detergents and fabric softness
I've been doing my own, very unscientific, experiment on the effect particular detergents have on fabric softness. I have had (like many here) some trouble with stiffness in my towels and clothing. Anyway, for those who are interested here is what I have found. I decided to wash the same set of sheets in different detergents to see if I could tell a difference in softness after washing. I picked sheets because I'm super picky about how my sheets feel, and I can really tell the difference between soft and kind of soft with them, if that makes sense.
I first washed my sheets in powder Tide he with Oxi-Clean. I added an extra rinse since I find Tide rather difficult to rinse cleanly. The sheets were white and smelled great and they felt clean, but not particularly soft. I actually did the sheets with Tide multiple times, and was beginning to wonder why my sheets didn't feel as good as I remembered them feeling in the past, since I wasn't totally happy with how they felt.
Next I washed the same sheets with Persil Universal megapearls. Sheets felt considerably better than with the Tide ad Oxi - a very big improvement. In fact, the sheets felt so good that I almost didn't go on to the next phase, but decided to check one more possibility.
The last washing of these sheets was with Vaska Herbatergent with Vaska oxygen bleach added. Ohhhh, yeah. My sheets feel amazing, soft and silky but still crisp. Perfect, in other words. They feel so great that even my husband noticed the difference.
I just thought this might help someone out there who is struggling with softness issues. I am using Vaska on my towels too, and am very happy with how they feel. I hope this helps.