When you slip into a fresh, soft shirt or wrap yourself in a fluffy towel, you are enjoying the benefits of fabric softeners.
Fabric softeners do just that: they make fabrics softer and fluffier. Fabric softeners also control static, keeping your clothes from clinging together and protecting you from static cling.
The first fabric softeners were oily. In the early 20th century, when cotton dyes made colorful clothes stiff and itchy, people would soak their laundry in a mixture of water and olive oil, tallow oil, or corn oil. Clothes were a little bit greasier before modern fabric softeners were invented.
How do fabric softeners make fabric softer?
Fabric softeners coat the surface of the fabric by lubricating the fibers, making it feel smoother and silkier. The softener also neutralize the charge of the fibers, preventing the static build-up of electricity that causes static cling. Softeners help make ironing easier by reducing wrinkling, and prolong the life of garments by protecting the fibers from wear and tear. It also makes clothes have that freshly laundered smell..
You can add fabric softener to your laundry either during the wash cycle, rinse cycle or the dry cycle:
Rinse-Cycle Fabric Softeners
Many modern washing machines have a little well for liquid fabric softener, which automatically gets added to the wash at the rinsing stage of the machine’s wash cycle.
We all love products that do double duty. A convenience trend in laundry is the 2-in-1 detergent that already includes the liquid fabric softener. Almost all major brands of laundry detergents have a softener/detergent option, but you can still always opt for the classic separate products.
Fabric softener that is added during the drying cycle is found on what is known as a “dryer sheet.” The softening agent is soaked onto rayon or polyester sheets, with or without a perfume.
No matter how you choose to apply fabric softener to your clothes, you will enjoy soft, fluffy, great-smelling laundry, without that static cling!