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Never use liquid fabric softener in your clothes washer! By doing so, you will cause yourself more service calls (repair costs!), and ultimately lessen the life expectancy of your washer.
Fabric softener coats and clogs the hoses (and other parts, depending on the type of washer you have). I am not a repairman, but spent many years working for a major retailer supervising a customer service group specializing in major appliance "issues". I worked closely with senior technical assist repair personnel with 20 plus years field experience that passed on several "words of wisdom" to me.
I remember the day I asked this one extremely experienced tech "Well, if liquid fabric softener shouldn't be used in clothes washers, then why are special compartments made ON some washers specifically FOR fabric softener?" (Thinking I had him!). He responded with a grin on his face "Because that is what consumers want on their washers for "convenience". In turn, manufacturers give consumers want, they want, not necessarily what they need (or in this case DON'T need)." Oh, I get it now, we, as consumers, are to blame for our own desire for conveniences.
I'm going to try the recipe above for making your own softener. When using softener sheets, cut them in have or even quarters if you have the large ones - they work just as good. Many times, I will reuse them over and over and they still keep working.
In response to the folks out there with musty towels. We've tried a lot of approaches and only one actually worked. The first thing we did was get rid of the liquid fabric softener. We then cleaned the washing machine by brush, using bleach and water.
Go spend two bucks on a pack of tennis balls and throw them in the dryer with your towels. This also works great for down comforters and anything else that is hard to dry.
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I use vinegar in my final rinse when I do my laundry because I've found that my towels don't have so much lint, but I love the smell and softness of fabric conditioner. I was wondering if I could mix the vinegar with the fabric conditioner to get the best of both worlds, so to speak. Vinegar is great to prevent lint, but my laundry is much softer and smells much better with fabric conditioner. I don't want to use essential oils. They are very expensive here in Malta which makes them very uneconomical. Any suggestions or ideas please?
I forgot to say that I live in a HOT country so dryers are unnecessary. I ALWAYS line dry; summer and winter. I don't even own a dryer so I never buy dryer sheets.
Thanks, Alexis. I will try half and half and see how it goes and then take it from there to see if I can add more vinegar. If it works for you, then it should work for me! Thanks again.
I forgot where but I did read that you could add a couple drops of essence of oil.For example,orange or lemon.It could also be added to plain ol bleach instead of buying the more pricey ones.
Hi, I'll tell you what I do. I use 1/2 gal white vinegar, 1/2 bottle of the cheapest hair conditioner , and finish filling the gallon vinegar jug with water. Mix and use as fabric softener. It works great and you choose the scent. I wouldn't use dryer sheets. I got a brand new dryer and they ruined the sensors on the dryer. :( Now I can't use it on the auto setting. Hope this helps. God bless!
I use about 2/3 vinegar and 1/3 fabric softener. I think I will try the hair conditioner and vinegar. I never use a dryer.
I love using vinegar in my wash. Don't use softener on towels, it makes them less absorbent. Liquid and dryer sheets are both a no no with good cotton towels. Cotton is a living thing and too much heat can kill it and softener clogs it and makes it less absorbent. Just use laundry soap and vinegar if you like.
Don't ever use fabric softener on your towels. It removes all the properties that absorb water when you dry off. That's why you still feel moisture after drying off (unless you live in a very humid climate).
When using fabric softener, is it best to use only on the rinse cycle? Can the fabric softener be added at the same time as the laundry soap? Thank you.
By Theresa from Phoenix, AZ
Add your fabric softener during the rinse cycle only. I no longer spend money on fabric softener. I now use 1/2 cup of white vinegar in the rinse cycle. It softens the clothes the same way.
I do not use anything to soften clothes, they come out of the dryer soft. Fabric softener makes me itch. Good luck.
I, too use vinegar in the rinse cycle. It not only softens the clothes but it helps get rid of the soap buildup in the washing machine I'm told.
