How to Soften Fabric? 10 Effective Ways

How to Soften Fabric? 10 Effective Ways

In this article, I’ll explain how to soften fabric using different methods. I’ll also explain how to soften fabrics such as canvas and polyester.

Many setbacks and discomforts can be caused by stiff fabrics. Thus, soft and smooth material is preferred by the majority of people. The fabric feels soft and elegant as you run your fingers along it, and this makes you happy. The fact that you can soften your fabric in a variety of ways is a good thing.

The most popular method for softening clothing has been using fabric softener. If you are unable to use fabric softener, there are many other natural alternatives available, including vinegar, baking soda, Epsom salt, hair conditioner, and even dryer balls.

We’re here to explain the softening process for fabrics. A few helpful hints on how to soften clothing have also been compiled by us.

How to Soften Fabric?

How quickly and how softly the fabric becomes will depend on the kind of fabric you’re trying to soften. For instance, natural fabrics like cotton, linen, and wool might soften more readily than artificial ones like polyester, acetate, etc.

But you should be able to soften almost any kind of fabric with the right products and some perseverance.

Soften Canvas Fabric

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If you want to make the canvas fabric softer for sewing or other crafting projects, you can soak it in water for a few hours. This will cause the fibers to swell, making the fabric easier to handle. 

Additionally, if you’d like, you can add fabric softener to the water. Washing canvas in hot water with detergent is another method for making it softer.

Soften Egyptian Cotton Fabric

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When the bedding is brand new, Egyptian-grown cotton sheets have a slightly harder hand or feel than other kinds of cotton. The Egyptian cotton sheets get softer and softer after every single wash.

You should wash your new Egyptian cotton sheets separately from your other laundry in the washing machine.

Soften Denim Fabric

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You know how uncomfortable and rigid a stiff denim jacket can be if you’ve ever owned one. You can use salt, vinegar, fabric softener, and other remedies to make your denim jacket softer.

You can transform your worn-out, stiff denim fabric into a soft, cozy garment in just a few quick steps.

Soften Lace Fabric

How to Soften Lace Fabric? Step-By-Step

While the weaves of some laces will always have a somewhat stiff texture, the fibers of many other types of laces can be softened and relaxed with just a few washing techniques.

If you would like the lace to be particularly soft, add a capful of fabric softener to the water. Since the sizing has been rinsed out, the lace will be softer if you let it dry by air.

Soften Leather Fabric

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If leather is not properly maintained, it can become rigid over time. When this occurs, it loses its comfort and is more likely to crack, which is something you want to prevent.

There are a few different techniques you could try if you want to soften a leather item, such as a leather shoe you love or an old leather couch.

Soften Linen Fabric

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Despite being one of the coziest materials, linen is infamous for having a scratchy texture that can make it uncomfortable to wear.

The good news is that linen gets softer with repeated use. You can also use a variety of techniques to soften linen, such as soaking it in water with a cup of vinegar for an entire night or using baking soda to lessen the irritating scratchiness of fresh linens.

Soften Nylon Fabric

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There are several methods you can use to soften nylon fabric. You can choose to wash your nylon fabric with fabric softener, use vinegar, tumble dry with a dryer sheet, hand wash with conditioner, or iron with a damp cloth. So, it is simple to care for nylon fabric.

Soften Polyester Fabric

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Polyester clothing loses stiffness and becomes more comfortable to wear when it is washed with fabric-softening agents.

Use vinegar or fabric softener to soften the stiff polyester fabric. To use, add a capful of conditioner to the fabric softener compartment of your washing machine during the rinse cycle.

Soften Tulle Fabric

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It is easy to soften the stiff tulle at home! You should just place the tulle in the washing machine. then combine therein the laundry detergent and fabric softener simultaneously.

Regardless of the wash cycle you prefer—hot or warm—you can do so. Dry the tulle using your dryer.

Ways to Soften Fabric

Without further ado, let’s take a look at some of the top techniques for fabric softening. It might take some of these techniques longer than others to soften fabrics to your taste, and you might need to try more than one of them before you find the one that works best for you.

Fabric Softener

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  1. 7 cups (1.7 liters) of white vinegar and 1 cup (200 g) of baking soda should be added to a bowl. The mixture should be thoroughly combined after being stirred.
  2. To soften clothing, add a third of a cup (80 ml) of the mixture to the washing machine’s fabric softener dispenser or add it while the cycle is running. Despite the fact that baking soda and white vinegar can naturally soften clothing on their own, they can also be combined to create a very powerful and straightforward fabric softener.



Using vinegar alone is enough to soften clothes:

  1. Wait until the rinse cycle has finished on the washer.
  2. White vinegar, 120 ml worth, should be added. Pour the vinegar into the washer’s fabric softener dispenser if one exists. The vinegar aids in cleaning and softening the clothes by removing residue and extra soap. Above all else, make sure to only use vinegar in the rinse cycle to avoid leaving an odor on the clothes.

Baking Soda

baking soda

Baking soda softens clothes while also reducing smelly odors.

  1. Wait until the tub is halfway filled before starting the washer.
  2. Before adding the clothing, dissolve half a cup of baking soda (90 g) in the water. Simply place the baking soda in the compartment where the laundry detergent is kept if your washing machine is front-loading.

Additionally, baking soda helps control the pH level of the water in the washer, which lessens wear and tear and keeps clothes softer for longer. Along with your usual detergent, you can also add baking soda to the washing machine water.

