Uploaded to the Consumer Reports (@consumerreports) account, the video has received over 65,000 likes on the platform, and commenters have been adding suggestions to make laundry stay fragrant for longer.
While it might seem that fabric softener is a great way to make clothes smell great and feel soft, the product is probably doing more harm than good.
For starters, the expert said that “it’s a waste of money” because it can leave a layer of residue on clothes that can cause itching for people with sensitive skin. This residue can also build up in washing machines and encourage mold and mildew growth.
Furthermore, fabric softener can make towels less absorbent, despite the product often being advertised as helping them look softer and fluffier.
Consumer Reports’ laundry specialist also noted that fabric softener can reduce the fire-resistant properties of children’s sleepwear.
How it’s helping
In addition to the reasons discussed above for avoiding fabric softener, there are other ways that skipping the step in your laundry process can be beneficial.
For example, a lot of fabric softener products have a petroleum base, which can pollute water supplies upon drainage because they are not biodegradable. It can also build up in the washing machine’s drum and form a thick, sludgy substance. If it enters pipes and drains, it could lead to blockages, which could destroy your appliances or lead to costly repairs.
The process of extracting dirty energy sources to make the liquid is damaging to the environment, too, so reducing the demand for the product should decrease the need for such harmful activities.
Fabric softener can also break down clothing fibers, which will reduce the lifespan of your garments and likely send them to landfills, where they will produce the planet-warming gas methane.
What everyone’s saying
Some Instagrammers left their own tips and tricks for keeping laundry fresher for longer without needing to resort to the harmful product.
“I wrap a scented bar of soap in paper and put that in my clothes drawer, works great!” one user said.
“Use plain old white vinegar in your rinse. Everything is so soft, non-static and smells so fresh!” another added.
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