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How to Mix Softeners & Detergent

Greg Stone

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

Fabric Softeners

Fabric and water softeners help soften clothes being washed and remove static cling.
  1. Do not mix liquid fabric softeners with detergents in the wash cycle. They do not bind well. Wash only with detergent.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.