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Soften your towels and laundry with this simple tip

Have you found that your towels or laundry are just not as soft as they used to be. Maybe you find that your towel just does not absorb moisture as efficiently as it used to. Well here is a simple tip that will rejuvenate them to their former glory.

The reason that fabric loses it's softness is because it becomes clogged with soap and detergent residue. You can combat this quite simply with vinegar. Use it instead of fabric softener for a natural softness to your clothes. It will also help reduce that static cling and any lingering smells.

Visitors comments

VINEGAR Comments By: Jay K on 2004-09-02
what type of vinegar? and how much?

Tipking says: Any type of vinegar will do. White distilled is best, just a cup full in with your wash.

soften towels Comments By: Rina Ten-Ami on 2004-10-22
I have a problem with the smell of the vinegar.
Is there any other substance that can replace the vinegar, making my towels soft again?
Fabric softener at this stage is useless.

TipKing Says: Have you tried using white vinegar it is less noxious

Vinegar Comments By: Louise on 2006-03-26
My towels are so hard they are like razors so was thrilled to see your tips. Tried but they are still very hard. I tried with vinegar in the drum in a normal wash with powder and then again with only vinegar in the conditioner compartment but they are still hard. Will it take time to get them soft again?

TipKing says: It may take a few treatments OR the hardness may not be due to a build up of detergent etc. It may be that the material is just too hard. Sorry that you have been struggling!

to louise Comments By: Sheils on 2007-11-22
The vinegar does help, but so does the drying process. Try outside in the wind or in the tumble dryer. Drying in still air contributes to the problem.
ammonia first Comments By: Les on 2008-02-18
If you have used fabric softener on the towels you need to remove that residue first by soaking them for 2-3 hours in the washing machine filled with hot water and depending on amount of towels 1/2 cup of ammonia. After soaking run through the normal wash cycle then wash with small amount of laundry detergent and rince with the cup white vinegar. To help remove the vinegar smell I add an additional rinse of just plain water. You should only have to do the ammonia soak one time as it is just to remove the fabric softener residue.
another hint - worth a try Comments By: Sharon on 2008-12-26
For all the people who have tried vinegar and it hasn't work, perhaps you could try the following. Combine 1 tablespoon of Borax and 1 litre of water in a bucket and soak your towels overnight. The next day, just rinse the towels and they will come up soft.
What kind, how much & when do I add the vinager? Comments By: terrrry on 2009-05-28
Exactly what type of vinager, what quantity, & when do I add it to wash? Also, will the towels or clothes smell of vinager?
How to soften your towels Comments By: Graeme Clarke on 2009-10-05
Ladies, forget the vinegar and the fabric softener, just lie your towel out on the bed and brush it with a round styling hair brush or pet brush. Use long full length strokes the one way, turn over and repeat process.
Towel Softening Comments By: Patricia Cooper on 2009-10-15
The brushing of towels with a styling brush, as Graeme Clarke suggested, really does work. Forget the vinegar and fabric softener.
Graeme Clarke Genius Comments By: anon on 2009-11-26
Have just tried the brushing with a radial brush trick and it works!!! Thank you so much - you have saved me a fortune.
Graeme is a genius Comments By: TLC on 2010-01-14
Well who would have thought tried everything as towels went hard after moving to front loader - was very distressed about it even considered changing washers again but the brush works - Brings them back to soft - now I only use vinegar occasionally
Brush on towel really works Comments By: house sparrow on 2010-03-17
Have just tried this on five towels that I have recently died green in my front loader. Now need a cure for a blister
still hard towels Comments By: Nosey on 2010-05-26
A tip I was given about removing fabric conditioner was to put a Calgon tablet in the wash no detergent and this should help remove the residue but the towels are still hard I do use vinegar in the rinse any ideas.
club towels Comments By: iain on 2010-10-17
try soaking towels in the laundry trough overnight with half a cup of borax then wash with a cup of white vinegarin the wash and rinse do not use conditioner
hard towels! Comments By: Lin on 2011-01-11
since buying my front load washing machine I have had horribly hard towels-like sandpaper.I have tried softeners and longer hotter washes to no avail. Never had the problem with the top loader.
Is there a specific problem with front loaders. Love to hear from others.

