What is a Fabric Softener?

Just as the name suggests, Fabric softeners are special laundry additives that can be added to clothing when doing the laundry to give them a softer feel, and nice smells, remove creases for better ironing and give an added layer of safety to your clothing by enhancing the fabric with a thin layer of waxy component. 

fabric softener
Downy Fabric Softener

Doing the laundry nowadays goes beyond just washing and drying clothing. It involves several processes with special detergents and additives that carry out various functions such as removing stains and unpleasant smells, whitening clothing, canceling out the mold, starching, and a lot of other tasks.

Another of these additives is the fabric softener. While using softeners isn’t new in laundry, many people do not understand what it does or its significance. Fabric softeners are something extra for effective and long-lasting softness for your clothing. 

What Does A Fabric Softener Do?

Do you often get poor-quality clothing after doing the laundry, or do you get tired of ironing them? it’s probably time to use a fabric softener.

Fabric softeners added to laundry during the rinse cycles of washing machines helps to minimize friction in clothing as a result of frequent washing. They do this by covering their fibers with a coating that prevents friction when the fibers are brushed together. In doing so, it reduces its tendency for wear and tear over time.

Many types of fabric softeners prevent your clothing from losing color and give your clothing a long-lasting scent due to the addition of scented components during the rinse cycle of the machine wash. This means as you tuck your laundry after it’s dried, it releases nice scents instead of an abrasive detergent smell.

What are the Different Types of Fabric Softeners?

You might be perplexed by what you see when you go to the grocery store today to get a fabric softener because fabric softeners appear in a number of forms and methods of use.

There are three types of fabric softeners: liquid, dryer sheets, and dryer balls. Because liquid fabric softeners are more popular, you’ll most likely see them. Read the labels before purchasing to learn how to use them for your laundry load.

  • Liquid Fabric Softeners

Liquid softeners are very popular and a little bit pricier than the rest of the softeners. Nevertheless, they give laundry the softness associated with comfort and make them longer lasting.

Liquid softeners are manufactured with silicone oils to help prevent laundry from becoming static after washing and drying. But, these oils are often linked with stains. That’s why you should not excessively use it for your laundry.

They’re not so great for absorbent material also because they clog the spaces meant for water passage. So, you don’t want to use this for towels and athletic outfits.

They work on laundry depending on the method of washing you use; whether hand washes or machine washing. You just have to measure and put it into the water if it’s for hand wash or a washing machine in the rinse cycle if it has got a dispenser and that’s all. Liquid softeners also ensure your clothing stay scented for a long time. 

  • Dryer Sheets

They are less popular than their liquid counterparts, but also come with good qualities and are also fairly inexpensive.

Dryer sheets are manufactured with chemicals, fragrances, and other additives inserted into their fibers which resemble large sheets just as their name connotes.

They are eco-friendly softeners and work during the dryer cycle of laundering, providing heat to activate its softening capabilities by dissolving in the fabric. When they carry out their function, they are a suitable alternative to the liquid fabric softener for your laundry because they are less likely to stain them, unlike liquid softeners. 

  • Dryer Balls 

Probably, the softener that’s often unnoticed. Dryer balls are also less expensive and give your clothing a lot of special care too.

They are balls that work by jumping rapidly on clothing (although generating noise) to create a softened fabric that dries quickly due to the ball’s absorbent nature.

Dryer balls are available in different forms and materials like plastic, cotton, and yarn, are environmentally friendly, and can be reused multiple times. They are also great for laundry use for individuals with sensitive skin. 

How do Fabric Softeners Work? 

Fabric softeners are laundry additives that work when added to laundry after it has been washed. The type of softener in use determines how they work.

The liquid softener wraps the exterior of the fabric with electrically charged chemical compounds, causing its fibers to protrude from the surface to create a softer textured fabric. The sheets soften clothing in the dryer by dissolving in them while the dryer balls create a bouncing motion on clothing to soften them.

Fabric softeners have also got abrasion-resistant capabilities, which prevent electrostatic charges from accumulating on its fibers. This prevents the fabric from becoming too hard while removing any tendency for dirt retention.

Everybody loves to get things done on time, so fabric softeners will make ironing clothes easier and help minimize wrinkles in clothing.

What’s The Difference Between Fabric Softeners And Other Laundry Additives?

Many people haven’t got a clue as to what fabric softeners are and if they do, they probably do not use them as they’re supposed to. They prefer to use only detergents or even probably think that they’re the same thing.

Laundry detergents/additives clean garments by removing dirt from the laundry. A fabric softener, on the other hand, softens and spruce fabric when added to a washing machine or doused onto clothes before drying.

The fabric softener ensures that your laundry feels fresh while your detergent works to remove dirt and sweat. As a result, using a detergent alone may not give your clothes the softness they deserve.

Can I Use Fabric Softeners On All Of My Clothes?

Fabric softeners are great for clothing, but some types of clothing are incompatible with these laundry additives. Fabric softeners should not be used on microfiber fabric, towels, blankets, or other moisture-absorbing clothing, such as that worn by athletes during workouts and training, because they block moisture absorption areas in the fabric.

These fabric softeners, as previously stated, leave a waxy coating on clothing and should not be used on these types of clothing. You don’t want to wear anything that makes you feel bad.

How Should I Store Fabric Softener?

Many individuals tend to neglect the fact that the fabric softener requires proper care and should be stored properly. This would give the laundry additive a longer life span and maintain its effectiveness.

To ensure proper storage and care, always store your fabric softener in areas not too cold or warm but at temperatures around 69 or 70° Fahrenheit while making sure that it stays properly covered as a fabric softener is effective for about 6 to 8 months. 

Clean, soft, and pleasant-smelling clothes are easy to obtain if you know which fabric softener to use. Simply purchase one from a grocery store and begin using it. If you have a larger laundry load, choose one that is better suited for your type of laundry and use it at home or at the laundromat.

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