Fabric Softener

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06/15/2008

Hi everyone, 

I really didn't fall off the face of the earth. I pop in from time to time. I am sure this has been discussed but I just got new towels and I washed them and tried to not use fabric softener but they were scratchy and I didn't like the feel. I just wanted to know how many of you use it anyway. They look and feel so much better after I redid them with fabric softener.  I went with white and it does not say any where on the white ones not to use bleach. I am from old school that says bleach whites. The same towels in colors says only use non colorine bleach. Anyone bleach? I just visited another innkeeper my age and she said she bleaches everything white. She said she is from the same old school as I and she is a Dr so bleach bleach bleach. Just wondering what everyone else does.  Smiling  

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Joined:
08/07/2008

I do not use fabric softner or bleach.  I wash white towels on cold with either Arm and Hammer Free and Clear detergent or Coscto Kirkland Free and Clear with Active Lift.  Stains come out and towels are still bright.  It has made my towels last much longer.  At one time I was washing on hot with bleach and then tried Oxy Clean powder but it wore out the towels much faster and stains were not coming out that good with hot water.  Just works for me...may not for others.

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Joined:
05/30/2008

I don't use fabric softener. Partly because I don't want to be in contact with those chemicals, but also because I hate the way it makes towels feel -- slimy -- when I'm trying to use them to dry off.

I use a detergent that has a natural, soy-based fabric softener in the detergent. It's called Ecos. I don't know if it's widely available but I can get it at Cosco or Canadian Tire.

Madeleine's picture
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09/29/2011

No fabric softener here, I believe I've read it is not good for towels anyway. Reduces the drying power.

Oxy clean for towels, they are not white so no bleach. Hot, hot water.

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Generic's picture
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02/24/2011

Gain softner softens but doesn't block absorbancy, tested by CReports.

When towels aren't absorbant you need to do 3 washes. Why? Because you can't mix baking soda and vinegar.

Wash with just baking soda (1 cup)

Wash with just vinegar (1 cup) - You can also just do a rinse cycle with vinegar.

Wash with soap and softener, if you are using it. 

The first wash takes off all the chemicals that are acidic. The rinse with vinegar gets rid of all the base chemicals. The final wash is to clean and reset the towels.

I use fabric safe bleach, but I haven't seen that in the US. It's widely available here. It is not colour-safe bleach, it's just a bleach that doesn't harm the fabric the way bleach can. 

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06/15/2008

Oh my gosh I didn't know Gain doesn't block absorbency. That is great. 

Generic's picture
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02/24/2011

See http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2008/03/best-fabric-softeners/index.htm for more information, though I can't find the ratings anymore (I am a subscriber.)

Arks's picture
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Joined:
05/22/2010

Here are some notes I have on this subject:

  • NEVER use fabric softener on towels. It coats the fibers and makes them nonabsorbent.
  • BUT, adding 1 cup white vinegar to the rinse cycle ONCE A MONTH can help restore towel absorbency.
  • High Efficiency (HE) machines need half the usual amount of soap. If you use too much, soap buildup can take away towel softness. Add 1/4 cup white vinegar to the softener dispenser to dissolve alkali in soaps and detergents to prevent yellowing and reduce static cling. DO NOT use vinegar on silks, acetates or rayon.

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Innkeep's picture
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06/04/2008

Sometimes towels are more scratchy if not all the soap gets rinsed out.  One of these days when you get snowed in again and have all your work done wink you might run one of your clean but scratchy towels in a wash cycle without soap and see if the water gets sudsy.  I personally don't like fabric softener and have resorted to double rinsing my towels and sheets.

CH - How much peroxide? and is it in the bleach dispenser?

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Joined:
06/15/2008

These were brand new and I washed them with just a very very little soap. They were not soft. 

 

Madeleine's picture
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Joined:
09/29/2011

It's probably the chemicals from the processing to make the towels.

Try again but like arks said, use vinegar in the rinse cycle.

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Joined:
06/24/2008

One cup and I add it to the bleach dispenser. 

Here is a site that gives other cleaning uses; there are many others.

I may just try the 2nd rinse idea on my personal towels.  The new HE units don't use a lot of water.  Thinking about this more, the towels were not as ruff in my old standard washer.  enlightened

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Joined:
06/24/2008

I do use fabric softener on my towels even though there are reports that claim they are less absorbent with using it. 

I do not use bleach often as it is very harsh on fabrics and the environment.  I have used Hydrogen Peroxide to remove stains on whites.  It can be used in place of bleach in your washer as well. 

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