Why not use fabric softeners?
The soft feeling and the pleasant scent that fabric softeners provide may seem appealing, but it actually damages high performance and waterproof clothes. Softeners stick to the garments and give a waxy, oily coating. The drawback is thus a dramatic reduction of the breathability of the garment. The coating blocks the garment’s ability to evacuate moisture from the inside, and it reduces the water absorbance. In addition, it obstructs tape from sticking to the fabric, which can be problematic when repairing the garment.
Another reason for not using fabric softeners is for environmental and health reasons. The main softening agents are of ammonium compounds. They provide the fabric with electric charge to prevent static cling. Unfortunately, they are also known asthmagens and some can be bio accumulative, and thus harm the nature and its organisms due to degradability. The softeners often also contain fragrance, dyes and preservatives, which are comprised of many chemicals such as phthalates, also harmful for the environment and health.