Home / Blog / Do you NEED to use fabric conditioner?

Do you NEED to use fabric conditioner?

Could Fabric Softener be damaging your clothes?

Fabric conditioner (or softener) is designed to eliminate static electricty and make clothes softer to the touch. They also impart a fragrance. They work by leaving small amounts of chemicals on the surface of the garments. But do you actually need to use it? Is it worth the extra expense? Here are some of the arguments against using it:

1. It can accumulate in washing machines, providing a breeding ground for bacteria, resulting in odours.
2. It clogs the fibres of towelling products, making them stiffer over time
3. They are heavily fragranced - one of the biggest causes of skin irritation.

This could be why sales of fabric softener are on the decline. This is partly because increasing number of people are concerned about the number of chemicals being used in the home and the possible effects on the body. 

Article: Millennials don't know what fabric softener is for
Moral Fibres Blog Post: Why you should ditch fabric softener right now

The laundry aisle is increasingly full of artificial HEAVILY SCENTED laundry products. There is an alternative!

The alternative to fabric conditioner

Another reason clothes like towels can feel hard is residual elements from hard water that can be left if the water hasn't been softened sufficiently. Soda Crystals soften water in the main wash. White Vinegar can then be used in place of fabric conditioner. It removes static electricity but also helps remove any residual minerals and helps keep the washing machine clean too. It can also help keep your colours vibrant by helping prevent pigment dyes bleeding.

You can add a couple of drops of essential oil if you do want a fragrance.

How to make towels fluffy again

It may not be too late to rescue stiff towels. This video shows you how to remove the sandpaper feel with Soda Crystals and White Vinegar.

Although the video shows the towels being air dried, it's actually a good idea to tumble dry them, with a couple of dryer balls or tennis balls.

12 thoughts on “Do you NEED to use fabric conditioner?

    1. Thanks – BreastCancer UK have taken down details of the Ditch the Junk campaign by the look of it, so we’ve removed the reference.

  1. Hi I have followed your rules to make my towels softer, but today I took them off the line and they were stiff and hard still!!
    I used soda Crystal’s and my usual liquid detergent and white vinegar in softer draw.
    Can you explain please, I was so looking forward to having slightly softer towels.

    1. Hi Cath – if they are old towels that had gone hard some time ago, they may be damaged beyond repair. If you have a tumble drier, next time try tumble drying them rather than line drying. If they are soft, then you know that it’s not the towels. Line drying does result in stiffer towels, in which case rubbing one part against another should plump up the fibres.

  2. I’ve just started using soap nuts and have been advised to add soda crystals too plus white vinegar in onitioner drawer.

  3. I have just discovered your really excellent liquid soap flakes
    “hidden” amongst the usual detergents and as I am at the moment
    suffering with red skin this liquid is fantastic and have now
    stopped using fabric conditioner – when my kids were small
    we never had “fabcon”. but I have only found your liquid soap
    flakes in my local Waitrose and guess it will shortly be
    discontinued to make way for more detergents. could I then
    order products direct from you? What a great discovery. Thanks.

    1. Hi Inga – they won’t be discontinued; they’re actually increasing in sales as people discover how effective, yet gentle they are. More info, including stockist details here.

  4. Following your advice I do use white vinegar in my towels,as a rinse aid instead of non at all as they did become rougher to use and now much ,much better.Will try on normal wash now. Thank you.L S.

    1. Hi Lilian – yes many of our regular users tell us that they stopped using fabric conditioner years ago and have never looked back.

  5. How much white vinegar should be used? I’m wary of using too much and smelling like a chippy, or not using enough and thinking it doesn’t work. Thanks for any advice.

    1. Hi Lesley – use about the same amount that you would use of fabcon. There should be no lingering smell at all. If you would like to add a fragrance, a couple of drops of your favourite essential oil will do the trick.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Visit Our Facebook PageVisit Our Facebook PageVisit Our Facebook PageVisit Our Facebook Page
This site uses cookies. Find out more about this site's cookies.