Fabric Softner??

Asked January 28, 2014, 3:09 PM EST

I purchased some cotton dishcloths, and they just won't dry dishes....is it because I use softener (Downy) when they are laundered??
NEVER RECEIVED AN ANSWER FROM ANYONE???

Orleans Parish Louisiana

1 Response

Wash each towel in hot water before use. Some people run their towels through twice (without drying). The hot water wash will remove extra dye and any coatings (for example, fabric softener) left behind from the manufacturing process. Don't wash anything else with them because colored towels might bleed; also, towels tend to leave residual fluff on other fabric items.Add a cup of white vinegar to the rinse cycle. Dilute the vinegar first or wait until the water level is high enough to dilute it instantly; otherwise, it might discolor your towels. The second wash cycle can include 1/2 cup of baking soda, but don't use baking soda and vinegar in the same rinse. If your washer has a liquid fabric softener dispenser, put the vinegar in that.

  • Note that these are time-proven folk remedies. When the vinegar (an acid) or the baking soda (an alkaline or base) dissociate (chemically come apart) the atoms are free to recombine with the minerals, salts and other chemicals that have accumulated in forms that more readily rinse away.
Avoid using fabric softener of any kind. Fabric softeners coat the surface of fabric with a thin layer of chemicals (oils) that makes the fibers hydrophobic (oil and water don't mix). If you can't stand how towels feel without fabric softener, use amidoamine softeners if available but the vinegar should help soften them anyway.
  • Don't despair if you've already used fabric softener. It can be stripped to help increase absorbency by doing the following: Place 1/2 cup baking soda in the washing powder and add to the washing machine. Then, add 1/2 cup vinegar to the rinse slot.
Dry your dishcloths. Your dishcloths should absorb more after this process.