Asked on Mar 5, 2021

Soft washcloths ?

Libbie BOhhhdearAnnie


Some of my washcloths come out hard. I wash in Tide and use Downey. I also use the new Snuggle pods in every single wash. What will make them soft?

19 answers
  • Kathy Gunter Law
    Kathy Gunter Law
    on Mar 5, 2021

    If there is a build up, you can use white cleaning vinegar or regular white vinegar instead of Downy. I use Tide & Downy and mine are softer than when purchased. Not sure about the Snuggle pods, that could be the issue. Also, don't use dryer sheets but add dryer balls and that should help as well.

  • Redcatcec
    on Mar 5, 2021

    This link might help you out in understanding what's going on in the washers and dryers, also line drying.

    The usual culprit is too much soap build up on the fabrics.

    When I am forced to use the clothes dryer, I also use tennis balls, usually 2-3 of them.

  • Deb K
    Deb K
    on Mar 5, 2021

    Hi Trish, hope this helps you out, you have a buildup of detergent causing this.

  • Too much laundry detergent can sometimes cause a stiffness. Our service pro recommended we use less than what the bottle half, especially for the newer washers that are energy and water saving. That helped us a lot.

  • Mogie
    on Mar 5, 2021

    Commercial softeners work by coating the fibers of fabric, thus plumping the filaments and reducing static electricity. Clothing laundered with fabric softeners tends to be fluffy, lightly scented and less wrinkled. Over time, however, the chemicals in fabric softeners can build up, reducing the absorbency of items such as towels and washcloths and creating a rough, scratchy surface. To remove this residue from towels, sheets and other linens, wash the items as usual but add 1 cup of distilled white vinegar to the final rinse. The acid in the vinegar softens the fibers while stripping away any excess or unwanted chemicals. You may need to repeat this treatment a number of times to remove all the residue.

    In certain parts of the country, the water from the tap has a naturally high mineral content. While these minerals cause no harm to people, they do create a number of housekeeping challenges such as water stains, toilet rings, dingy clothing and stiff fabrics. To soften hard wash water, pour 1 cup of washing soda, 1/2 cup borax and 2 quarts of water in a large container, stir the solution briskly until all of the dry ingredients are dissolved, then add 1 cup of the mixture to each load of laundry along with the normal amount of detergent. Note: Washing soda, or sodium carbonate, is not the same thing as baking soda, so make sure you use the correct powder.

  • Try soaking them in hot water with vinegar. 1 cup vinegar to 1/2 cup hot water.

  • Liliana Wells
    Liliana Wells
    on Mar 5, 2021

    Vinegar in the rinse,

  • Cheryl A
    Cheryl A
    on Mar 5, 2021

    laundry stripping will get out all the old detergent and make your cloths softer here is info on how to do laundry stripping

  • Janice
    on Mar 5, 2021

    White distilled vinegar; they've probably bult up a lot of product in the fibers.

  • Em
    on Mar 5, 2021

    Why do you use Downey in the first place? Dryer should soften any material. Fabric softener clogged the spaces between the weave and make the cloths stiff especially if they are microfiber.

  • Stop using fabric softener. Use vinegar in the rinse instead and felted wool dryer balls. Will take a few washing to get all the gunky stuff out. Or soak overnight in a 50/50 vinegar water solution, then launder.

  • Betsy
    on Mar 6, 2021

    Hi Trish: Try using a water softener in your wash. 20 Mule Team Borax is a tried and true brand, as is Arm and Hammer Washing Soda, and you can get it where the other laundry supplies are sold. Sometimes you can use too much fabric softener and you will get a waxy feeling cloth. Try soaking your items in a pail of warm water over night with a cup of 20 Mule Team Borax or Arm and Hammer Washing Soda and a cup of white vinegar.

    Good luck

  • Run them in load with plain vinegar as detergent to remove product build up. Try using less and fewer products too.

  • Simple Nature Decor
    Simple Nature Decor
    on Mar 7, 2021

    I used fabric softener

  • How are you drying? if you hang to dry they will always be a bit crunchy

  • Annie
    on Mar 9, 2021

    Do you hang dry or machine dry? Machine dry should make them soft

    • Annie
      on Mar 9, 2021

      I wonder as well if you have a build up of detergent and softener on them. You could try throwing them back in the washer and dryer and don't add anything at all. See if that makes a difference? Good luck!

  • Ohhhdear
    on Mar 9, 2021

    Do at least one “cleansing” soak with any of the crunchy, stiff cloths. Use a bucket if your machine doesn’t have a soak cycle. Add 1 C white vinegar to the hot water, soak for at least an hour, then put thru a wash cycle. I have found liquid detergents are better than powders when it comes to softer results. Fabric softeners and dryer sheets build up a waxy coating. Better to use wool dryer balls.

  • Libbie B
    Libbie B
    on Mar 31, 2021

    Vinegar will soften the fibers.

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