Here’s how to use detergent and what to do with fabric softener

When it comes to our clothes, our trusted friend is always the washing machine. In the past, we spent a considerable amount of time washing our fabrics by hand. But today, thanks to the washing machine, this task has become as easy as putting on the clothes, adding a couple of cleaning products and pressing a button.

The clothes come out clean, smelling of fresh and incredibly soft. However, this wasn't always the case. Our grandmothers used solid, homemade soap for everything: clothes, dishes and even personal . It was the companies that began inventing powder detergent, concentrated liquid detergent, fabric softener for delicate garments and washing amplifiers.

Are you washing your clothes wrong?

“You're doing your laundry wrong.” So did I, until yesterday. And today, I feel terribly cheated by the detergent/softener industry. That's according to tweeter Alcachofita, who mentioned that we've always done our laundry badly. This user points the finger at the industry and advertising, which sell us products we don't really need.

Goodbye fabric softener, hello vinegar

His first tip for doing laundry well is to reduce the amount of detergent we use, no matter the size. For everyday use, we don't need more, unless we're mechanics and our clothes are constantly stained. She explains that detergent instructions encourage us to use more product than we need, which in turn leads us to buy more.

The next piece of advice is to stop using fabric softener. She says that fabric softener creates a plastic or silicone layer on clothes, giving them softness, but also wearing them out. She explains that “it's not that the clothes of yesteryear were better, it's just that less dirt was added”. Instead, she recommends adding a dollop of white vinegar, the everyday kind we use for salads and cleaning.

The benefits of vinegar for your laundry

Your laundry will be super soft and vinegar-free, disinfected, limescale-free and stain-free. What's more, you'll reduce the amount of microplastics you dump into the sea, you'll be more eco-responsible and your washing machine will no longer clog up from excess soaps and fabric softeners. If you have excess fabric softener, you can use it as a deodorizer, but you must remove it from your washing machine.

Stop “boiling” your clothes

Finally, she warns that we should stop “boiling” our clothes, i.e. there's no point in washing them with hot water, because they're never that dirty to warrant it. The washing machine already rotates enough times for your clothes to come out clean and soft, without the need to use high temperatures. As a result, fabrics will last longer, and your washing machine will thank you for it.

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