What is Fabric Conditioner?
Fabric conditioner, or fabric softener, is a popular laundry product usually added to the drum in the final rinse, further enhancing the quality of your wash. Fabric conditioners can be used both in the washing machine, where they are added to the correct compartment of the washing machine drawer (read on for advice on where to put fabric conditioner), or in the basin when hand washing.
What Does Fabric Conditioner Do?
- Fabric conditioners make clothes even more pleasant to wear. Using a fabric conditioner or softener such as Comfort Intense makes your clothes feel softer, bouncier, and more comfortable. This is because it adds a coating the clothing fibres.
- Fabric conditioners also help to protect your clothes – particularly those made with soft fabrics like wool. Over time, the fibres tangle and bobble, leaving your clothes looking tired and worn. Fabric conditioner lightly conditions each of the fibres, helping them to remain regular and smooth and retain their natural elasticity – making your clothes look newer for longer.
- Fabric conditioner saves time. Fabric conditioner can be particularly useful if you, like most of us, would prefer to spend as little time on ironing as possible. Clothes washed in fabric conditioner generally come out of the machine less crumpled – the smoother fibres make creases fall out more easily, and so ironing requires less effort!
- Finally, fabric conditioners make your clothes smell great!
Think of fabric conditioner as you would hair conditioner – in fact, they work on very similar principles. With both, you can instantly feel the difference the product makes, which is why most women (and men are catching up) wouldn’t dream of washing their hair without a conditioner. So why not use a fabric conditioner to care for your clothes in the same way, and keep them looking their best?
Where to Put Fabric Conditioner
If you’re wondering where to put fabric conditioner in your washing machine detergent drawer, a general rule of thumb is that the compartment is usually indicated by a flower symbol. It can, however, vary depending on the type of washing machine you have, so if you still have the manual, it’s best to refer to it.
If you haven’t got the manual, it’s actually well worth searching the model and manufacturer on YouTube for advice – plenty of brands (and helpful enthusiasts) have videos to help you figure out where to put fabric conditioner and other laundry products.
How to Use Fabric Conditioner
- Always use the correct dose – it’s important with any laundry product to read the instructions on the label to check how much you should be using, and to ensure that it is suitable for your fabric.
- Fabric conditioners need to be put in the correct compartment of your washing machine – they work best if added during the rinse cycle. If you place conditioner in the detergent drawer, it will be added in the main wash cycle, and you won’t get the optimal results. If you’re not sure which compartment is correct, check the manual.
- For the best results, try to use your fabric conditioner within 3 months of purchase – unless you do a great deal of laundry, it’s unwise to stockpile bottles. Avoid storing fabric conditioner for long periods of time, as this can cause the product to become thick.
- Store bottles of fabric conditioner at room temperature, and out of direct sunlight. Avoid extremes of heat or cold, and never let fabric conditioner freeze.
- Finally, never use the fabric conditioner cap to dose any other detergents. In general, mixing cleaning products of any kind is unwise, as they have been formulated to provide the best results exactly as they are. While it may be tempting to improvise the cap as a scoop for washing powder, this can cause quality problems with your fabric conditioner. In fact, just one drop of even a liquid laundry detergent can cause your fabric conditioner to become too thick to use.
How to Make Towels Soft with Fabric Conditioner
After a while, towels, in particular, will be in need of a little fabric conditioner to get them back to their original fluffy state. Other than checking the label of your product – and on the towel – for instructions on how to make towels soft, there are a few things you can do to ensure everything is as it should be:
- Check you are using the right amount of laundry detergent. Read the dosing instructions on the label, and be sure to compensate properly for the water hardness of your area – both hard water and too much detergent can make towels a little stiff!
- Wash hot – this helps to break down soapy residue and other bath products that may be making your towels crunchy. Just check the label on the towel to find out the highest temperature it can stand.
- Use a cool dryer setting. Baking your towels to dry them could undo all the good work your conditioner has done in the wash!
If you’re interested in finding out other useful tips about laundry, be sure to check out our other articles about how to clean a washing machine, how to use a tumble dryer, and how to use oxygen bleach in the laundry.
For more information on the ingredients in products mentioned in this tip, visit What’s in Unilever Products here.