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