Fabric conditioner has been a staple laundry product for many years now. But recently there’s been some debate over how effective fabric conditioner really is, and why and how it should be used. So, why use fabric softener? What does it really do for your clothes and should you add it to every wash? Let’s take a look at the facts.
Why Use Fabric Conditioner In Your Wash?
- Fabric conditioner makes your clothes last longer. Especially in the case of woollen fabrics and other delicates, fabric softener keeps each fibre smooth and soft, prolonging the life of each garment.
- Fabric conditioner protects sensitive skin. Laundry detergent can dry out and stiffen your clothes and towels, particularly if you live in an area with hard water. This leaves you with rough, scratchy fabrics that can irritate delicate skin, especially in young children. A fabric softener like Comfort Pure, which is dermatologically certified by the British Skin Foundation to be gentle on sensitive skin, is a great way to keep each wash family-friendly.
- Fabric conditioner leaves your clothes and linens soft and smelling great. Using fabric softener alongside your detergent is a wonderful way to get the best out of your wash. Softer, fresher-smelling clothes just feel better to wear, and you might even find that your clothes come out of the machine that little bit smoother, reducing the need for ironing.
Is Fabric Conditioner the Same as Softener?
Fabric conditioner is sometimes referred to as fabric softener but essentially you are talking about the same product. There are many reasons why you might want to add it to your wash, such as the fact it protects sensitive skin and gives a lovely fresh scent to clothes.
Should I Use Fabric Softener?
There are a lot of benefits to using fabric softener; for your regular laundry loads it’s an easy, convenient addition that helps you care for your clothes. But there are a few types of material which fabric conditioner may not be suitable for:
- Microfiber cloths. Fabric conditioner creates a thin, protective layer over each fibre. This is usually a good thing – it’s an important property that helps care for your clothes. Microfiber cleaning cloths and towels, however, are specially made to be as absorbent as possible, and covering those fine fibres in a layer of conditioner will make them less effective.
- Sportswear. A lot of sportswear has sweat-wicking properties (where the clothing acts like the wick of a candle and absorbs liquid, drawing it upwards) to keep your skin dry. Just as with microfiber, the protective properties of fabric softener can interfere with the fabric’s breathability and absorbency.
- Flame-resistant material. Fabric softener can make these fabrics less flameproof so it’s best avoided. Some children’s nightclothes are formulated to be flame-resistant, so it’s best to always check the label before washing these with fabric conditioner.
Now that you know why to use fabric softener in your wash and when it is suitable to use fabric conditioner, you can enjoy softer, fresh-smelling clothes. If you do need to avoid fabric softener for whatever then a mild detergent should still give a thorough clean without being too harsh on delicate skin.
For more information about conditioning fabrics in the wash, check out our other article on how to use fabric conditioner. Remember to always check the care label of your clothes and fabrics before using them with any laundry detergent or fabric softener and follow all safety instructions displayed on the product label.