Detergent, softener, dryer balls…there are dozens of different laundry products on the market that all seem to offer different, exciting results.
But what are they? What do they do? And do you really need all of them?
At Coronet Equipment, we’re laundry experts and we’re here to break down what all these laundry products are for, and tell you which ones you really need.
Let’s get the big question out of the way first – yes, you absolutely need laundry detergent. If there is one product you definitely want to use, it’s this one. Laundry detergent is a cleanser, which is necessary because people are dirty. We shed skin, hair, sweat, and come into contact with dirt and food everyday. Often, our clothes bear the brunt of this grime and hold onto it. It’s important to cleanse our clothes so they don’t smell, deteriorate, or possibly irritate us.
In order to get our clothes clean, laundry detergents utilize something called surfactants. Surfactant is a nickname for “surface active agents”. These agents can interact with both oil and water. This allows laundry detergents to pick up the grease and dirt on clothing and whisk them away in the water. Specialty detergents like gentle, or extra strong ones have different types of surfactants, but no matter which you pick, it’s a must to get your clothes effectively cleaned.
Overwhelmed by all the laundry detergents out there? Check out this helpful article to learn more about which one might be right for you.
Stain removers typically have pretty similar ingredients to laundry detergents. They’re in more concentrated amounts than typical detergents so they work extra hard on stains. Stain removers also have extra components like solvents and oxidizers to “eat away” at stains. Some should only be used on whites, as they may contain bleach and work by brightening the fabric. If you’re treating regular clothing, choose one that’s colour-safe.
Do you need a stain remover? Maybe! If you or your children are prone to accidents and spills, stain removers are an easy and effective way to pretreat your laundry before you throw it in the wash. If you don’t deal with stains very often, dabbing them with detergent and letting them sit can also work well. It really depends on your laundry routine.
Softeners tend to divide people. Some love the feel and scent they give to laundry. Others worry about the residue they can leave. To decide if you need one, it’s important to understand how fabric softener works.
Fabric softeners deposit a layer of lubricant onto your laundry that gives it a soft feel and fights against static and even stains. Fabric softeners are typically liquid, powder, or found in dryer sheets (more on those later). Fabric softener can also help to fight against pilling and fading. However, many people worry about residues that can affect the integrity and performance of certain fabrics. For example, softener can make towels and sportswear less absorbent, so it’s generally recommended you avoid using them on these sorts of fabrics. People with sensitive skin also tend to find fabric softener irritating.
So, do you need fabric softener? The answer is no. It really comes down to preference. If you’ve tried softener before and didn’t like it, don’t worry. Your laundry’s cleanliness really won’t be affected by omitting this step.
Laundry scent boosters are typically beads, crystals, and powders that you put in the washing machine. As the name would suggest, they help to make the fresh laundry smell people love last a little longer. They essentially deposit scents into fabric.
Obviously, this isn’t a necessary step to take when doing laundry. In fact, if you are sensitive to smells, you’ll definitely want to skip this one. But, if you can’t get enough of that clean laundry smell, this product is an easy step to add to your routine.
Dryer sheets are made of polyesters and cellulose fibres. Layers of lubricant, softener, and fragrance are built into these sheets. If you like the effect of softeners and scent boosters but find them overwhelming, these can be a great solution.
A massive benefit of dryer sheets is that they help combat static, which often builds up in hot dryers. Dryer sheets aren’t a necessity but they can be a great tool in the harsh Canadian winters. Because they combat static, many people use them to avoid shocks and uncomfortable clingy wear.
Dryer balls are reusable balls made of tightly compressed wool, plastic, or rubber. All these balls are long-lasting, environmentally friendly options to use when drying your clothes. Wool balls tend to be quieter in the dryer and help improve drying time. Rubber and plastic balls can be loud, but they help to open clothes up so they dry evenly and don’t pill.
Dryer balls are a great option to help with dryer effectiveness and static reduction. They are the number one drying choice for those who are sensitive to smells or other chemicals found in dryer sheets.
While you don’t have to put anything in your dryer, we recommend choosing between either dryer sheets or balls during the winter months when static can build up – read more about which one is best for you here.
The laundry market is crowded with tons of different products that promise to make your clothes smell good, feel great, and stay stain-free. Most of them aren’t necessary and really come down to your own personal preference, so knowing where to spend your money and where to save it can help to keep your laundry costs down.
At Coronet Equipment, we offer effective laundry solutions to meet all of your laundry needs. Find out how we can help you keep your laundry clean!