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Thread: Sports Bra vs. Fabric Softener

  1. #1
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    Sports Bra vs. Fabric Softener

    I recently bought two high-end sports bras. The saleswoman told me not to use fabric softener because it would ruin them.

    The tag in the bras say not to use fabric softener. Does anyone know what it is that makes fabric softener bad for sports bras? Is it bad for regular bras too?

    Thanks in advance for any info you can provide.

  2. #2
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    I think that fabric softener does something to the wicking properties of your sports bras, but I'm not 100% positive of that.
    See some of my quilts at: My blog

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by MNGirlTX View Post
    I think that fabric softener does something to the wicking properties of your sports bras, but I'm not 100% positive of that.
    That makes sense --- if it coats the fabric, it couldn't wick properly. I guess the part that confused me was that the salewoman said it would "ruin" the bra. On the other hand, maybe she considers if it doesn't wick, it is ruined.

    I don't use fabric softener very often, but I hate to think if a bra did get in a load with softener, that I ruined it forever.

  4. #4
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    I've heard that fabric softener can negatively affect the absorbency of towels, if this is true I'd agree that with the sports bra it would affect the wicking properties. But I don't think the occasional accidental wash with fabric softener would 'ruin' the bra.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for your opinions/ideas.

    I'm thinking I'll try to be very careful and wash them without, but won't panic if I make a mistake.

    The bras were kind of pricey, but more than that --- they are EXTREMELY comfortable. So, I'd like to keep them as nice as I can for as long as I can.

  6. #6
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    I avoid fabric softeners on all my technical fabrics (anything I use for running, cycling, skiing etc) as it does ruin their wicking properties. For those items I use white vinegar for softening which works pretty well.


    "Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself" ~ George Bernard Shaw


  7. #7
    Actually, I have almost completely given up using fabric softener on anything. I honestly can't say I miss it.
    "When you are in love with someone you want to be near him all the time, except when you are out buying things and charging them to him." Miss Piggy

  8. #8
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    Many synthetic fabrics say to avoid fabric softener as it can leave spots that can be difficult if not impossible to remove.
    Life is not the way it's supposed to be. It's the way it is. The way you cope with it is what makes the difference.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by NancyR View Post
    Actually, I have almost completely given up using fabric softener on anything. I honestly can't say I miss it.
    I'm using it very infrequently as I really don't think it's necessary most of the time, but I was very curious as to what damage it would do.

    I was told when I bought my front-loading washing machine that it wasn't good for the gasket and could promote the formation of mold. So, I pretty much quit using it then, but if it is very cold/dry out I'll sometimes use it very diluted on the "black" load so his socks don't stick to his pants.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by NancyR View Post
    Actually, I have almost completely given up using fabric softener on anything. I honestly can't say I miss it.
    Me too. I have never really used it much at all, but I can't think of the last time I bought a bottle. Am I missing something? What is the primary reason people use it?

    In the winter, if I am washing something that may have static cling, I will put an unscented dryer sheet in, and reuse that one a bit, since I don't like any "buildup" on my clothes.
    Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by BucknellAlum View Post
    Me too. I have never really used it much at all, but I can't think of the last time I bought a bottle. Am I missing something? What is the primary reason people use it?

    In the winter, if I am washing something that may have static cling, I will put an unscented dryer sheet in, and reuse that one a bit, since I don't like any "buildup" on my clothes.
    Just to be clear, dryer sheets have fabric softener as well and will do the same thing to wicking properties of technical fabrics. I spend a lot of money on my gear and would prefer they last a long time so I'm pretty careful about these things. Here's a great article on washing technical fabrics.

    http://www.rei.com/expertadvice/arti...bric+care.html


    "Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself" ~ George Bernard Shaw


  12. #12
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    Great article, Robyn. Thanks for sharing.

    I think I've used my last fabric softener ---- I think I don't want all those chemicals left in the clothing up against my skin.

    I already use a HE detergent with no dyes and fragrance.

  13. #13
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    I know nothing about sports bras or technical clothing, but for several years I've have good success using "dryer balls" to soften fabric and reduce static with no chemicals (useful for those with sensitive skin or contact allergies). I got my most recent set at Bed, Bath and Beyond. Does the friction reduce the life of the fabric? Probably, but not enough so as to notice it.

    Kay

  14. #14
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    Do you guys ever use the sport-specific detergents (like SportWash)? Do you find that they make much difference vs regular detergents?

  15. #15
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    Susan - I did buy a bottle of SportWash to see how it works on my sweaty workout clothes. I really like it! The downside is the cost - a teeny bottle was $10 but it does a great job and the clothes' wicking properties are retained nicely.

    I heard that Tide is coming out with a similar product specifically for workout wear - maybe that will be more cost-effective!


    Sheila

  16. #16
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    My Mom taught me when I was learning to do laundry, not to put bras and panties (except maybe cotton ones) in the dryer. She said the heat will wear out the elastic, spandex, lycra, whatever they're made of. So I always hang my "delicates" on a little fold up dryer and air dry them. They do seem to last a long time! I checked my sports bras and there is nothing on them mentioning fabric softener, but it does say to air dry.

    Just my 2 cents.
    barbara-cook

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