How to make hoodies soft again

Do you remember the feeling of slipping into comfy hoodies and sweatpants on a cold winter morning? The cozy warmth it provided was pure bliss, until those same garments lost their softness after multiple washes. If this has happened to your favourite hoodie or collection of comfortable sweatshirts, we have great news: there is an easy way to make them fluffy and soft again! In this blog post, we will show you how to restore them back to their former glory with just a few simple steps. Read on for more information and tips about rejuvenating your beloved hoodies!

Assessing the Fabric

1. Understanding Fabric Types

Before we dive into how to make hoodies soft again, it’s important to understand the different types of fabric commonly used in hoodies. The most common types include cotton, polyester, and a blend of both. Each fabric type requires different care methods.

  • Cotton: This is a natural fabric that is soft and breathable. It’s also prone to shrinking if washed in hot water or dried on high heat.
  • Polyester: This is a synthetic fabric that is durable and wrinkle-resistant. It’s also less prone to shrinking and holds its shape well.
  • Blend: A blend of cotton and polyester combines the best of both fabrics, providing comfort and durability. However, it may require special care depending on the percentage of each fabric in the blend.

2. Identifying Causes of Stiffness

Now that you know the different types of fabric used in hoodies, it’s important to identify the cause of stiffness. The most common reasons for stiff hoodies are:

  • Residual Detergent: If too much detergent is used or not rinsed properly, it can leave a residue on the fabric, making it stiff and rough.
  • Buildup of Fabric Softener: Fabric softeners are designed to make clothes feel soft and fluffy, but if too much is used or not rinsed properly, it can cause a buildup on the fabric.
  • Hard Water: Using hard water for washing can also contribute to stiffness as it contains minerals that can leave deposits on the fabric.

Washing Techniques

1. Choosing the Right Detergent and Fabric Softener

To restore your hoodies back to their softness, it’s important to choose the right detergent and fabric softener. Opt for a mild, fragrance-free detergent that won’t leave a residue on your clothes. Avoid using too much fabric softener or opt for natural alternatives such as white vinegar or baking soda.

2. Fabric Softener or Vinegar Rinse

After washing your hoodies, add either a small amount of fabric softener or half a cup of white vinegar to the final rinse cycle. This will help loosen any buildup on the fabric and leave it feeling softer.

3. Proper Water Temperature

Another important aspect is to use the right water temperature when washing your hoodies. For cotton, use cold or warm water to prevent shrinking, and for polyester, use warm or hot water to remove any buildup.

Natural Softening Methods

1. Baking Soda Treatment

For a natural and effective way to soften your hoodies, try using baking soda. Add half a cup of baking soda to the washing machine with your regular detergent and wash as usual. The baking soda will help loosen any residue on the fabric, leaving it soft and fluffy.

2. Salt Soak

Another natural method to make hoodies soft again is using a salt soak. Fill a bucket with warm water and add half a cup of salt, stir until dissolved, then soak your hoodie in the solution for at least an hour. The salt will help soften the fabric, making it more comfortable to wear.

3. Hair Conditioner Hack

Yes, you read that right! Using a hair conditioner can also help soften your hoodies. Simply add a small amount of hair conditioner to the final rinse cycle and dry as usual. The conditioner will leave a softening residue on the fabric, making it feel like new.

Fabric Softener Sheets

1. In-Dryer Use

If you prefer a quick and easy method, try using fabric softener sheets in the dryer. Simply toss one or two sheets in with your hoodies and dry as usual. The heat from the dryer will activate the fabric softener on the sheet and transfer it onto your clothes.

2. Tumble Drying with Sheets

Another option is to use fabric softener sheets during the tumble drying process. Place a few sheets in with your wet hoodies and dry on low heat. The constant movement will help soften the fabric and reduce any stiffness.

Mechanical Softening

1. Tennis Ball Technique

A popular method for making hoodies soft again is using a tennis ball in the dryer. Simply toss in a clean tennis ball with your damp hoodies and dry as usual. The ball will help break up any stiffness in the fabric, leaving it feeling softer.

2. Repeated Washing

If all else fails, you can try repeatedly washing your hoodies to help soften them. This method may take a bit longer, but it can be effective in gradually breaking down any buildup on the fabric.

3. Hand Rubbing and Kneading

For those who prefer a hands-on approach, you can try hand rubbing and kneading the fabric to break up any stiffness. This method may require some time and effort, but it can be effective in restoring softness.

Air Drying Tips

1. Avoiding Sunlight

When air drying your hoodies, be sure to avoid direct sunlight as it can cause fading and damage the fabric.

2. Flat Drying

To maintain the shape of your hoodies, lay them flat on a towel to dry instead of hanging them.

3. Avoiding Overcrowding

Make sure to give your hoodies enough space when air drying to prevent them from becoming stretched or misshapen.

Brushing and Sweater Stone

1. Using a Soft Brush

After drying, you can use a soft brush to gently brush the fabric of your hoodies. This will help remove any remaining residue and leave the fabric feeling softer.

2. Sweater Stone for Specific Fabrics

For certain fabrics, such as wool or cashmere, using a sweater stone can help remove any stiffness and restore softness. Simply rub the stone gently over the fabric to break up any buildup.

Preventing Stiffness in the Future

1. Proper Storage

To prevent stiffness in the future, it’s important to store your hoodies properly. Be sure to clean them before storing and avoid using plastic bags, which can trap moisture and cause odors.

2. Avoiding Harsh Chemicals

When washing your hoodies, avoid using harsh chemicals or too much detergent. Opt for mild and natural alternatives to prevent any buildup on the fabric.

3. Regular Softening Maintenance

Lastly, to avoid any stiffness, it’s important to regularly use softening methods and techniques on your hoodies. This will help maintain their softness and keep them feeling comfortable.


Stiff hoodies can be frustrating, but with the right washing techniques and natural methods, you can easily restore their softness. Remember to choose the right detergent and fabric softener, use proper water temperature, and try out some of these easy tips for softening your hoodies. With a little bit of care and maintenance, your favorite hoodies will feel like new again. So next time you’re struggling with stiff hoodies, try some of these methods to get them feeling soft and comfortable once more. Happy washing! #NoMoreStiffHoodies

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