How to Mix Softeners & Detergent

Getting clothes clean requires a good washing machine and the proper detergent.

Fabric Softeners

Fabric and water softeners help soften clothes being washed and remove static cling.Fabric and water softeners help soften clothes being washed and remove static cling.
For some, adding softening agents to the wash helps in the cleaning process, because their water is hard. Softeners help soften the water and clean the clothes more efficiently. Two types of softeners are used in laundry -- fabric softeners and water softeners. Both serve to help clean clothes better but do so in different ways. Fabric softeners decrease static cling, reduce wrinkles and decrease drying time for clothes. Water softeners help detergents do a better job by decreasing mineral deposits in hard water.

Do not mix liquid fabric softeners with detergents in the wash cycle. They do not bind well. Wash only with detergent.

Allow water to fill for the rinse cycle before adding fabric softener. Do not put softener directly on clothes. It can cause spotting or staining.

Add fabric softener in the amount suggested by the brand you are using to the rinse cycle, pouring directly into the water if using a top-load washer, and into the marked cup for softeners in a front-load washer.

Water Softeners

Mix powder water softener with detergent in the wash cycle. Be sure to use only the amount suggested.

Add liquid water softeners only during the rinse cycle. Add to the water and not directly on the clothes, or pour in softener container on a front-end washer.

Check laundry after the wash before drying and make sure there are no stains caused from the softener. If you notice spots or stains, wash again before drying.


  • Fabric softeners can also come in sheets and be used during the drying cycle.
  • White vinegar can be used as a water softener and added to the wash.

About the Author

Greg Stone began writing professionally for various websites in September of 2010. He lives in Branson, Mo. and is the marketing director for Doulos Discipleship of Doulos Ministries. Stone holds a Bachelor of Science in journalism from Central Missouri University and a Master of Ministry from John Brown University.