Is Fabric Conditioner Harmful to Clothes?

Fabric Conditioner

People are fond of using fabric conditioners. It makes clothes smell fresh, softer, and free of wrinkles and statics. However, let’s cut to the chase: fabric softeners are harmful to clothes, health, and the environment.

Why is Fabric Conditioner Not Safe?

The harm of using fabric conditioners is not visible. Its thin layer of chemicals makes clothes soft and smooth. But, these benefits can have damaging effects. Here’s what you need to know:

For Clothes

You can check the wash label tags on your clothes. Some specifically mention not to use fabric softeners. Although it only gives minimal negative effects on natural fibers, do not risk it. Fabric softeners can stain clothes. It leaves bluish or gray stain spots, and over time its waxy buildup turns into yellow stains on white garments.

Meanwhile, fabric softeners are a big no for athletic clothes. It blocks the features of the clothes’ moisture-wicking and absorption properties. Thus, before sending your athletic clothes to laundry pickup and delivery, ensure they are a reliable service provider. Laundry services must be operated by experts who know what’s good for the clothes.

For You

Fabric softeners have fragrance. The ingredients of fragrance components contain allergens and toxic ingredients, which trigger skin and respiratory irritation. You will see that most of the popular fabric softeners are grade D from the Environmental Working Group.

For the Environment

The ingredients of fabric softeners are not biodegradable. Disposed fabric softeners in water systems go directly into aquatic organisms. Its chemical components become toxic to aquatic organisms killing algae and disturbing the fish environment.

Alternatives of Fabric Conditioner

You are probably thinking of skipping fabric conditioners when doing laundry. Here are alternative solutions to prevent static, wrinkles and still have soft and fresh-smelling clothes:

  • Aluminum foil: Roll a ball of aluminum foil and throw it inside the dryer with your laundry. While it prevents static cling, you can use the same ball of foil for multiple loads.
  • White vinegar: This is the best alternative; ad a cup into the wash. Although it does not get rid of static, it softens clothes and makes them smell fresh. Your clothes will not smell like vinegar. Do not add vinegar with bleach; it produces a toxic gas.
  • Baking soda: It also softens clothes. Add half a cup of baking soda into the wash. However, do not use it with vinegar; it causes a reaction of suds explosion.


If you have used fabric softener in a few cycles with your clothes, you can remove them. The trick is to add a small amount of vinegar to wash cycles. This might not bring back the clothes to their fresh and “good as new” state, it helps reverse some of the harmful effects of the fabric condition on your clothes.

Now, instead of bringing fabric softener to the laundry service, use the mentioned alternatives. It gives you the laundry results you want and protects you, your clothes, and the environment from harm.

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