Vinegar and towels... Comments By: SEZ on 2011-02-19
I put vinegar in the fabric softener dispenser. Seems to work. It takes a while, but I think it does work.
desperate Comments By: Brigid with a beef on 2011-03-22
At my wits end so I am happy to try any and all the ideas put forward. I also have razor edged towels so contacted my machine manufacturer. They said that ALL modern machines use less water, to be environmentally friendly, and so WE get this problem. They said to use Calgon. BUT I have a water softener(which I had explicitly told them) so using Calgon will be a waste of time and money. I replied to the manufacturer to say that if this is known problem then manufacturers ought to (a) warn customers and (b) start making machines that don't cause this. I have been using washing machines for over forty years and have plenty of experience of dealing with a household's laundry and this problem has only arisen with the most recent machine. So I am inclined to believe that it is down to the way the machine functions.
unhappy mum Comments By: maxine on 2011-04-05
i not only have REALY hard towels ,noticed only since using front loader. I now have brown scummy like residue bits in my wash tried cleaning filter and where u put powder but no luck,I even put a rinse aid thru no luck any help would be great thanks
ever learning Comments By: Fran on 2011-04-11
Clean around the rubber door seal. They get scummy after every few washes.
Especially with front loaders Comments By: walter on 2011-05-01
Especially with front loaders, use far far less soap until you barely see any suds at all. Don't use softener sheets or liquid softener but a little vinegar. I also use an extra rinse. My towels, bedding and clothes smell clean and are soft.
brown or black residue in washing draw or rubber around front door Comments By: bfm on 2011-05-31
take draw out and clean best you can also round door then always make sure that you leave the draw slightly open and also the drum door. this will stop the scum forming in the draw and round the drum door.
the scum as formed due to a reaction of washing liquid and conditioner left over from the wash cycle, with the draw shut and door shut iwas not able to dry out

hard towels Comments By: gemma johnson on 2011-07-04
I am sick of this problem too these machines are a false saving .
my new miele machine cost me a bomb in constantly putting it on extra rinses that it when back to john lewis.
I weighed the washing worked out the maths on how much powder per kg and still did not rinse out ,it has not saved me a penny .
Some needs to look into these problems now

modern washers no good Comments By: johnnie h on 2011-07-04
Both washing machines and detergents are designed to save time, water and electricity, by using minimum water at extremely low temperature I fail to see how laundry can be adequately washed. Remember the old twin tub & top loaders, full of hot steamy water with washing fully immersed and thoroughly agitated, no hard towels back then, even the early automatics had plenty of hot water on the wash cycle plus many rinses. Hard towels are the fault of washer manufacturers, we are now attempting to soften our towels by immersing them in a bucket of hot water, after laundering,and using a posser to evict stubborn soap residue.
Lots of trade-offs with modern front loaders Comments By: moggalana on 2011-08-07
I have just purchased my first front load washer, replacing an economical top F&P 7.5kg to loader.
Front loaders are touted as water and energy efficient and a superior way to launder, what they don't tell you about them is myriad of trade-offs for saving a bucket or two of water each week:-

1)since having my machine, always have hard towels, never had the problem before. I never used softener, line dryed them and used cold water in the prev machine standard 48min cycle. In the front loader, softener or lessening detergent makes no difference and I don't live n a hard water supply area. Therefore,I believe it is because using so little water that the towels are not soaked through or flushed thoroughly enough. I don't want to use a drier every week to dry my towels and I certainly don't want to resort to the ridiculous time-wasting action of brusing them.......our pouring sour smelling vinegar into the dispenser
2)buy large capacity (over 8kg) and see how much of that capacity they recommend for any cycle? Most recommend much less as capacity, so I find I can put not much more than my old 7.5kg into a 9kg washer.
Cheated? yeah!
3)high levels of noise and vibration on timber floors negates and claim for 'whisper quiet' operation. Cost m another $200 for mats and ant-vib pads from the US to reduce it
4)becoming aware of the possibility of mould and smell developing around the rubber door seal. I live in the sub-tropics so I guess it a matter of when not if I get this problem
5) last but not least, an absurd two hours for some wash cycles, why?? Are energy ratings based on this type of usage? makes me wonder!
I'd like another large top loader with a 1000-1200 rpm....possible?


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