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Do you use fabric softener? If you do, don't use it for sun drying. Some softeners react to the sun and get hard. Try vinegar as your softener instead.

Ooh, now I feel an experiment is in my near future. When I line dry, I've mostly used fabric softener.. been awhile since I used vinegar. Actually, it's been a while since I used the solar dryer. While the towels were stiff when I took them down, I noticed they softened up after sitting in the basket in the house for a while..if I fold immediately, they go ahead and relax in the cabinet. What was immediately noticeable whichever I used, was the lovely clean air aroma..Where I live, if one times these things just right, a load can be dry in half an hour. Of course, that might mean fighting the sheets to put them on the line, but it's a good workout!
 

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MyPrepperLife
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
No, I don't use fabric softener.

I've read the advice about vinegar elsewhere (the advice about vinegar is still welcome - thank you). But my question is this: Do you really want your towels to smell like vinegar? I'm not sure I'd be comfortable with that.
 

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Off the leash
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Ooh, now I feel an experiment is in my near future. When I line dry, I've mostly used fabric softener.. been awhile since I used vinegar. Actually, it's been a while since I used the solar dryer. While the towels were stiff when I took them down, I noticed they softened up after sitting in the basket in the house for a while..if I fold immediately, they go ahead and relax in the cabinet. What was immediately noticeable whichever I used, was the lovely clean air aroma..Where I live, if one times these things just right, a load can be dry in half an hour. Of course, that might mean fighting the sheets to put them on the line, but it's a good workout!
I don't use fabric softener, but like you I have noticed towels get softer and relax if folded immediately and put away.

We also have has a lot of good strong wind these past few months and that seems to help "beat" them soft on the line.

We don't have a dryer so I (we) get a good work out from sheets and heavy blankets regularly. The only time I have ever used a dryer were a few times when I lived in places in town and didn't have room to have a line outside.
 

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No, I don't use fabric softener.

I've read the advice about vinegar elsewhere (the advice about vinegar is still welcome - thank you). But my question is this: Do you really want your towels to smell like vinegar? I'm not sure I'd be comfortable with that.
They don't smell at all like vinegar. When vinegar dries, especially in the sun, the odor is neutralized. All you get if fresh line dried towels.

As for stiffness, I wad mine up, shake them out then fold while warm.
 

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No, I don't use fabric softener.

I've read the advice about vinegar elsewhere (the advice about vinegar is still welcome - thank you). But my question is this: Do you really want your towels to smell like vinegar? I'm not sure I'd be comfortable with that.
Your clothes will not smell like vinegar but if you are concerned, add a drop or two of lavender oil to the vinegar.
 

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MyPrepperLife
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I've learned from several sources that if white vinegar is used to rinse the towels, the towels don't have a vinegar oder after they've dried on a clothesline. I will try doing this soon and report back.

Plus, I have a lot of knitted shirts: tank tops, T-shirts, turtlenecks and so on. I think I'll try the vinegar rinse with these as well.
 

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You ladies are amazing. I can't use regular softener without getting a rash, so I have been only using dryer sheets that are scent free. After this post I started using vinegar and my clothes are soft and static free! Just had to say thank you!
Oh I can relate! I have to use fragrance free products of all kinds. Fragrances give me hives (air fresheners and some perfumes used to send me into shock before acupuncture treatments drastically reduced my sensitivity.)
 

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We used to have well water with a lot (I mean A LOT) of calcium in it. The towels came off the line stiff, folded stiff, stayed stiff until they'd been used to dry off after their first shower (at that time, towels got reused 3 times before they got rewashed). Nothing worked. Not vinegar, not rolling and unrolling, not shaking, not windy days, nothing.

Ultimately, I gave up and started putting them in the dryer with a damp cloth and a couple of balls (tennis, golf, baseball-- heaviest balls I could stand listening to bang around in the dryer) on "Air Fluff" for 15 minutes. I was more into "green" than "self-reliant" then. It worked, but I was still dependent on a utility and an appliance to do my laundry to everyone's satisfaction.

Me, I grew to like a good exfoliating towel when I get out of the shower. I find it invigorating. But then, I also now prefer my house heated to about 63F. I find that invigorating, too. Most people think I'm a madwoman, or just really really cheap.

The rest of my family likes their towels fluffy (and their habitat between 68F and 76F). I surrendered the cause and now do our towels and all my husband's clothes in the dryer, even though we live in a completely different place and our well water is much softer (still hard, but much softer).
 

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Epsom salts is a great softener, add i tsp of cheap imitation flavoring, I use citrus, for each two pounds and it is wonderful scent booster for laundry also. Cheap and can't tell the difference from store bought. i also noticed that if I left towels on the line and it rained, after they dried they smelled wonderful and were softer and fluffier. Who knew, laziness can pay off sometimes.
Recipe for fabric softener from internet. Heat 6 cups water to a simmer, remove from heat, add 2 cups white vinegar, 2 cups cheapest you can find hair conditioner, heat back to a simmer, cool 5 mins. add one Tbsp. of borax (to thicken a little) stir for two minutes, pour into a heavy one gallon plastic bottle. Add scent if you want ( imitation flavoring of choice) Really can't smell the vinegar and it works.
 

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I know this thread is a few months old, but you aren't supposed to use fabric softener with towels...it makes them less absorbent. I didn't believe it, but I did an experiment with 2 towels....after 3 washes/dries in the dryer, the towel with the fabric softener spread the puddle of water around that I put on the table...the towel without the fabric softener soaked it up. I hated it when hubby was right
 

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I know this thread is a few months old, but you aren't supposed to use fabric softener with towels...it makes them less absorbent. I didn't believe it, but I did an experiment with 2 towels....after 3 washes/dries in the dryer, the towel with the fabric softener spread the puddle of water around that I put on the table...the towel without the fabric softener soaked it up. I hated it when hubby was right
I have never put liquid fabric softener in my towel loads because of that....mom taught me that very young

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