One of the easiest and most effective ways to soften stiff fabric is to place the dry fabric in a clothes dryer on the "tumble" setting. Alternatively, place the fabric in a washing machine and add a homemade softening compound made from hair conditioner, apple cider vinegar and water. Fill the machine halfway with warm water, add a cup of softener and soak the fabric overnight.Know More
The homemade fabric softener technique works with most fabrics. To protect delicate fabrics labeled "hand wash only," soften them in a clean plastic tub filled with cool water and several tablespoons of fabric softener. After softening, rinse the garment with a fresh change of cool water.
According to About.com expert Mary Marlowe Leverette, baking soda helps soften fabrics, particularly cotton sheets. It also improves the efficacy of bleach, boosts detergent action and removes lingering foul odors. Fabrics with severe odors benefit from an overnight pre-wash treatment of baking soda mixed with plenty of cool water.
To increase the softening power of baking soda, add a cup of white or apple cider vinegar to a solution of water and baking soda. This creates an energetic foaming reaction that loosens fabric fibers.
In an article for LifeHacker.com, columnist Kevin Purdy shares his technique for softening starched bed linens. Purdy recommends placing them in a washing machine full of hot water and running the machine without adding detergent or fabric softener.Learn more about Laundry
To keep fabrics from fading, prepare your clothing before washing, and sort items based on color and weight. Use a proper laundry detergent, cold water and a short wash cycle. Line dry clothing wherever possible, or use a low heat setting on your dryer. This process can take up to 90 minutes.Full Answer >
Vinegar has multiple roles in the laundry room, including softening fabrics, removing wrinkles, killing odors, removing stains and keeping fabric colors bright. It can also be used to remove unwanted soap residue from the washing machine and clean up starch residue and corrosion on the iron.Full Answer >
According to For Dummies, the process used for washing fabrics depends on the type and color of the fabrics being washed. The appropriate temperature, wash cycle and dry cycle are different for each type of load.Full Answer >
Martha Stewart recommends readying clothes for the wash using homemade fabric softeners and laundry detergents, bluing fabrics, and knowing when to hand-wash and when to dry clean, among many other invaluable tips on her website.Full Answer >