Softer Towels in front loader at Last!!!!

cyberspacerApril 13, 2010

Unlike adding fabric softeners to towels washed in a slow spin speed top loader that leaves them gummy and unabsorbent, I added A LOT of fabric softener (all the way up to the max fill) to a load full of towel in my Miele W1215 as an experiment. BINGO! They came out softer and fluffier and surprisingly with plenty of absorbency.

FYI, I was using Gain Original Scent fabric softener. Not sure if this is the same formula P&G uses for the Downy line but you may want to give it a shot.

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sshrivastava

I have never had absorbency issues with fabric softener on towels in my front loader. Perhaps it's due to the high spin speed. I stopped using FS and find that my clothes are still soft. Believe it or not, the clothes are softer after using more detergent rather than less. I believe some folks are using so little detergent that soils are being re-deposited onto their towels, thereby causing the roughness.

Another factor to consider with towel softness is whether your detergent has enzymes. I've heard that enzymes can slowly eat away at the fluffy towel fibers. Since detergent concentrations are so much higher in a front loader, it seems like a plausible explanation. Of course once the damage is done, it's impossible to undo.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2010 at 1:49PM
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asolo

Detergent concentrations are not "so much higher" in FL's....unless the user makes them that way -- which many do, probably out of ignorance. Clearly the manuals supplied with the machines are less than helpful.

FWIW, I've used Tide HE powder and Downy in my Duet for five years. Clean clothes, no residue, and the towels are soft. About 1/3 cup of Tide for full load (18 lbs.) and Downy up to the mark in the dispenser. I have soft water.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2010 at 5:55PM
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ostieca

I'm starting to see the light, too. I doubled the quantity of Persil I used and started to use Miele's fabric softner. Still not as soft as when you use a dryer, but less stiffness for sure. As for absorbency, well they are not new, so that's not getting better. Will see with new towels in a few months if they hold their quality.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2010 at 8:32PM
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rosesark

I had read another posting about the hot temp of the dryer that could be a cause of stiff towels. I used Med Low temp today for them, and i did notice that they came out fluffier!! I tried the Persil Universal powder, but could not tolerate the smell of it. I had to double bag it until i could get it to my Mom's. Does the Megapearls have the same scent as the powder? I would really like to get to try Persil after all the reviews, but the day i recieved it and took it from the packing box, the smell got to me, so i never got to use it.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2010 at 11:05PM
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sshrivastava

Detergent concentrations are not "so much higher" in FL's....unless the user makes them that way -- which many do, probably out of ignorance. Clearly the manuals supplied with the machines are less than helpful.
FWIW, I've used Tide HE powder and Downy in my Duet for five years. Clean clothes, no residue, and the towels are soft. About 1/3 cup of Tide for full load (18 lbs.) and Downy up to the mark in the dispenser. I have soft water.

Actually I don't think you are correct here. One of the reasons front loaders clean so well is exactly because detergent levels are much more concentrated. My old Asko manual makes a point of mentioning that the major cleaning benefit of using a front loader is that clothes are dropped into a pool of water/detergent that is much more concentrated than in your typical top loader.

If you dose your detergent to make that 2 gallon pool of water at the bottom of your front loader have the same concentration of detergent as 2 gallons of water from your top loader, you will end up having cleaning and buildup issues. It's the total amount of detergent for a given amount of laundry that effects cleaning and prevents re-deposition, not the amount of detergent per given volume of water.

For example, if you need 1/4 cup of detergent to adequately clean and suspend soils for a large load of laundry in a top loader, you will still need the same 1/4 cup of detergent in a front loader even though the amount of water used is much less. You're still washing the same or more clothing, with the same or higher levels of soiling that need to removed and kept from re-depositing onto the fabric. Remember, too, that with so much less water the suspended soils in that small pool of water are also far more concentrated than in your traditional top loader.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2010 at 3:00PM
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livebetter

Rosesark, the Persil Sensitive has a MUCH softer smell. It still has a scent but it is much milder than regular Persil of all varieties (powder, megaperls, gel).

I've tried them all and just can't handle the scents.

I tried (again for the third time) the Persil Colour Gel the other day and had to rewash everything because the smell coming of my kids clothes was too much for me. It is probably not offensive to everyone but I can't handle it.

I say, if you want the effective cleaning of Persil, try the Sensitive versions. Megaperls is for whites and the Gel version is for whites and colours.

As for towels, buy the best cotton you can afford. It makes a huge difference to their softness (they will also last longer). I usually buy Egyptian cotton but Pima/Supima is also very good. If you buy good quality cotton you will find they are soft and absorbent all on their own. I wash them in a milder detergent without enzymes and brighteners (currently using Vaska and oxygen bleach). Mine always feel (and smell) great!

I have always read (many websites that sell good quality cotton bath towels and even Martha Stewart) that you should not use fabric softener. Martha claims that it eats away at the towel.

Good luck!

Here is a link that might be useful: Caring for you linen

    Bookmark   July 11, 2010 at 9:01PM
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