Fabric softener comes in several varieties, but do fabric softeners work? Most are purchased because they not only soften fabrics, they leave a scent behind that makes clothing smell fresh. Bedsheets and towels are the most common items to use fabric softener on. Fabric softeners keeps laundry smelling fresh while they are being stored.
There are types of fabric that you shouldn’t use fabric softener on, like athletic wear and infant clothing. Softeners will interact with active wears’ fibers and can impair their ability to wick away moisture. They can also lose their water-resistance. It is best to skip using fabric softener and dryer sheets on these fabrics.
Fabric softener covers flame-retardant coating on infant clothing. Never use these on baby clothes or any other flame-retardant clothing.
Fabric softeners do work as described and will make the fibers of the item loosen up a bit, leaving the item softer to the touch. Liquid softeners also assist in reducing static in clothing, though dryer sheets do a far better job.
There are several detergents that also contain fabric softener. These range greatly in effectiveness and price. While they will all soften your laundry, some just work better than others.
Dryer sheets work very well at removing static from clothing and adding a scent to them as they dry. These should be avoided when drying your athletic wear and any flame-retardant clothing. They will coat the fibers and reduce the flame resistance of the items.
So, Do Fabric Softeners Work?
Overall, fabric softener works, as do dryer sheets. However, you should avoid them if you have sensitive skin, unless you can find a free and clear version. Dryer sheets are going to be close to as effective as fabric softener at softening your clothing and cost far less per load.
Dryer sheets work great at leaving a scent in your clothes as well. If you want a scent, feel free to use a scented dryer sheet for that effect.