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Fabric softener – your questions answered

Baby lying in soft blanketThere’s nothing more lovely than soft, snuggly clothes against the skin of your new baby. But how can you achieve such softness? Is fabric softener the answer?

If you haven’t used fabric softener before you probably have some questions. Here the people at Nature’s Organics answer some common questions they’re often asked about fabric softeners.

Fabric softener – your questions answered

Why use fabric softener?

Adding a fabric softener liquid to your wash will make your clothes feel soft and cuddly and smell better for longer.

An added bonus is softener can also reduce wrinkling — especially if you line dry your clothes, which equals not as much ironing.

It is important, however, to pick the right fabric softener, as they can contain synthetic harsh chemicals and heavy fragrances that can irritate the skin.

How does fabric softener work?

Fabric softeners coat the surface of fabric, causing the fabric to feel softer. In a similar way as hair conditioner – however with different chemical compounds, reactions and actives.

How do you use fabric softener?

The best way to use fabric softener is to add it at the ‘rinse cycle’ stage of your wash. If it is added during the main wash, it is likely that most of the softener would be washed away by the laundry detergent you’re using.

It is also recommended to add to the water and not directly onto clothing fabric to ensure the best dissolution and even spread of liquid.

Do fabric softeners irritate skin?

As above, it is very important to pick the right fabric softener, as many contain synthetic harsh chemicals and heavy fragrances that are sure to irritate the skin – especially in babies and young children who are extremely sensitive.

Choosing a dermatologically tested softener, that contains a gentle hypoallergenic fragrance and plant-based ingredients, will put your mind at ease as there are no nasties in the formula to worry about.

Is fabric softener just for people with dryers? I dry my clothes on a clothesline.

Fabric softeners can be used be used by those who use a dryer or prefer to line dry. The method you use to dry your clothes has little to do with the effect of using fabric softener.

As an environmental company, however, we always suggest people line dry as it is uses less energy and thus is better for the environment – plus it will save you money on your electricity bill.

Is fabric softener bad for the environment?

Some fabric softeners are made from synthetic ingredients and harsh chemicals, which can be damaging to the environment.

Other fabric softeners, such as Purity or Earth Choice, are made from plant-based ingredients, are grey water and septic safe; and ensure the environment is not damaged as a result of their use.

In addition, it’s a much better option to buy Australian-made and Australian-owned – as it means the products are not imported from other areas around the world. Imported products, the biggest brands you see on the market, require transportation, packaging and other resources that continue to negatively impact the environment. Also we are keeping the economy here in Australia and giving jobs to more Australians. It’s all win-win!

I love fluffy towels but heard fabric softener reduces absorbency. Is this true?

Fabric softener coats the material’s fibres so although it does make the towels, garments and even cleaning cloths really fluffy and cuddly it can sometimes reduce the absorbency of the water as a result. This happens with some fabric softeners more than others depending on what ingredients are used in the formula.

If you just love your fluffy towels and blankets you can perhaps compromise by alternating your use of fabric softener. Use fabric softener every second time you wash your towels.


This blog post is sponsored by Nature’s Organics

The Purity Sensitive Laundry range has been specifically formulated for babies’ extra sensitive skin.

The powerful plant-based formulas easily cut through dirt and stains, leaving clothes white, bright, clean, fresh and extra cuddly. Each product has been dermatologically tested, so it’s ideal for the entire family – from the tiniest member through to adults. With a refreshingly light fragrance across the range, no harsh chemical residue or heavy perfumes are left on laundry that could irritate sensitive skin.
Purity is available from Woolworths, Coles and Chemist Warehouse.

Visit for more.

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