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4 Ways to Get a Fabric Softener Stain Out of Clothes

4 Ways to Get a Fabric Softener Stain Out of Clothes

Fabric softeners are laundry products used to achieve softness, low wrinkle formation during washing, improved iron glide, good wrinkle removal after washing, color retention, and stain protection, among other things.

However, in addition to softening and refreshing clothes, fabric softeners leave bluish oily stains in their aftermath. If fabric softeners have stained your clothes, this article is for you because we have proffered four effective methods for removing these stains from your clothes.

Fabric softener stains are not the most difficult to remove; breaking up the stain molecules is the best way to remove stains from clothes, and this is best done while the stain is still wet.

As a result, it is best to check for fabric softener stains after rinsing the clothes because the stain will be much more difficult to remove once it has dried, especially if the clothing was dried using a dryer rather than air-drying.

The heat from the dryer causes the stains to set, necessitating the use of more powerful cleaning agents to remove them.

4 Ways to Get a Fabric Softener Stain Out of Clothes

There are various methods for removing fabric softener stains from clothing and this article presents four different methods that have been tested and proven to be very effective in removing these stains from your clothing.

1. White Vinegar to Get a Fabric Softener Stain Out of Clothes

White Vinegar

White vinegar, also known as distilled vinegar, is a mildly acidic cleaning agent used for cleaning and disinfection. Vinegar is an acetic acid-based aqueous solution that is extremely effective in killing viruses and bacteria.

Besides cleaning and disinfecting, white vinegar can also be used for deodorization and stain removal, including removing fabric softener stains from clothes, as is this case.

  • Return the clothes to the washing machine if you notice fabric softener stains on them after rinsing.
  • Add a normal level of warm water to the washing machine.
  • Fill the washing machine with two cups of distilled vinegar.
  • After adding the stained clothes, run your regular washing cycle.
  • Check for fabric softener stains after rinsing before air drying the cloth.

Vinegar is a well-known household stain remover that has carved out a niche in the world of laundry. Vinegar is very effective at removing stains tougher than fabric softener stains. The steps outlined above will be able to remove the fabric softener stains from your clothes.

However, if the stains reappear, most likely as a result of the dryer, consider treating the stained area with hot water and detergent and allowing up to an hour before washing.

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Note that this method is always used when the fabric softener stain is tough, implying that the stain was heated or dried using the dryer.

2.   Hot Water and Laundry Detergents to Get a Fabric Softener Stain Out of Clothes

Hot Water and Laundry Detergents

Oily stains dissolve more easily in hot water than in cold water. As a result, the combination of hot water and detergent to remove fabric softener stains is effective.

There is no particular type or choice of detergent, as regular laundry detergents can be used here, and liquid soaps are also an excellent choice. The procedure is as follows:

  • Place the stained fabric softener cloth on a flat surface.
  • Dampen the stain with hot water and apply the detergent directly to it.
  • Scrub the detergent into the stained area with your finger or a toothbrush to completely cover and saturate it.
  • Allow the detergent to sit for up to 10 minutes to completely break down the molecules of the fabric softener stains.
  • Then, as usual, run your wash cycle.
  • Check for any remaining stains after rinsing before air drying the cloth.

To avoid permanently damaging the cloth, the degree of the hot water should be determined by the instructions on the cloth’s tag. Also, remember that this method is best used when the fabric softener stain has not dried and is thus not too difficult to remove.

Finally, if the desired outcome is not achieved in the first wash, the preceding steps can be repeated.

3. OxiClean Versatile Stain Remover to Get a Fabric Softener Stain Out of Clothes

OxiClean Versatile Stain Remover

OxiClean Versatile Stain Remover is a type of oxygen bleach that is used to remove almost any type of stain from clothing. It works well on tough and persistent stains, such as oily fabric softener stains. It is a very safe form of bleach, unlike chlorine bleach, which can damage your clothes and cause skin irritation.

OxiClean Versatile Stain Remover is ideal for people with sensitivities because it does not irritate the skin. It is color safe and works well with common laundry detergents without emitting any toxic gas or producing poisonous byproducts. OxiClean is an excellent stain remover for that stubborn fabric softener stain that won’t come out of your clothes.

  • Allow for normal water levels in the washing machine.
  • Fill the washing machine with OxiClean versatile stain remover.
  • Stir the stain remover into the water until it is completely dissolved.
  • Put the stained fabric in the washing machine and soak it all the way through in the solution.
  • Allow for up to 6 hours, depending on how dry the fabric softener stain is, for effective stain molecule breakdown.
  • Run a standard wash cycle, rinse, and air dry your cloth.

You can repeat the process if you can still smell the fabric softener or see the stains on the cloth after rinsing because fabric softeners can mask the scent of other chemicals.

OxiClean Versatile Stain Remover removes stains from clothes and works well on carpet stains, upholstery, and kitchen utensils, among others. It is a very safe bleach to use at home, much safer than chlorine bleach because it is gentler on colored clothes and emits no poisonous chlorine gas.

