Why Do Clothes Say Not To Use Fabric Softener? The Surprising Reason

If you’ve read the care label on your clothes, you’ve probably noticed that many say: “Do not use fabric softeners.”

So, why do clothes say not to use fabric softener? You should not use it on your clothes because it affects the fabric’s performance.

Why Do Clothes Say Not To Use Fabric Softener
Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

This blog post will discuss why and how it impacts your clothing.

While this may sound like a good thing, there are actually some drawbacks to using it on your clothes.

Why Do Clothes Say Not to Use Fabric Softener?

no softener

The actual reason why you shouldn’t use it on your clothing is that it affects the cloth’s performance.


Less Absorbent

For one thing, fabric softeners can make your clothes less absorbent. This is because the oil used to coat the fabric will make it more difficult for water and sweat to be absorbed by the fabric.

This means they’ll take longer to dry and might be less effective at wicking away sweat.

Attract Dirt and Lint

The second reason is that it can make your clothes more likely to attract dirt and lint.

This is because the oil will make it easier for these things to stick to your clothes. If you wear dark clothing, this can be especially noticeable.

Damage the Fibers

The third reason you shouldn’t use it is that it can damage the fibers of your clothes.

The oil can cause the fibers to break down over time. This means that your clothes will not last as long as they would if you didn’t use the softener.

What Types of Cloth Products?

Credit: canva

So what types of cloth products put the label “Do not use fabric softeners?”


The first product is towels. Towels are made from absorbent materials, so fabric softeners can make them less effective at absorbing water.

This means they’ll take longer to dry and might not be as effective at drying you off.

Workout or Athleisure Garments

running outfits
Credit: canva

Clothes that are meant to be absorbent, like workout clothes, should also not have the softener applied to them.

It is because it spoils the wicking feature of the fabric. The wicking draws sweat away from the body, keeping it dry. However, when the wicking fabric is coated with a softener, the wicking is compromised.


Diapers are the third type of product. Diapers are made from materials that need to be absorbent to work properly.

Using the softeners on diapers can make them less effective at absorbing urine and feces. This can lead to leaks and skin irritation.

They should also not be used on other absorbent materials like cloth menstrual pads.

The Alternative Ways to Wash and Soften Clothes

Some alternative ways to wash and soften your clothes don’t involve fabric softener.


One way is to use vinegar. Vinegar is a natural softener that can be added to your washing machine.

Just add a half cup of vinegar to the rinse cycle of your washing machine, which will help soften your clothes.

Baking Soda

Baking soda can be added to your washing machine along with your laundry detergent.

Just add a half cup of baking soda to your machine’s wash cycle, and it will help soften and freshen your clothes.

Air Dry

The fresh air and sunlight will help to soften your clothes naturally.

Related Topics

How Do Hotels Keep Towels White?

Most hotels use mild bleach or detergent in the washing process to help keep towels white. Some hotels may also use softeners in the rinse cycle to help keep them fluffy and soft.

Should You Wash Clothes inside out?

It depends on the type of fabric. Rayon, for example, should not be washed inside out because it will fray. Wool and cotton can be washed either way without significantly changing how they hold up over time.

Washing clothes inside out is a good way to protect them from dust, dirt, and other potentially abrasive particles that can cause wear and tear over time.

Are Dryer Balls Worth It?

Dryer balls are definitely worth it! They help clothes dry faster, saving energy and reducing static cling. Plus, they’re a natural way to soften your clothes without using any harsh chemicals.

Are Dryer Balls Better than Sheets?

Dryer balls are better than dryer sheets in many ways. They are more environmentally friendly, don’t leave any residue on your clothes, and help reduce static cling.

Where Do You Put Vinegar in a Washing Machine?

You can put vinegar in the fabric softener dispenser of your washing machine. You can also add it directly to the rinse cycle.

Just be sure to use a half cup or less so your clothes don’t end up smelling like vinegar!

Why Shouldn’t You Use Dryer Sheets?

Dryer sheets are not good for your clothes because they can leave a waxy residue that can make fabrics less breathable. This can cause skin irritation, especially for people with sensitive skin.

They can also increase static cling and make your clothes more likely to attract lint and dust.

Why Are My Towels Hard After Washing?

If your towels are hard after washing, it means they need to be rewashed. This can happen if you don’t use enough detergent or if you use too much fabric softener.

Should You Use Dryer Sheets with Bed Sheets?

You should use dryer sheets with bed sheets. They will make your bed smell good and give you a feeling of freshness.

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