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Respected Contributor
Posts: 3,443
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

I have a High Efficiency front load washer....and read online that using distilled white vinegar would make your towels soft and also kill any odor.  Article said to add it to the softener area in place of it.  Anyone do this or have other suggestions?

 

I keep buying some really nice soft pretty towels but they all loose that fluffy softness quickly...appreciate any help!

Respected Contributor
Posts: 3,757
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: How to keep towels soft?

I've used white vinegar in the fabric softener dispenser in my front load washer for bath towels.  No matter how little vinegar I use, I can still smell the vinegar.

 

I've also tried putting 1/4 cup white vinegar in with the liquid detergent and although it helps clean better, the smell is still there. 

 

I've started using Gain powdered detergent (no vinegar) and like the cleaning results better than liquid detergent. 

 

 

Honored Contributor
Posts: 9,723
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: How to keep towels soft?

I use vinegar in almost every wash....I never noticed the vinegar smell.

I am not sure it has made my towels soft.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 19,859
Registered: ‎08-08-2010

Re: How to keep towels soft?

I think the answer to soft and good smelling and non static clothing depends on a number of variables.

 

First is one's water. If it is hard or soft, if it has odors etc from iron, build up on clothing from calcium and iron etc. If you have a softener, well water, city water, chlorine etc in the water. Water and it's contents have a big impact on laundry. And use of very hot water can affect the wear/deterioration of fabrics, in my opinion.

 

Second, it is one's climate. Here in the north, cold weather brings lots of static from the dry environment. In warm weather or very humid places, clothing can get smelly if left damp, not dried fully, or when the machine gets kind of stinky in the humid hot weather.

 

Next it is the products used in conjunction with the water. Different detergents, the amounts used, will vary the results based on the chemicals in the water in one's area.

 

I've used vinegar in the wash to get out body odor from my son's shirts and while it works for that, I have no luck with it working for static or softness. 

 

Over the years, my approach to laundry has become this:

 

 

We have hard water with a lot of iron, so we use a whole house filter, and a water softener, to try to get the water as cleaned up as we can. 

 

I use an old fashioned full fill washer, because I don't believe the HE versions get clothing clean or especially WELL RINSED, with little water used.

 

I use very little detergent for most regular loads (dirty work clothing is another story). I am believing that the detergent can build up in things like towels and make them rough and icky.

 

I do use liquid fabric softener, never sheets. And I only use a very, very small amount. A fraction of what the product label calls for. It is the only thing to tame the static that I've found, and keeps things soft. Too much will effect the absorbency of towels, and dryer sheets, in my opinon simply put a film on fabrics. 

 

Too hot of water could be damaging fibers and making them not as soft as when new.

And drying towels on lower heat (rather than a hotter setting) might help the fibers not break down and feel stiff too. 

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 5,115
Registered: ‎06-06-2011

Re: How to keep towels soft?

@tsavorite  I wonder if there is too much soap in the wash? When I first got my HE front loader, my daughter (who worked for a company that advertised energy saving items) asked me to just put a load of clothes in the washer and no soap and watch through the window as it went through the cycle. OMG! It was full of soap suds. Now, I realize that these front loaders with an HE detergent is supposed to be the best for softness, so I just wonder if possibly you are using more soap than necessary for the towels. I use just a tiny bit because towels don't really get "dirty". Just a thought. Good luck. BTW, I was amazed how soft our laundry was after using an HE front loader. Love.

Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea-Robert A. Heinlein
Respected Contributor
Posts: 3,521
Registered: ‎03-15-2010

Re: How to keep towels soft?

We had a front loader.

The only thing I have found that really keeps towels fluffy is that Nellie's detergent.

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 5,607
Registered: ‎11-15-2011

Re: How to keep towels soft?

I use white vinegar and my towels are like new.  However, we do have great water!  

Respected Contributor
Posts: 3,443
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: How to keep towels soft?

Thanks for all the ideas!  I don't think we have hard water....and I never wash anything in hot water.  I will cut back on the amount of detergent I am using....I should try that Nellies product.  I have been wondering if that would keep my towels soft and fluffly.  I never get a bad smell on my clothes or towels so no mildew issues.  I also clean my front load washer often and keep the door open always so it dries.  I will try some vinegar next load which will be tomorrow.  But these towels are abit older and may not come back to life!  could be a lost cause on them but my newer ones I am hoping for better results.  

Valued Contributor
Posts: 817
Registered: ‎06-24-2016

Re: How to keep towels soft?

Rinsing well would help, I would think. Have you tried a baking soda rinse?

Respected Contributor
Posts: 2,185
Registered: ‎12-23-2015

Re: How to keep towels soft?

[ Edited ]

i tried using white vinagar in the rinse water and i didnt see that it made towels any softer and when my wife folded them she noticed vinagar smell right away.i notice some not al of our hand towels we use around the kitchen no matter how i wash them they dont have a clean smell they actually stink.