IF you're chasing softer clothes, you may want to avoid adding a certain product to your laundry cycles.
Patric Richardson – known as The Laundry Evangelist – says many people think a common product will help get their clothes softer, but it's actually doing damage and could even make clothes dirtier.
Richardson, who hosts The Laundry Guy on Discovery+, says there is one thing he never wants people to put on their clothes.
"You can put vinegar, and you can put vodka, and you can put rubbing alcohol, and you can put soap, and you can put all sorts of things on your clothes," he said.
"But there is one thing I am not gonna let you put on your clothes: that is fabric softener and dryer sheets."
Richardson explained that if you get your clothes properly clean, they should be naturally soft.
"Your cotton feels like cotton. Your linen feels like linen. Your wool feels like wool," he went on.
"If you talk to somebody who uses fabric softener or dryer sheets, all of their clothes feel like they're covered in a layer of filth. The reason is: they are.
"When you use either of those products, they create an artificial feeling of softness. It isn't natural," he explained.
"It coats both the inside and the outside of every single one of your garments that you put in contact with them.
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"It makes them less absorbent, in the case of your towels. It makes your towels 80 percent less absorbent the first time you use them," he said.
That layer can also trap stains, making it harder to get them out and more difficult to get clothes clean.
And that layer sticks around: It takes eight to ten washes not using fabric softener or dryer sheets to completely remove the layer of artificial softness they add.
"No more fabric softener, no more dryer sheets. You absolutely cannot use them again," Richardson stressed.
If you're using dryer sheets to eliminate static cling, Richardson has another method: Crumple up a one-yard-long piece of aluminum foil, condensing it to the size of a tennis ball, and toss it in the dryer.
"For the next 65 trips to the dryer, it's gonna absorb all the static in your clothes. Everything's gonna come out fabulous and static-free," he said.