Baking Soda & Vinegar Together

How to Soften Fabric? 10 Effective Ways

Mixing baking soda and vinegar will produce an even stronger fabric softener that works with any kind of clothing. The benefits of both vinegar and baking soda are combined in this method, so in addition to making your clothes softer, they will also smell better, look brighter, and feel cleaner.

  1. The first step in using them together is to combine 1 cup of baking soda and 7 cups of vinegar in a bowl. They should be thoroughly combined after you’ve given them a good stir.
  2. Following that, add a 1/3 cup to the fabric softener dispenser or the rinse cycle of the washing machine and let the mixture do its magic.

Keep the remainder in a jar for later use.

Epsom Salt

Epsom Salt

Another quick and efficient method for softening clothing and other fabrics is Epsom salt. Your clothes will become softer as the salt dissolves if you simply add 1 tablespoon of Epsom salt directly to the wash. To soften and freshen your clothing, you can either add the Epsom salt to the wash as-is or mix it with a drop of essential oil.

You should exercise caution when adding too much essential oil to the Epsom salt. Don’t use more than one drop of essential oil because using the dryer with the oil on can cause a fire risk, especially if the clothing isn’t thoroughly rinsed.

In this case, air drying the clothing might be recommended. (It should be okay to dry the clothes in the dryer as long as you use Epsom salt by itself without adding essential oils.)

Hair Conditioner & Vinegar

How to Soften Fabric? 10 Effective Ways

Combining vinegar and hair conditioner is another fantastic way to soften fabrics using items you most likely already have at home. Hair conditioner softens your hair in order to work, and it can also do the same for your clothing, especially for natural fabrics like cotton and wool. You are free to use any brand or flavor of conditioner for your hair.

  1. 3 cups of vinegar, 2 cups of hair conditioner, and 6 cups of water should all be combined in a big bowl.
  2. Gently stir the ingredients together until it seems like they have all been incorporated.
  3. Then, as a gentler alternative to fabric softener, add about 1 cup of the mixture to the rinse cycle or fabric softener dispenser.
  4. The remaining mixture should be kept in a jar for later use.

Dryer Sheets

dryer sheets

A lot of people substitute dryer sheets for fabric softeners. They help remove static from clothing, give it a fresher smell, and soften it when used in the dryer as opposed to the washing machine. You can either buy or make your own dryer sheets at home.

Cotton fabric squares (or washcloths) are a simple DIY material you can use to create your own dryer sheets.

  1. Fill a spray bottle with your earlier concoction of hair conditioner, vinegar, and water.
  2. After that, spray it on the cotton squares or washcloths and place them in the dryer with your wet clothes.

As an alternative to using essential oils, try using the mixture you made earlier to soften and scent the clothing.

Dryer Balls

dryer ball

Dryer balls are a different approach for getting softer clothes without using extra chemicals. After you make the one-time dryer ball purchase, of course, this method is practically cost-free.

Tennis balls and other rubber balls, which are commonly found objects, would also have the same effect on the clothing. Since the balls are merely fluffing the clothes as they dry and make them feel softer to the touch, the process is straightforward.

But because of the potential for damage from friction in the dryer, this technique should not be used when drying delicate items.



By adding a frac12th of a cup of borax powder to the wash water, you can soften hard water, which in turn softens clothing. Your whites will shine and your clothes will be cleaner with the help of borax.

Soft Water

How to Soften Fabric? 10 Effective Ways

Simply washing the clothes in soft water right away is by far the most efficient way to get softer clothes after they have been laundered. It not only stops the minerals from your fabrics from adhering to the hard water, but it also enables the laundry detergent to clean more effectively.

As a result, you can wash your clothes with less detergent, which will save you money and keep an accumulation of extra detergent from settling in the fabric fibers. A full-featured home water refiner can enhance many other water-related aspects of your life, resulting in a win-win situation.

Why Are My Clothes So Stiff?

When you wash your clothes, you should use the recommended amount of detergent. If not, detergent and mineral traces will likely remain in the water, making the fabric of your clothing stiff or rough rather than soft and stretchy.

The amount of detergent needed to combat the hardness of the water, which can impact the softness of the fibers, may be insufficient if too little detergent is used. On the other hand, if you use too much detergent, you risk leaving concentrated detergent on the fibers, which will give them a rough texture.

Therefore, it is advised to either use the package’s recommended dosage or the cap that comes with these packages.

Conclusion: Soften Fabric

Even if you are unable to use fabric softener for some reason, there are still many ways to soften clothing. A water refiner or a quick fix, such as vinegar, dryer balls, or baking soda, can all be used in different ways to soften clothing. The kindest thing you can do for the environment and your clothes is to use soft water.


What Makes the Fabric Softer?

Fabric softeners contain lubricating ingredients that help coat and soften fibers in your fabrics when added to your laundry load in the form of liquid, powder, or dryer sheets.

Why Does Vinegar Soften Fabric?

Primarily vinegar works to soften fabric by reducing soap and residues and by dissolving mineral buildup. Fabric softener, on the other hand, works by coating the fabric with chemically charged electrical currents that make the threads stand up and feel fluffier and softer as a result.

How Long to Soak Fabric in Vinegar to Soften?

To use it, soak the stained item for 30 minutes up to overnight in a solution of white vinegar and 1 Tbsp. of liquid detergent into the washing machine.

Can You Soak Fabric in Vinegar Overnight?

If you need to resurrect items from your wardrobe that have become dull and faded, here’s her pro tip: “Soak [your clothing] overnight in a vinegar and water solution. Then wash using half to a full cup of vinegar in the rinse cycle”. Using darker colors should make this especially useful.

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