IF you’re looking for softer clothes, you may want to avoid adding a certain product to your wash cycles.
Patric Richardson, known as The Laundry Evangelist, says that many people think that an ordinary product will help make their clothes softer, but in reality it is damaging and could even dirty the clothes.
Richardson, who hosts The Laundry Guy on Discovery+, says there’s one thing people never want to put on clothes.
“You can put vinegar, and you can put vodka, and you can put alcohol, and you can put soap, and you can put all kinds of things on your clothes,” he said.
“But there’s one thing I’m not going to let you put on your clothes: That’s fabric softener and dryer sheets.”
Richardson explained that if you clean your clothes properly, they should be naturally soft.
“Your cotton feels like cotton. Your linen feels like linen. Your wool feels like wool,” he continued.
“If you talk to someone who uses fabric softener or dryer sheets, all of their clothes feel like they’re covered in a layer of dirt. The reason is, they are.
“When you use any of those products, they create an artificial feeling of softness. It’s not natural,” she explained.
“It covers both the interior and the exterior of each of your garments that you put in contact with them.
“It makes them less absorbent, in the case of your towels. It makes your towels 80 percent less absorbent the first time you use them,” he said.
That layer can also trap stains, making them harder to remove and harder to clean clothes.
And that layer stays: It takes eight to 10 washes without using fabric softener or dryer sheets to fully remove the layer of artificial softness they add.
“No more fabric softener, no more dryer sheets. You absolutely can’t use them again,” Richardson stressed.
If you’re using dryer sheets to remove static cling, Richardson has another method: Crumple up a yard-long piece of aluminum foil, condense it to the size of a tennis ball, and toss it in the dryer.
“Over the next 65 trips to the dryer, it will suck all the static out of your clothes. Everything will come out fabulous and static-free,” she said.