Fabric Softener

I was perusing the search terms that led some of y’all to my blog, and while most were common and expected (Niddah, mikvah, jewish marriage, etc) there was one that was just downright funny. Apparently, someone had googled the question:

“why ultra orthodox jews don’t use fabric softner?”

Apparently, they were led to my blog because of a post where I wrote that you’re not supposed to use hair conditioner when preparing to dunk in the mikvah. 

Just to set the record straight, for anyone who might be wondering,

JEWS CAN AND DO USE FABRIC SOFTENER.

Now, this got me wondering, why would anyone even suspect such a thing in the first place. I came to the only (semi) logical conclusion, which was that because some brands of fabric softener have an OU on them, perhaps someone thought that we can’t use fabric softener? OK, I realize that’s not only not semi-logical, it’s downright non-logical, but I’ll let it slide. And, to answer the question, some brands of fabric softener (and aluminum foil and dish soap and plastic bags and laundry detergent and disinfectant spray, you get the point) have an OU or other kosher symbol on them, because, well, kashrut companies like money. I’m serious. I was once present when someone asked a senior official at the OU why the put hechserim on non-edible products even though that might mislead someone into thinking that they MUST buy the soap with the OU on it, and he said, the companies approach US and ask us to do it. They find that their product sells when it has the OU symbol.  Since the soap technically is made out of all kosher ingredients, we oblige.

It’s either that, or someone thinks you might eat your clothes.

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