A pile of fluffy coloured towels.

How to Use Fabric Softeners

For those of us brought up before the introduction of fabric softener, they remain a bit of a mystery. All clothes need soap, but when and how should we condition them? Do all linens need fabric softeners all of the time? And how do you use fabric softener correctly? To help solve these questions we’ve put together the key laundry conditioner basics.  

Why use a fabric softener?

So, what’s the actual point of fabric softeners? There are a few advantages of using these products, such as:

  • Maintaining fabrics – fabric softeners correctly and consistently keep your clothes looking and feeling fresher for longer
  • Great scents – they make your fabrics smell fresh and fragrant for longer
  • Easier ironing – as fabric softeners straighten fibres in garments they may be easier to iron

When should you use fabric softeners?

Now that you know what fabric softeners can do, it is time to consider when to use them. Should you use fabric softeners for everyday washes, or just on special occasions? Are there certain fabrics or items that respond better to fabric softeners than others? If you’ve ever asked ‘how to keep towels soft’ then you’ll already know that fabric softeners can be your best friend in this situation (read more about washing towels here).

However, it’s not just these bulkier items that can benefit from the product. Everyday fabrics and clothes respond just as well. The only clothes you should avoid using fabric softeners with are delicate fabrics such as baby clothes. If you have sensitive skin or are more prone to allergic reactions, then you may find the scents used in fabric softeners a little strong. Choose a mild or hypoallergenic detergent for your clothes instead.  

How to use fabric softener in your laundry?

Still wondering how do you use fabric softener at home? Follow our steps below to get the best results:

  1. Check that the items you wish to launder are machine washable and suitable for use with fabric softeners. If you’re not sure what different laundry symbols mean on your clothes’ care labels then our handy guide can help.
  2. Measure the right amount of fabric softener for your washing load. Not sure how much you should use? Check the packaging and follow our top tip for measuring softener – simply weigh your laundry in kilos, subtract 1 from the total, multiple the number by 10, and you have the number of millimetres of softener you should use
  3. Load your softener into the machine. If you’re unsure of how to add fabric softener or when to put fabric softener in your washing machine, then consult the washing machine manual. In most machines you add it to the detergent drawer in the last compartment and at the same time as you load your detergent.
  4. Wash your clothes on a normal cycle with your normal detergent.

Once the wash is finished, dry your fabrics thoroughly. Hanging clothes on the line is the best way to do this and can even help your laundry to keep its scent for longer. Read more in our article on Drying Clothes . When your items are ready simply fold, put away and enjoy beautifully soft clothes, sheets and towels until the next wash!    

Cleaning tips for all your housekeeping needs. Whether you're tidying up or tackling stains, click here & find out how to clean almost anything!