If you are putting a load of laundry into the washing machine and you know you will be drying it in the tumble dryer, do you still use fabric softener? Did you know that you don’t need to? Here’s an environmentally friendly tip to save on fabric softener (conditioner) when tumble drying.
Because tumble drying laundry naturally softens the fabrics anyway (as long as you don’t over dry them), fabric softener shouldn’t be required. I tested this out myself by washing a load of towels without adding any fabric softener. When they came out of the dryer they felt normal i.e not hard.
I took a towel from the airing cupboard, which had been previously washed and dried using fabric softener. I did a blind test with my wife against the towel I’d tumble dried without any fabric softener. There was no significant difference at all.
Of course using the tumble dryer instead of hanging laundry out to dry naturally is not environmentally friendly, but most people will be tumble drying some of the time any way. So using the, “every little helps” philosophy it’s still good to save something whenever possible.
Another reason not to use fabric Softener on towels
Here is another reason not to use software on towels. Fabric softener has a water-proofing effect. It adds a greasy-like coating on the fibres that makes them feel soft. This can affect how absorbent a towel is, so it isn’t ideal for towels. I expect a lot of people wouldn’t like rough towels so will still use softener. If you’re hanging towels out to dry instead of tumble drying them you may still not need to use softener.
However without the softening effect of tumble drying, not using softener may leave towels a little rougher. Try not to over dry them on the line, which will help. But not using softener will leave them more effective at drying. It might be worth giving it a try without though to see if you can use less.
Related to fabric softener
- Don’t use fabric softener on children’s sleeping clothes (or any clothes labelled “flame-resistant”)
- Do those Dryer Balls actually work?
- See all fabric softener related articles