I love to visit my parents; it’s like a big Barb and Gray fest. We do all kinds of fun things and my mom makes my favorite foods. But I don’t really like showering at my parent’s house. Why? I feel like I never get dry. For years I couldn’t put my finger on it. Then after one visit, Matt commented that the bath towels felt just a bit damp. He diagnosed the problem – too much fabric softener.
According to ehow.com, fabric softeners were created at the beginning of the 20th century from emulsified water and oil to create a softer feel to washed clothes. Fabric softeners have evolved over the years to include a number of chemicals. I don’t use them so I don’t have any personal experience to share. I do admit to using Tide with Fabreeze on my running clothes, but I use fragrance and dye free detergent on everything else. And that’s simply because I have sensitive skin.
There are all kinds of articles online about the dangers of using fabric softeners – hazardous chemicals, scents that trigger asthma attacks, etc. Besides the health risks, fabric softeners can cause problems with your clothing and dryer. According to yahoo.com, using too much fabric softener can cause an oily film on fabric. The film can make clothes feel slimy and it also decreases water absorption on towels. That explains the never feeling dry thing at my parent’s house.
What do you use if you want to achieve a softer feel to your clothes and towels? Here’s what I do – I add vinegar to the rinse cycle. It softens clothes, has fewer chemicals than fabric softeners, and it costs less!