Fleece Softener: Why Can’t You Use Fabric Softener on Fleece?

Washing may clean your clothes. That is a very good thing but sometimes, washing some fabrics leaves them stiff or a little hard. When that happens it is easy to reach for the fabric softener to try to avoid that situation. But fabric softener may not be the best choice for many fabrics.

Why can't you use fabric softener on fleece? Fabric softener certainly has its uses but the chemical formula and ingredients also have a negative side to liquid. One reason why you can’t use fabric softener with fleece is that it ruins the fabric's ability to trap dirt and absorb liquid spills.

To find out other reasons why you can’t use fabric softener with fleece materials just continue to read our article. Some of those reasons will apply to other fabrics as well and are not limited to just fleece.

Can You Use Fabric Softener On Fleece?


Well, if you do not care what happens to the material, you can use fabric softener or even bleach on fleece. The only thing stopping you will be the chemical reactions you get once the chemicals in the fabric softener interact with the chemicals used on fleece materials.

Those chemicals are placed on fleece as well as other fabrics to prevent fires, repel liquids, and other reasons. The chemicals used for those purposes do not interact well with the chemicals used to make fabric softeners.

It isn't a good idea to use fabric softener on fleece clothing or bedding items. There are good natural solutions you can use instead of fabric softener and one of those alternatives is baking soda.

Another alternative would be to use vinegar, the white distilled version. Vinegar should also help get rid of any foul odors that have found their way onto your fleece materials.

If you want to reduce static cling, you can use a dryer sheet and one person cuts hers down and only uses 1/3 of the sheet to get her desired results. This is a trial and error option as your results may differ.

Why Can't You Use Fabric Softener On Fleece?


There are lots of good reasons why you do not use fabric softener on fleece materials. Some of these reasons will also be the same for other fabrics in the same chemical boat as fleece materials.

The first reason is that fabric softener interferes with the material's ability to trap dirt and soak up any spills. The tight weave of the fabric enables it to do this job and still have the fabric look good even though it requires a good wash.

The second reason would be that the fabric softener interferes with the moisture-wicking ability of fleece. This is seen more on athletic clothing than other clothing items. The coating fabric softener leaves behind blocks the moisture-wicking ability and keeps it from working.

A third reason why you do not use fabric softener on fleece is that if the fleece has been turned into towels, they won’t dry as well. Even dryer sheets can stop the fleece from drying you off like it did when it was new.

A fourth reason is a chemical reason. Manufacturers either by law or public demand place a flame retardant chemical on some of their fleece clothing items. The chemicals inside those coatings do not mix well with the chemicals in fabric softeners. The result is that your children’s clothes will not be protected from flames or sparks.

Finally, there is a chemical reaction between the waterproofing chemicals and the chemicals found in fabric softeners. The latter set changes the fibers in the fleece and can render the former set of chemicals useless.

When you lose that protection, you may be limited in where those clothing items can be worn.

How do You Soften Fleece Fabric?


When fleece materials get scratchy and a little rough, it is very difficult to return them to their soft nature again. One wash is all that is needed in some cases to ruin the soft, comfortable feel of a good fleece blanket.

It is not impossible to re-soften fleece but it may be impossible to get the material completely soft again. The main method to getting bedding soft again takes a little old-school thinking. You need to have room in your home and brush the material.

This is not a light brushing where you are not using a lot of strength and energy. The brushing needed needs to be vigorous and strong. The brush itself needs to be stiff and very durable as well.

To get the best results, the fleece material should be damp. You can achieve this by removing it from the dryer before it is totally dry or you can spritz water over the areas you are brushing until you have covered the whole blanket or outfit.

The bristles on the brush pull the fibers apart so that the fleece will feel a little softer again.

Fleece Fabric Softener


There may be an easier method to soften your fleece items again. This method combines two natural ingredients and avoids all chemicals. These ingredients should not negatively interact with the chemicals coating the fleece fabric.

The first step is to start filling your washing machine tub with the right temperature of water. Add 1/2 cup of baking soda and let it dissolve completely before adding your fleece materials. While you wait, fill your soap dispenser with your laundry detergent.

Also, fill the fabric softener dispenser with white distilled vinegar. Go to the maximum line with the vinegar. Now place your fleece items in the water and let your machine go through its cycle.

Once the cycle is over, place the fleece in your dryer and add a ball of aluminum foil to the load. That foil should be tightly scrunched up. That additive should cut down on any static cling.

That should save you lots of energy and time. Using the right ingredients is the way to achieve your desired result. You can pick the best option that will work for you, either way, should help return the softness to your fleece items to some extent. There is no guarantee you will get100% results.

Softener Washing Fleece Blankets

Softener-Washing-Fleece -lankets

That is the key to softening fleece items. You have to accept the fact that your results and ingredients may not be 100% perfect and bring those items back to their original softness when they were new.

It is best to avoid any chemical softeners as much as possible. If the chemical coatings placed on your family’s clothing are not important to you, then by all means use the softener and make sure the fabric stays nice and soft.

Or use a dryer sheet when it is the dryer’s turn to take care of those fleece items. But even the dryer sheet can negatively impact those chemical coatings. Natural ingredients are the best to use as long as those natural ingredients do not impact the material and cause more problems.

While natural ingredients are always good to use, they just do not work the same on all fabrics. Make your selection carefully and do not use more than is needed.

How do You Wash Fleece to Make it Stay Soft?


Fleece blankets can be tricky to get clean and soft. Mild dishwashing liquid can be applied to some stains, and then without blotting, you can let paper towels soak up the soap and the stain. The reason you do not blot is that the fibers can be easily damaged with that method.

Then when washing the items, it is best to keep the washer on the gentle cycle. Anything harder and you may be destroying the fibers not cleaning them. The same can be said for the water temperature. Too hot of water and the fibers can be damaged and that damage may be permanent.

When selecting your laundry detergent, avoid the ones that include bleach, and do not use bleach in the wash cycle either. Bleach is not good with this material. You may be able to use an oxygen bleach but make sure to read the label to find out.

Then when it comes to drying this fabric, line drying is the best but you can use your dryer if you are careful. You will want a low heat, gentle cycle, and make sure to fold the sheet right away once it is dry. That will keep wrinkles away.

Some Final Words

Fabric softener may work well on other fabrics but on children’s clothing made from fleece, it is an ingredient to avoid. The possibility of ruining the material is high when adding that laundry aid in your wash.

Watch how you dry fleece as well and there is nothing wrong with line drying if you want great results.

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