green dish scrubber thing (I'm not using the water blaster in the laundry!) and reassemble.





Matthew


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