Do what you want, let’s just agree that I’m right.

February 26, 2012


I believe that I have said before that I am not a fan of fabric softener. I have a whole laundry system that I won’t go into again, but it does not involve fabric softener of any kind.

On Mondays when I get the kids’ cots ready, I have a couple of nap bags that I open up to get to their blankets and things and am overwhelmed by the smell of fabric softener. I almost choke as I remove the dryer sheets. I commented to my student teacher that I don’t like fabric softener because then the clothes aren’t really clean – they still have stuff on them.

He looked at me like I was crazy. Being busy with the cots, I couldn’t fully explain my argument. Lucky you – you get to hear it.

Point One: Clothes that are dirty may or may not have a smell. If they have an odor, it probably comes from the unpleasant substance (dirt or sweat) that is on them.

Point Two: If you wash your clothes with a small amount of soap and enough water, it should remove all substances that may cause a smell. Ergo, the clothes should smell like nothing.

Point Three: If you put a substance on the clothes that makes them have a smell after laundering, that substance is Still On The Clothes, even if it makes them have a nice smell. Ergo, they are not ‘clean’.

Point Four: I am not absolutely sure if I am using ‘ergo’ correctly.

You can see my point, yes? See, people only like fabric softeners because the chemicals in them smell like flowers or teddy bears or whatever, so people smell it and think, “Ahhh. It smells so nice, it must be clean!” If the chemicals smelled like burnt onions or skunk, they would smell ‘bad’ and you would say, “Gross. Why does this Downy smell like tacos? I gotta wash this again.” Same thing with a detergent that leaves a smell – you probably haven’t rinsed all the detergent out.

However, I am not saying this to sway you from your decision to use fabric softeners if you so wish, I just want to be right.

I always want to be right – eggo, we have a problem.

About Lauren

Lauren Sommerer is a preschool teacher who likes to build prototypes, grow cats, cook things once, save money, reduce, reuse and recycle.

View all posts by Lauren


Stay connected as you care to...

10 Responses to “Do what you want, let’s just agree that I’m right.”

  1. Beth Said on:

    Using your system, which is most certainly accurate, we always wear clothes with “stuff” on them. Yes we do.

    And because I know of your (and Lloyd’s) aversion to clothes that have a scent, I have often wondered to myself if sitting in our kitchen (and the two of you almost always choose the chairs closest to the laundry room) so very close to our laundry with it’s smellisciousness makes you just a little sick. 😉

    (You’re thinking about where you sit in our kitchen, huh?)


    • Lauren Said on:

      My smeller is not good enough to detect the scent of laundry detergent on other people’s clothes, so we’re good. I don’t mind the smell of softener, just not on me. Also, not invading my nose when I’m setting up those two cots. It makes me wonder if those two parents are using that ‘Unstopables’ stuff as well as dryer sheets.


  2. Kristi Said on:

    Having just tried making my own laundry detergent and dishwasher soap (basically the same thing), I am tempted now to try my own fabric softener. Or perhaps Lauren would try it out for me first.


  3. Lauren's dad Said on:

    One recipe for fabric softener lists hair conditioner as an ingredient. From Wikipedia: “modern science has advanced the hair conditioner industry to include those made with silicone.”
    So, if fabric softener sheets have silicone, why not just go to the hardware store, by an aerosol can of silicone, and spray it on your clothes (or hair)?
    My vast experience in drying windows with tea towels that are dried with fabric softener sheets leaves them smeared. Guess I should stop wiping windows!


  4. Brad Said on:

    Ha! I like this post! You ARE right. But I will continue to use the sheets.

    I like the smell, but I don’t particularly care if my fabric has been softened. Maybe I should just spray some perfume on my clothes after washing them. But throwing that sheet in the dyer so easy. Ergo, I use fabric softener sheets.


  5. Lauren's mom Said on:

    I only use fabric softener sheets to eliminate static cling, -- like on nylons and my dress slacks. (and occasionally on Dad’s dress shirts, but don’t tell him because he doesn’t like softener either.)


  6. Lauren Said on:

    I forgot to mention that line-dried-in-the-sunshine smell is acceptable, but only because it involves magic.


  7. Jane Sommerer Said on:

    I learned to tear those sheets in half from Christina and it works great. Leaves less smell and the static cling works just as well. Maybe you are allergic to whatever they are using.


  8. A-net Said on:

    Used dryer sheets make wonderful white board erasers for the student sized white boards. FYI. That’s why I use them. Oh, and the static!


Leave a Reply