There are a lot of reasons to do your laundry and dry cleaning Laundrapp – to save time, save money or simply because your washing machine is broken. One reason some people use Laundrapp is just so they can avoid the hassle and confusion of the laundry aids that litter the market.
Fabric softener is a particularly troublesome topic, it seems. There’s little doubt that using a softener with your laundry will result in fluffier clothes – but there are downsides too.
Here’s what Jolie Kerr, Adequate Man’s laundry expert and advice columnist had to say on the topic recently:
“Fabric softener is terrible, and I want everyone to stop using it…It leaves behind a coating that, over time, will render the fibers of your clothes more impenetrable to water and detergent. In the case of especially funky-smelling clothes, like gym gear, it will lock in that kind of crotch-y, sweaty smell. Towels are another category that don’t respond well to fabric softener; the coating I mentioned will make the towels less absorbent.”
It may sound strange to fans of extra-soft laundry, but Kerr’s assessment is absolutely correct – and it’s all down to a group of chemicals called ‘quats’.
Quats, which is short for quaternary ammonium compounds, are used in many household goods for their antibacterial qualities – but their purpose in fabric softeners is to provide a slimy layer that makes fabrics feel softer. This layer has to be water-resistant in order to survive the washing process, which means it has the side effect of locking in remaining smells.
Of course, most people prefer fluffy laundry even if they do gradually build up a slight odour over time – but if you’re determined to give your clothes the best possible care, it’s worth leaving the softeners behind. You can also let us know if you’d like to forego softeners when you place an order with Laundrapp!