In this study, the effect of cotton treatment with cellulose and carboxymethyl cellulose on soil release of three different types of fabric: woven plain, woven twill and knitted were systematically studied. A recent study of the effect of a cleaning cellulase enzyme on cellulose films has proven that this substance selectively attacks amorphous cellulose regions, consisting of small hills in a matrix of flat crystalline regions. According to our previous investigations, where carboxymethyl cellulose is present in the formula, the enzyme seems to drive soil release performance. However, the mechanism has not yet been sufficiently studied from the topographical standpoint. In the present study, topographical changes caused by the treatment with cleaning cellulase enzyme and carboxymethyl cellulose on the fabrics by conditioning while washing were analysed on three different length scales in order to interpret their cooperation on water and oil absorption mechanisms and, hence, on cleanability of cotton fabrics stained with liquid–solid, liquid and solid soils.