Sorry to be so negative here, but I am speaking from personal experience. i ran out of fabric softener and used vinegar instead. Well, my clothes came out hard, as I've always line dried, and they stunk something dreadful! With fabric softener, even if my laundry has been out in the sun for a couple of hours, they still are soft and nice smelling. Maybe if you use a dryer things are different, but I can certainly tell you that if you line dry your clothes, do NOT use vinegar.
You can buy a little plastic ball made for fabric softener. You pour the softener in the ball & put the plug in place & throw it in with you clothes at the beginning of the wash. The plug comes out sometime during the rinse-that way you don't have to worry about catching the rinse cycle if you don't have a cup in your machine for softener. I tried vinegar several times, but even with 1cup, my stuff was coming out of the dryer full of static electricity - anybody got any ideas on how to fix that?
I haven't used fabric softener-sheets or liquid-since trying bio-friendly laundry powder (I use Country Save, available @ London Drugs in SK, CA).
Does this help with sratic? I don't need clothes "softer", I had been using FS for anti-static. For example, vinegar does not do anything for static. Thanks!
I have been using dryer sheets to soften my clothes in the dryer for a while now. Recently, I found a deal on liquid fabric softener that I couldn't pass up (free!), and am wondering if anyone has tips on using liquid softener in a machine without an automatic dispenser. I know one company sells a ball to use, but I don't know whether that works or if it's even worth the expense. I really appreciate any ideas! Thanks!
I just read yesterday on another ezine that a reader had suggested watering down your regular fabric softener and put into a spray bottle. Before starting the dryer, spray a few sprays on a coffee filter. Then just throw it in. She says that one bottle of softener has lasted more than a year. I have not tried this idea, but intend to. I use the automatic ball and sometimes when I open the washer there is still quite a bit of softener left in the ball. Makes me really wonder what happens in the washer!
Lynn - Danbury, CT
I'm sorry that I can not offer an answer but I had the SAME question....I got a free sample myself and now I guess that makes two of us who don't know what to do with the liquid fabric softener since we do not have a dispenser!
Editor's Note: Add it when the washer starts it's rinse cycle. When it is filling with the rinse water, add the fabric softener. It might be best to dilute it with water so that you make sure you don't stain the clothes.
Remember not to ever use liquid fabric softener (like in the washer) on towels. It coats the fibers and the towels shed water rather than absorb it!
I didn't believe it myself until a friend forced me to try this experiment: Take 2 identical towels or washclothes, boil them for an hour on the stove, in vineger water (1:1) for about an hour, changing the water several times. Then wash them, one in a load with fabric softener and one in a load without. You will be amazed at the difference!
Also, if you want super soft towels, the secret is to get everything out of them, in other words, rinse them twice with warm or hot water. My washer doesn't let me rinse in hot water so for my guest room towels I run the load through another entire cycle on sanitary.
Yes, remember many years ago they didn't have fabric softener dispensers. All they would do is add a capful of liquid fabric softener during the start of the rinse cycle. No problem. You're adding it to the water solution not directly to your fabrics.
Liquid fabric softener may be contributing to problems in the front loading washing machines becuase it may contribute to a build up that leads to mold and mildew growing in the machine.
There is a huge string of posts under "stinky towels?" where we are trying to get to the bottom of this, so I would suggest finding some other way to use the liquid fabric softener! It may not be good for your machine
I just learned of a tip from another site that works great! I dilute Suavitel fabric softener because it is so powerful. Then keep an old tupperware style container with some of this diluted fabric softener. Cut 1 or 2 sponges in half and let them sit in the softener. When using the dryer, just squeeze out the sponge and throw it into the dryer load. Afterward, it goes right back into the tupperware container. This works great plus a bottle of fabric softener goes a very long way.
I also use the Downy Ball and it works just great! I would recommend it!
In using wash cloths as dryer sheets, how do you prevent lint from getting on clothes that are drying?