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Appalled Redditor shares the 'gross' downside of using fabric softener on your laundry: 'How do I get rid of this nasty sludge?'

"I wouldn't use fabric softener regardless of the type of machine."

Fabric softener reddit sludge

Photo Credit: u/H5A3B50IM/ Reddit

There are a lot of reasons to ditch fabric softener, as one Reddit user found out.

In a popular Reddit post, the user posted a picture of their front-loading washing machine in r/CleaningTips. The picture showed the rubber seal around the door of the washing machine covered in gunk. The poster blamed the dark sludgy substance on their fabric softener. 

"Learned the hard way that I can't use fabric softener in a front loader. The horror. How do I get rid of this nasty sludge?" the user wrote. 

While many commenters were quick to offer up some solutions to prevent the sludge in the future (like using less fabric softener, leaving the washing machine door open to air out, and drying off the ring after every wash), others offered up even better advice — skip the softener altogether. 

"I wouldn't use fabric softener regardless of the type of machine," one commenter wrote

They make a good point. Fabric softeners use a myriad of chemicals for softening, fragrance, color, and preservation, some of which are petroleum-based

Another commenter pointed out that many fabric softeners contain animal products, specifically beef or pork fat. 

"Sorry if it was gross," they added. 

Finally, fabric softener actually shortens the life of your clothing. 

"It breaks down fibers and makes your clothes not last as long," one Redditor pointed out

Fabric softener works by coating fabrics in a thin layer to smooth down the fibers and make clothes "feel soft." Things like cotton, wool, activewear, microfiber, terry cloth, and more break down when used with fabric softener. It can even make your clothing flammable

Reddit isn't the first community to call out the softener. TikTok has also exposed the woes of the slick substance. 

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