Fabric Softener is Ruining Your Clothes

You trust fabric softener to make your laundry smell good and of course, soften your fabrics. But what’s in that scented blue liquid? And could the softening properties actually be ruining your laundry? We discovered the truth hiding in fabric softener. Here’s why your fabrics are better off without softener.

What does fabric softener do to fabric?

Imagine a waxy film all over every piece of clothing you’re wearing.

That’s how fabric softener softens. When you use traditional fabric softeners, dryer sheets, and scent beads, a residue is left behind on laundry. It’s meant to give you the snuggly-soft feeling, but in fact, it’s really dirty.

Along with that soft feeling and “fresh laundry smell,” you get a coating that traps grime and stink. That coating also prevents performance features in workout clothes and modern fabrics.

But it’s not just newer fabrics. All fabrics suffer when fabric softeners are used. For example, when towels start to feel scratchy and smell musty, that’s usually caused by built-up residues from fabric softeners and traditional detergents.

Fabric softener vs. fabric

Is fabric softener bad for workout clothes?

Yes. Check the tag on your Nike clothing, and you will likely see, “do not use softeners.” That’s because fabrics have changed. But traditional fabric softeners and detergents have not changed. They rely on outdated formulas. The main problem with softener? It’s literally coating your fabrics!


Is fabric softener bad for regular clothes?

Yes! ALL fabric is better off left free of gunk and wax! Quats are the softening chemicals commonly used in fabric softeners and dryer sheets. These quats are known to be “asthmagens,” meaning they have the potential to cause healthy people to develop asthma. Eddie Bauer‘s classic t-shirts are 100% cotton, and Bauer still advises against using fabric softeners. So in general, skip the softener.

Fabric softener is outdated

In 1950, you needed fabric softener. Early washing machines and detergents, plus air drying, made fabrics feel rough. But now, most clothing advises against fabric softener. These softeners also attempted to provide anti-static for synthetic fabrics, like those that compose about 60% of our closets today.

But just because something was good in 1950, doesn’t mean it works today. This Virginia Tech scholarly study shows that tradition is the main reason we find softeners in so many homes. Testing of store-bought softeners on cotton and polyester showed the negative effects on the fabrics’ intended abilities to wick moisture and breathe. These are side effects– not the original purpose of fabric softener.

Pretty icky, right?

HEX washes out fabric softener residue

So you’ve just learned that your clothes, towels, and sheets are all coated with a waxy softener residue. HEX Performance created a solution to this problem! Here’s what to do.

Wash with HEX to remove residue & revive fabric

HEX Performance Laundry Detergent is the only laundry detergent that will wash out trapped grime and stink from other detergents. HEX leaves laundry cleaner than ever!

What makes HEX different?

When creating HEX Performance, we started from scratch. We didn’t start with a laundry detergent formula. We looked at today’s market and set out to create a modern detergent for all fabrics using eco-friendly chemistry. When you wash your stuff with HEX, you know it’s really clean. We don’t rely on heavy fragrances, so you can be confident that your clothes are truly clean.

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