For the longest time growing up, I avoided touching the fabric softener on my mother’s laundry machine. I actually didn’t understand the bottles purpose. I knew from the label it was designed to make fabrics softer, but still I felt like if I poured it in the wrong place or with the wrong fabrics it would cause a nuclear meltdown in our laundry room. Or, maybe damage some of our clothes.
So I ONLY used the regular laundry detergent and simply steered clear of fabric softeners and their weird ball-shaped accessories (the Downy ball).
Is that weird? Am I the only one? Well for anyone who was like me, or just wondering if they really NEED fabric softener, here’s some info…
Fabric softener, is a laundry product that is typically added to the wash in the final rinse, and is supposed to improve the quality of your laundry.
Why Use A Fabric Softener?
Fabric softeners make clothes feel better, and therefore more pleasant to wear. Fabric softeners can improve the bounciness, comfort, and softness of your garments, making them less abrasive to your skin. Even if you don’t have sensitive skin, it’s still a great feeling to have super soft clothes. Plus most fabric softeners give your clothes a really great, fresh, smell.
Additionally, fabric softeners strengthen and protect your clothes. Think of it like when you put conditioner in your hair in the shower. Some fabrics can fray and get dry from regular wear and washing. Fabric softener goes on the material last, after the detergent, to restore smoothness and help fabrics retain their original elasticity. Sort of like hair conditioner!
The last great benefit of fabric softener, is the time it saves. For instance, clothes washed with fabric softener are bouncier and as a result, less wrinkly. This can save you a ton of time on upkeep of your clothes and reduce the need to use your iron to basically zero. Totally convenient!
How Do You Use A Fabric Softener?
So when it comes to WHERE to put fabric softener in your washing machine, the general rule is you should look for a compartment with a flower symbol next to it. This is a general rule, and every washing machine manufacturer might have their own specific way of doing it. If you still have your machine’s manual handy and your machine’s fabric softener spot isn’t intuitive, consult the manual.
If all else fails, you can google your specific make and model machine for more information. There is a decent chance that your machine’s manufacturer has a YouTube with helpful tips on how to use their machines.
Things To Keep In Mind For Your Fabric Softener
Consult the labels. This pertains to virtually every cleaning product in existence. You not only want to look at the fabric softener instructions to make sure you don’t overdo it- you also want to check the fabrics that you’re washing to make sure that they are suitable for the fabric softener that you are using.
Pour the softener into the correct compartment. When you put softener in the softener compartment of your washing machine, it will be released at a different time of the cycle than regular laundry detergent. This is important because if you put softener in the wrong compartment and it is released at the wrong time, you won’t get the full effect of the softener, and that could be a bad use of your hard earned money.
Don’t use different products in your caps. This advice goes in line with the last point. You don’t want to measure your fabric softener in a laundry detergent cap and vice versa. The reason is these cleaning products are formulated to work as they are, and mixing one with the other can tamper with their effectiveness.
Fabric softeners are made with natural products. As a result, they change over time. That is, they won’t be the exact same if you leave them sit on the shelf for 8 months. Usually, fabric softener will thicken over time and become more difficult to pour. Don’t panic, this is natural. Also, storing softener in very hot or cold temperatures can change the thickness of softeners too.
Fabric softeners are awesome all natural products, and nothing to be feared! Just remember to use the appropriate amounts in the appropriate compartments and don’t mix them with other detergents.