How to Keep Flannel Soft

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Many parents choose flannel diapers for their babies.

Whether you prefer the comfort of a well-worn shirt, sheets that make you sigh with pleasure when you climb into bed or a tender fabric with which to swaddle your baby's bottom, there's nothing that can compete with the soft warmth of flannel. Made from cotton, flannel is versatile and inexpensive. Over time, however, flannel can lose its softness unless it's cared for properly. Once you know how to treat your flannel items, they'll stay soft and supple.

Step 1

Wash your flannel items in a mild detergent in cold water. Choose a gentle wash cycle setting.

Step 2

Add one cup of vinegar to the rinse water each time you wash flannel items. Vinegar in the rinse water will help remove soap residue without damaging the flannel.

Step 3

Hang flannel items on a clothesline to dry naturally, or dry them on the lowest setting in your dryer. High dryer temperatures are harmful to flannel and cause it to shrink and wear too quickly.


Use a second rinse on loads of flannel items to remove all traces of soap and detergent. Wash your flannel items in a load by themselves.


Avoid using chlorine bleach on flannel items. Never wash flannel on a hot water setting. Hot water is too harsh for soft flannel fabrics. Avoid using fabric softener on flannel. Fabric softener can cause a buildup on the material and reduce its softness.