10 Tips for Softening Cotton Fabric

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10 Tips for Softening Cotton Fabric

Sometimes cotton fabric or garments stiffen as a result of using too much starch, while other times, laundry cleanser residue can soak into the fibers. Fortunately, you can soften cotton fabric or garments easily, inexpensively, and quickly at home. Fabric softeners can help to soften materials when you use them in the washing machine, and you can find them in local brick-and-mortar stores or sold by reliable sellers on eBay. By following a few simple tips, including washing or soaking with vinegar, salt, or baking soda, your fabrics are certain be softer in no time, with or without the use of fabric softener.

 1. Soak with Fabric Softener

Start by filling a bucket with cold or lukewarm water, but do not use hot water. Next, add about a 1/4 cup of liquid fabric softener and place the fabric or garment inside. Let it soak overnight, and then rinse or wash the fabric.

 2. Use Liquid Softener in the Washing Machine

Wash cotton fabric in the washing machine using cold or lukewarm water, depending on its color. Using hot water could fade or bleed the color, so be careful. Once the rinse cycle begins, pour in two capfuls of liquid softener. After the washer fills with water, stop the machine and let it sit for 2 hours. Then, restart it and finish the cycle. Add a dryer sheet to the dryer for added softness.

 3. Try the Tennis Ball Trick

To relax cotton fabric or garments, the tennis ball trick might help. To do this, place your cotton fabric in the dryer, alongside a few clean tennis balls. Then, set the dryer to its normal cycle. Some prefer to use tennis shoes instead of tennis balls, but remember to only use something clean and not too abrasive; otherwise, you risk damaging the fabric or negatively affecting the color.

 4. Use Dryer Balls

If you prefer not to use tennis balls, try manufacturer-made dryer balls, such as those sold by Woolzies, Mister Steamy, and Sparkle. These products help soften clothing and sheets by reducing or eliminating the stiffness of the material. In addition, many do not contain toxins or harsh chemicals so they don't smell, and they typically last for hundreds of uses in the dryer.

 5. Soak with Salt

Fill a bucket with 1 quart of cold or lukewarm water. Next, add 1/2 cup of salt for fabrics and clothes and 1 cup for bedsheets. Submerge the fabric in the bucket completely. Let it sit for two to three days before washing the cotton as usual. Add about 1/4 cup fabric softener to the washing machine for additional softness.

 6. Wash with White Vinegar

White vinegar helps remove soap and residue build-up by naturally softening fabric. To soften fabrics, add a 1/2 cup of white vinegar to a load of laundry before the final rinse cycle. As an alternative, add a 1/2 cup of white vinegar to the fabric softener dispenser in the washing machine before starting a cycle instead. However, do not use dark-colored vinegar because they might stain the fabric. Re-wash again and add some fabric softener as vinegar has a distinct smell. When you dry your sheets or laundry, use extra dryer sheets.

 7. Wash with Baking Soda

Add 1/2 to 1 cup of baking soda to your normal wash cycle, depending on the load size. Then, add the baking soda as the machine fills with water. The soda helps boost your detergent's strength, eliminates any odors present, and softens the water.

 8. Steam the Stiff Fabric

A simple steam cleaning can help to loosen stiff fabric, including cotton. To do this, turn your iron or laundry steam cleaner onto the steam mode and use it lightly on the fabric. For stiffer fabric or garments, you might consider having them professionally steam cleaned.

 9. Tumble Dry Instead of Line Dry

Instead of drying fabrics on a line, toss them in the dryer. Sometimes, line drying can make fabrics feel like cardboard, and the tumbling action of the dryer helps to soften fabrics such as cotton.

 10. Use Borax

After your load of laundry starts its rinse cycle, turn the washer off and add 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of Borax, and let it soak into the laundry, as it helps to remove detergent build-up and softens fabrics. After the laundry soaks for a bit, turn the rinse cycle back on.

How to Buy Cotton Fabric on eBay

Stiff and starchy clothing and fabrics can be both difficult to work with and uncomfortable to wear. In addition, certain cleansers can cause stiffness in material, while line drying often results in stiff clothing. Home remedies to alleviate this problem include the use of Borax, steam, and baking soda, among others.
To find cotton fabric and fabric softeners on eBay, you can perform a keyword search, which leads you to seller listings. Make sure to thoroughly read the entire product description before making a purchase, and if you still have questions about a product, contact the seller for more information. Soft, clean cotton fabrics are easily achieved, provided you have the proper materials and techniques at your disposal.


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