Return to the Laundry Room Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Something to make towels softer

Posted by valerieann2 (My Page) on
Wed, Jun 4, 14 at 19:51

Does anyone know of anything besides fabric dryer sheets that you can put in the dryer (not the washer) to soften up my rough towels? Thanks!


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Something to make towels softer

You can try clean tennis balls or dryer balls. Drying them on low heat followed by an extended tumble on no heat cycle might help. Or wash them in a Speed Queen 542, never could get soft towels in the FL that I had.


 o
RE: Something to make towels softer

The softness of a towel is partly determined by the quality of cotton used - if it is a cotton towel. Some may seem soft at first and then the cotton breaks down and they get scratchy.

I have found that both sheets and towels are made with poorer quality cotton than was used in the "old days". I grew up in a lower middle class family and we had a closet full of white sheets that would be considered heavy, high thread count sheets by today's standards. Price does not seem to matter - Target and Walmart often have better quality than the fancy stores.

I like slightly rough towels because they seem to dry me off better and I get a little exfoliation at the same time.


 o
RE: Something to make towels softer

Any reason in particular that you only want something you can put in the dryer? I ask because white vinegar will help soften the towels. You add it during the rinse cycle in the washer like you would liquid fabric softener.

Hope this helps!


 o
RE: Something to make towels softer

I have several sets of very high quality towels which get scratchy like any other. I don't care for the fragrance of most of these products and can't even get near dryer sheets.

Have found about half recommended dose of diluted Mrs. Meyers Blue Sage fragrance fabric softener is OK. I don't mind the fragrance and it does make a difference on the towels. I wash towels first and then the rest of the laundry so the softener port will be rinsed out thoroughly.


 o
RE: Something to make towels softer

It is my understanding that fabric softeners work by coating the individual fibers with a paraffin like substance. This keeps the fibers separate which makes the fabric feel softer. Coating the fibers however makes them less absorbent which, IMO, does not make sense since you want towels to be absorbent.

I vote for the vinegar rinse. If you have an automatic dispenser you can just put vinegar in instead of fabric softener.


 o
RE: Something to make towels softer

The towels may also be getting to hot in the dryer. I think the heat sensor was messed up on my last dryer, the towels came out stiff and the border trim shrunk by at least 2 inches. I stretched them back to where they look okay, but you should have heard the threads breaking. I had been washing those for a couple of years so I know there was something wrong with the dryer.


 o
RE: Something to make towels softer

Small amounts of FS do NOT make towels fail to properly absorb water, scpalmetto. MODERATION, my friend; MODERATION. We always dilute the FS between 1:2: and 1:1 before putting some in the washer. I use two plastic bottles to keep diluted FS available at the washer.


 o
RE: Something to make towels softer

FS should be diluted according to my washer repair man. He said it will eventually clog lines it passes through.

I won't use vinegar in any washer, it is to strong a chemical. Vinegar will bleach a towel, I can only imagine what it will do to the seals in a washing machine or dishwasher with regular use. My dishwasher manual said not to put it in regularly, once in a great while may be okay. It does make dishes shine so once a year I take all of my glasses and any dishes that do not shine and soak them in the sink with water and a little vinegar before I put them in the dishwasher.


 o
RE: Something to make towels softer

I have tried vinegar several times -- over and over -- since it is continually recommended. I've certainly never found it to soften anything. Nor can I understand why it so continually recommended when I have never found it to do anything at all. I have tried it both for softening and odor removal.

Do love it on salads, though, and will keep it for that.

No issues whatsoever with the Mrs. M softener. It's diluted and I do the towels first, followed by hot washes. With as many loads as I do, there isn't even any residual.

Also, my washer has a sanitize cycle which is run every other week or so empty for maintenance. That clears out the machine. Even if a machine doesn't have sanitize, I would run it on the hottest, longest cycle at least once a month. Cannot hurt. Can help.


 o
RE: Something to make towels softer

for christs sakes Emma, there are no LINES in my washer, from the FS reservoir to the drum. Jeez. the FS gets flushed down the same chute as the detergent or bleach. what are these people smoking?


 o
RE: Something to make towels softer

Vinegar has NEVER bleached any of my towels! I've used vinegar for years in different machines and it has never had a negative effect. Agree with dave1812. :)


 o
RE: Something to make towels softer

Don't use those awful dryer sheets, they're full of toxic chemicals. Try wool dryer balls, inexpensive on amazon. My daughter uses the dryer balls for all loads, including cloth diapers. She puts 5 balls in the dryer.

When I visit my daughter I volunteer to do laundry, she has a hard time keeping up. The only downside is the balls often get caught in the items when unloading the dryer. When they drop on the floor my goldendoodle thinks they're toys and he chews them up. This is how I know they're a good price on amazon, I recently had to buy her a new set due to dog damage...


 o
RE: Something to make towels softer

I too use vinegar 1 cup in the rinse every time I wash and have for over 20 years. It disinfects without the chlorine bleach and it softens and removes the detergent residue, according to my Grama. She was a laundry lady from 1916 till 1978.
kim


 o
RE: Something to make towels softer

I tried dryer balls (the kind with spikes on all surfaces. They never did any good and quickly damaged the porcelain interior in spots. Tossed them. My shirts and pants get wrinkles if dried on a cooler cycle. I need to run them again on the hottest cycle to get wrinkles out once in a while. They are wash and wear cotton. Pure cotton has wrinkles no matter what I do unless I iron them. I won't so I send them to the laundry and regret buying them.


 o
RE: Something to make towels softer

adding a bit of vinegar to the water in your washer makes it so diluted it's unlikely to have much disinfecting property left, luvncannin.


 o
RE: Something to make towels softer

I noticed years ago, when I still had a top loader, that my towels were softer when I used a powder detergent.
And I found it even more pronounced when I switched
to a front loader.

Worth a try?


 o
RE: Something to make towels softer

What does Vinegar do, exactly? Adding vinegar reduces the pH of the water.

"Hard" (alkaline) water is water with a pH over 7.0.
"Soft" water has a pH less than 7.0.
"Neutral" is, yes, 7.0.

White distilled vinegar has a pH of around 2.4.

A lower pH water would release some of the chemical bonds of any carbonates (minerals) attached to the cotton. If your water is "hard" (alkaline) it would likely have some effect over time. If your water is already quite "soft", it would have much less effect. Another factor would be the alkalinity of the laundry detergent itself; but that would be offset by "soft" water to some degree.

If you knew the typical pH of your water (your water company can tell you), if it is "hard", and the number of gallons of water your washing machine uses, you could calculate out how much vinegar to add to get a slightly acid (pH 6.7-6.9) rinse.

Do minerals attached to the cotton affect the softness? Unknown.


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Laundry Room Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here