Do you all use Downy fabric softener when washing towels? I think I read somewhere that you shouldn't but my husband insists. Let me know if this is OK, so we can have a peaceful wash day :) Thanks :)
Downy does leave the toweling feeling "soft", however, like most commercial fabric softeners, it leaves a film on the fabric that greatly decreases the absorbtion. You can try using vinegar in the bleach water (to remove the detergent) and machine drying without adding anything else. It's likely the towel will feel "coarse" and have wrinkles. Use of a Nellie's or similar item will greatly improve the fluffiness. I use a couple clean, elderly tennis balls which IMO, is just as effective.
You can also decrease the amount of Downey used, by diluting it before you add. I dilute the regular-strength liquid by putting 1/2 cup downey in a quart jar, fill with distilled water, and shaking thoroughly. I then fill the washer's dispenser only 1/2 full for a large 20-lb load. This is more than sufficient to counteract static, and leaves the towels feeling soft. In fact, DH used the downey once without diluting, and then complained that the towels felt slippery!
Here is a link that might be useful: dryer balls
I like Downy for clothing, sheets,etc. But I do my towels in a separate load, no Downy, and I rinse twice in cold water.
Use the fabric softener dryer sheets for towels. ;o)
I wouldn't use it on every wash. Over time it builds up. My step-mother uses so much fabric softener on her towels that they're no longer absorbent. It's a pain trying to dry off with a waxy towel and the water just beading up against it.
I also use fabric softener "sometimes" on my towels. Often enough to keep them soft, but not to decrease their absorbancy.
Also 100% cotton towels absorb better, even with softener.
I don't use liquid fabric softener anymore. I use Restoration Hardware Lavender fabric softener sheets and tennis balls in the dryer with the linens. My husband actually noticed how good the linens smelled for the first time in 18 years. The RH sheets are pricey, but to me they are worth every penny.
You shouldn't use liquid fabric softener OR dryer sheets with towels. Both will decrease the absorbancy of the towels.