Ask the expert: what is fabric softener, and is it suitable for sensitive skin?

Want to learn more about your laundry? At Fairy, we’re here to answer your questions.

Before you read on, did you know that you can sign up to receive the latest Supersavvyme articles, tips & tricks and competitions? Register here.

The chances are if you’re a fan of soft, scented, clean clothes then you already know what fabric softener is, although you may also have heard of it being referred to as fabric conditioner. Some people even call it fabric enhancer. Read on if you want to know how to use fabric softener…

What is fabric softener?

Let’s get one thing out of the way first: fabric softeners, fabric conditioners and fabric enhancers are all the same, and they’re essential to use if you want to get more freshness or softness into your clothes.

What fabric softener is designed to do is to help your clothes stay looking nice and new for longer, while also making them feel beautifully soft against your skin, as they smooth out the fibres of your clothes. What’s more, they can also provide your garments with a captivating, fresh scent.

Although fabric softeners will not make your clothes cleaner (that’s what laundry detergents do), they will give you softer, fresher smelling, garments that keep their “new” feeling. Whether you are prone to skin irritation or have a baby in your family, Fairy Fabric Softener should definitely have pride of place in your utility room.

Why should you use fabric softener?

Everyone can use fabric softener, but it’s exceptionally useful for certain people. If you or someone in your family has sensitive or delicate skin - perhaps you have a newborn baby, their skin is particularly delicate - then fabric softener is a great help because it gently softens the fibres of your garments.

Additionally, fabric softeners can make ironing your clothes far faster, because the nature of fabric softener is to straighten out the fibres. This makes the iron glide over clothing really smoothly and quickly.

Some fabric softeners, such as Fairy Non-Bio, are made with super-mild perfumes that contain fewer perfume allergens. This is to minimise the risk of allergic skin reactions. Fairy Fabric Conditioner is dermatologically accredited by the Skin Health Alliance and its gentle formula will give you huggably soft clothes with a lovely, gentle scent that really lingers.

How can I find out where to put fabric softener?

This will depend on the kind of washing machine you have. Generally though, most front-loading machines have a built in automatic dispenser, which is where to put fabric softener. Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions to find out exactly where to put fabric softener in your particular washing machine.

When shouldn’t I use fabric softener?

Although fabric softeners are a useful addition to your laundry, they’re not suitable for every situation. It’s best not to use it on microfibre fabrics, flame-resistant materials (such as your children’s nightclothes) and sweat-absorbing clothes, such as sportswear. Fabric softener is ideal for all other fabrics, especially wool and other delicates, and you really will get wonderful washing results.

How to use fabric softener

Follow our step-by-step guide to really improve that huggable feeling by using fabric softener on your clothes:

  1. First, always check the fabric care label on your garments to see if they are suitable for fabric softener use.
  2. Next, measure out the correct amount of fabric softener. If you’re not sure about the exact amount to dose, check the product packaging for guidance.
  3. Then, add the fabric softener to the softener dispenser drawer. If your machine doesn’t have one, add the softener during the rinse cycle, preferably by pouring it into a pocket of water, while avoiding direct contact with the clothes.
  4. After the washing cycle is finished, unload the machine and dry your garment. A clothes line or a drying rack is preferable, but your tumble dryer will also do nicely.

Useful tip! Pair up your Fairy Fabric Softener with Fairy Non-Bio laundry detergent for a brilliant clean and huggable softness in every load. Fairy Non-Bio is the number #1 voted* laundry brand for sensitive skin and dermatologically accredited by Skin Health Alliance.

So there you have it. Although fabric softeners will not make your clothes cleaner (that’s what laundry detergents do), they will give you softer, fresher smelling, garments

What’s your best tip for dealing with sensitive skin?
Let us know in the comments below!