4. Blue Dawn Dish Soap to Get a Fabric Softener Stain Out of Clothes

 Blue Dawn Dish Soap

Blue Dawn Ultra is a type of liquid dish soap that readily removes oily stains from fabrics, such as the fabric softener stain, as well as other types of tougher stains.

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Dawn dish liquid soap can also be used to unclog a toilet or kitchen sink, remove fleas from dogs, kill ants, and clean your home, car, paint brushes, and rings. This type of dish soap is very effective against grease and oily stains.

  • After using hot water to soak up the stain completely, apply the dish soap to the area.
  • Scrub the dish soap over the stained area to thoroughly wet it.
  • Allow up to 10 minutes for the cloth stain molecules to dissolve completely.
  • Run your normal wash cycle.
  • Rinse and hang your clothes to dry.

Dawn liquid dish soap is very concentrated and powerful; therefore, it should be used if the stain has proven stubborn against a regular detergent. Furthermore, Dawn dish soap is extremely safe to use and poses no risk of skin irritation or other adverse effects to the user.


Fabric softeners are frequently used in laundry to achieve a fresh smell; however, fabric softeners can sometimes stain the clothes. This occasionally happens as a result of incorrect application or usage. We have outlined four precautionary measures that must be taken to successfully use fabric softeners.

Avoid Making Use of the Dryer:

When washing to remove fabric softener stains, avoid using the dryer to dry the washed clothes. This is because if any residual particle of the fabric softener stain makes it into the dryer, the heat will reinforce its strength on the fabrics of the clothes, making it even more difficult to remove.

It is always best to air dry your clothes, no matter how certain you are that the fabric softener stains have been removed.

Avoid Using Too Much Fabric Softener:

As previously stated, fabric softeners are frequently used to achieve a fresh scent on your clothes. But, using too much of it may result in staining. It is also recommended that the fabric softeners be thoroughly shaken before use and that they be applied directly to the water to be diluted before touching the clothes.

Finally, avoid overloading the washing machine by making certain that the clothes in the machine at any given time are properly immersed.

Clean the Washing Machine Regularly:

Clean the machine frequently to reduce the likelihood of fabric softeners staining your clothes. Detergent and other laundry additive residues accumulate inside the washing machine over time, staining your clothes.

It is recommended that you clean your washing machine at least once every six months to remove any dirt and residues that may have accumulated.

When Using Hot Water, Exercise Caution:

Each cloth has a tag to which the manufacturer has added information about the cloth. Before treating such clothes, it is always critical to read the instructions on the tag.

Clothes unadapted to hot water will be permanently damaged if exposed to it. Therefore, before carrying out any stain removal process, read the instructions on the cloth’s tag.

Do Not Use More than One Method at the Same Time:

The steps in this article are safe to use; however, they should be used separately, using more than two methods at the same time may result in the production of a toxic byproduct that is harmful to both the cloth and the person.

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If you must try a different method, please ensure you have properly rinsed the cloth and allowed it to air dry before moving on to the next method.

To Achieve the Best Results, Safety Should be of the Utmost Importance:

The proper application of the chemical used, for example, the correct diluted vinegar, should be used. Also, ensure the chemicals that need to be dissolved are thoroughly mixed in water before adding the stained clothes; this will prevent bleaching or staining.

Finally, keep your laundry ingredients properly stored and, more importantly, out of the reach of children.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Fabric Softener Permanently Stain My Cloth?

Yes, if you do not remove the fabric softener stains in their early stages, your clothes will be permanently stained. One may not notice the fabric softener stains on his clothes and will heat them with a dryer, making the stain more part of the fabric and more difficult to remove. In situations like this, the stain may appear permanent on the cloth unless an intentional measure is taken to remove it.

Is the Use of a Fabric Softener Really Important?

Fabric softeners are commonly used in laundry to give our clothes a fresh scent while also straightening them. However, this method of applying fabric softener to laundry appears to be obsolete, as new and advanced detergents have been developed to give clothes that straightening effect and produce a freshening smell without staining the clothes. These detergents are gradually supplanting the use of fabric softeners, which can stain clothing.

Does Washing Machine Remove Early Fabric Softener Stains from Clothes?

Yes, at the beginning of the fabric softener stain formation, running the clothes through a washing machine wash cycle will undoubtedly remove the stains when the cloth is still wet. However, depending on the size of the stain, how long it has been on the clothing, and whether or not it has been through the dryer, you may need to do some pre-treatment to ensure that all the stains come out when you wash it again.

Final Words

We presented four effective methods for removing fabric softener stains from your clothes; this method also applies to stains caused by residue buildup in the washing machine.

We have also established the precautionary measures that must be taken to effectively achieve the desired result of safely removing these stains from clothes. It is also critical to emphasize that avoiding the use of fabric softeners is the best way to remove stains.

The methods in this article have been tried and tested, and they have been shown to be very effective at getting fabric softener stains out of clothes and very safe to use.

If you’ve tried any of the methods here, or if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, please leave them in the comments section below, and one of our correspondents will get back to you right away.

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