“Can you add fabric softener with detergent?” This is a question that I have heard from so many people.
I understand that time is an important resource that no one can buy, which is why a significant number of netizens think it wouldn’t hurt to find a shortcut that would hasten their laundry cleaning sessions.
Something like combining the fabric softener with your detergent will kill two birds with a stone. Well, is it right to add fabric softener with detergent? Are there any harsh consequences of pulling this move?
Here is a piece that will broaden your understanding of the two products and educate you on the proper way of using both laundry agents to clean your garments.
Can You Add Fabric Softener With Detergent?
If you are wondering whether or not it is proper to mix detergent and fabric softener simultaneously, the answer is no.
You may want to complete all your tasks in one go and focus your attention on other things, but what would you achieve by doing this?
Let us have a closer look at both items to understand how each of them works.
How detergent works
Water on its own cannot remove dirt and grease from your garments because it has molecules that are tightly knit together. These molecules make it hard for this fluid to penetrate the fabrics and remove the dirt. This is why you need a detergent to fight stains.
Just like other cleaning agents, the work of a detergent is to remove dirt from clothes. Detergents have an active ingredient called surface-active agents, also known as surfactants. These surfactants have two major tasks.
First, they break down water molecules and make it soft enough to permeate all fabrics, consequently easing the cleaning process. Secondly, they allow the water to attach itself to grease and dirt on garments and wash it off.
This cleaning agent has two ends on each molecule. One end attracts water while the other attracts grease. As one end pulls the grease and the other attracts the dirt back into the water, leaving your clothes clean.
How fabric softener works
When you load clothes into the washing machine, they go through a rigorous cleaning exercise that leaves them spotless. Unfortunately, due to the friction between the garments, clothes develop static energy, which causes them to cling onto your body.
Fabric softeners help reduce this static energy, consequently leaving your clothes feeling soft to the touch. The critical ingredient that fosters the soft nature of fabric softeners is a conditioner. Conditioners are oily, meaning that they cannot work alone to permeate the fabric.
So, manufacturers add emulsifiers to create a stable mixture that can penetrate fabrics. Other useful ingredients in the production of a fabric softener are perfume and color. Aside from the soft touch, individuals add fabric softeners to their clothes because of the attractive smell.
The key differences
We’ve established that these two cleaning items work differently. One is essential in pulling out the dirt from the clothes, while the other softens the fabric, making it bearable to the skin.
The fact that they have distinct functions makes one or both of them less effective when mixed. Their chemical compositions are certainly not complimentary.
Why You Can’t Add Fabric Softener to Detergent
So why can’t I add fabric softener with detergent?
I noted that fabric softener is a combination of two-ingredient, and one of them is oil. We know that detergents have molecules that aim to disassemble grease and make it water-soluble.
Once oil dissolves in water, you can rinse it out from the garment. Considering that fabric softener is an oil-based solution, it is unwise to mix it with detergent. The soap’s surfactants will disintegrate the softener and dissolve it in water, making the softener useless.
Additionally, when you load a washing machine, the machine spins out every last drop of water from clothes during the washing cycle-as such, adding the softener at this stage is pointless because it’ll be spun out of the machine together with the dirty water.
The Right Way to Use Detergent and Softener
When your washing machine stops spinning, the ideal results you expect to see would be clean, soft, and nice smelling clothes.
Therefore, you have to use the detergent and fabric softener correctly to achieve these results. If your machine has a slot for detergent and softener, you can input these cleaners at the start of the cycle.
However, if you have one slot for all two cleaners, you have to put one of each while the machine spins.
Start with the detergent because you want to clean the clothes first before adding a fabric softener of your choice. Immediately you add the soap, give the machine time to clean the garments.
This is dependent on how much time you allocated for the cleaning exercise. Wait to see the machine spinning out clean water that has minimal soap residue.
At this stage, you can add the fabric softener. If you have a washing machine that alerts you when time is elapsing, this would be even better.
Take advantage of the reminder to add a softener to your load, let the machine complete its cycle, then take your clothes out and dry them under the sun or in the drying machine.
So, can you add fabric softener with detergent?
You know it is a waste of time to do this. The detergent works as a cleaning agent, which means fighting the oil in the fabric softener, dissolve it in the water, and leaving your clothes clean but feeling a bit tough and static.
Additionally, the softener will lose its scent, considering that the machine vigorously spins the clothes during the wash. The clothes go through two or three cleaning cycles before the rinsing begins.
The best way to clean your garments manually and use a washing machine is to ensure that the fabric softener comes in the final rinse.
Remember that it is pointless to add softener before or during the cleansing session. All the soft goo will be washed away, leaving your clothes feeling rough.