When Do You Put Downy In The Washer? All You Need To Know

Helen Skeates
Helen Skeates
21 min read

When is the best time to wash Downy? To use fabric softener or Downy in older kinds of washers, you normally have to add it to the last rinse cycle. The fabric conditioner is added automatically to the laundry in modern washers.

Who doesn’t want their clothes to smell and feel great? I’m sure it’s true for everyone. When it comes to looking your best, it doesn’t matter if you’re dressed up or not. When you wash your garments, the problem begins.

As a result, knowing how to soften and scent your garments is critical.

To that end, fabric softeners like Downy are used in the manufacturing process to impart a pleasant scent and soften the fabric. What’s more, while you’re utilizing a washing machine, you may want to add it. That’s a good thing, because this article has it all. Let’s get started with some pleasant, scented, and comfortable clothing.

Fabric Conditioners

In addition to being a matter of habit, we use fabric conditioners in our laundry for a variety of reasons. When it comes to laundry, I always use fabric conditioners. In addition to providing a more comfortable fit, it also reduces wrinkles after drying. For starters, fabric conditioners contain lubricating chemicals that coat and soften the fabric. Whether in liquid form or as dryer sheets, these substances help soften your fabric’s fibers. In addition to preventing wrinkles and reducing static, the fabric conditioner’s ingredients make clothing feel softer to the touch. They make your clothes softer and fresher-smelling when you wash them with them. If you want to make your clothes softer and smell better, use a fabric conditioner. It also adds extra layer of protection to your clothing from wear and tear in a smoothing and aromatic manner..

How To Use Downy Liquid Fabric Softeners | Downy

Using Fabric Conditioner

So, when is the best time to wash your Downy? Fabric softener washers come in two flavors: one for liquid and one for powder. There are two types of modern models: those with automatic dispensers, and those with manual dispensers, which are more traditional. There is no need to add fabric conditioner to the washing machine in the new model. It’s as simple as filling the dispenser and closing it. Automatically adding fabric conditioner will be done by a dispenser in the machine.

Previously, the fabric conditioner had to be manually added to older models. So you have to make sure the fabric conditioner is added at the proper time. It’s normally thrown in towards the end of the last wash cycle.

You have the option of using a liquid or a powdered fabric softener. In any case, you need to fill the tub with water to keep the softener from being washed away. It’s also important to know how to remove stains caused by fabric conditioners or softeners. Removing it is just as straightforward.

When Do You Put Downy In The Washer?

Top-load washers are ideal for using Downy. You only need to follow a few basic steps in order to get started. The first method is to measure the amount of Downy you need to add to a load by using the cap of the Downy product. Once the dispenser has been filled, turn on the washer’s last spin cycle and let it do its work. Downy can be added to the final rinse cycle of your washing machine if your machine does not have an automatic dispenser. Because the laundry detergent is being washed away, adding fabric softener at this point will maximize the effectiveness of the softener. Knowing how to use oxiclean and when to apply fabric softener could be helpful.

Fabric Softener Vs. All Laundry Types

All types of fabrics can’t be softened with a fabric softener. Cotton-based textiles and natural fibers should be treated with fabric softeners. Softeners are designed to leave behind a coating of protection that shields particular fabrics, like gym wear, from the harsh effects of detergents.

Do fabric softeners work? That depends on what you’re trying to soften. Fabric softeners aren’t always necessary for all materials. Several of these textiles can be found in gym attire.

Most athletic apparel is made of moisture-wicking fabric, which wicks perspiration away from the body and evaporates it quickly. That means that the softening chemicals aren’t going to perform a decent job, but they could actually make the cloth less effective by clogging up its pores. You may wish to avoid water-resistant clothing as well, as these fabric softeners may weaken the fabric’s ability to absorb water and diminish its water-resistant properties. Microfiber and terry cloth are two examples.

The Best Fabric Softener for Laundry Day

However, fabric softeners do more than just improve the feel and scent of clothing. In addition, they shield the clothing’s fibers from damage and help keep it static-free and wrinkle-free directly out of the dryer. Despite the variety of smells and shapes, fabric softeners all accomplish the same basic purposes.

When it comes to fabric softener, the greatest one will leave your clothes smelling and feeling wonderful, no matter what sort of softener you choose.

Types of Fabric Softeners

They come in three varieties: liquid, sheets and balls. In terms of advantages and disadvantages, each form has its own set of characteristics. The best detergents for sheets and towels are different from the best detergents for clothing. As a result, keeping all three of these options on hand for your weekly laundry needs can be beneficial. Consider the advantages and disadvantages of each type before deciding on the finest fabric softener for your laundry routine.

Liquid Fabric Softener

By hand or through a dedicated dispenser on the machine, liquid softeners can be added. Typically, the fabric softener is added to the last rinse cycle of the washing machine. The softeners penetrate the fibers of the fabric, resulting in softer clothing. As an added benefit, fabric softeners reduce static, fade, and fuzz buildup.

Liquids are the most expensive per load. When it comes to removing odors and softening clothes, however, liquid is superior to dryer sheets or balls. A silicone oil is used to make fabric softener. If a user pours softener directly over the fabric without first diluting the solution in water, the oils can harm garments. Towels should not be softened with liquid softeners, either. A buildup of oils on the fibers of a towel might reduce its ability to absorb liquid.

To ensure the exact amount of softener is used for each load, liquid fabric softeners come packaged with a measuring cup. The launderer must add liquid fabric softener during the final rinse if the machine does not have a specific fabric softener dispenser. Equal fabric penetration and minimal clothing stains are ensured by this method. If you’re looking for a way to cut down on the amount of ironing you have to do, liquid fabric softeners are a great option.

Dryer Sheets

Dryer sheets are less dirty and more cost effective per load. Scents and other chemicals are applied to the stearic acid-coated woven fiber sheets. Static cling is better eliminated using dryer sheets than with dryer balls. Portable and versatile, they don’t soften fibers as well as liquid softeners.

How To Use Downy Liquid Fabric Softeners | Downy

Because of the film left behind by dryer sheets, the dryer and lint filter might become coated with lint over time. When lint accumulates on the filter, it becomes more difficult to remove because the filter holes become clogged with residue. This eventually leads to more lint build-up in the dryer over time.

Dryer Balls

Dryer sheets are less prone to stain clothing, but over time, the film from the dryer sheet also covers the dryer and the lint filter. Cleansing the filter becomes more difficult if residue accumulates on its surface. As lint accumulates in the dryer, it becomes more difficult to remove it.

Using dryer balls instead of dryer sheets or liquid softeners is more expensive, but it’s the most eco-friendly option because they can be used again and again. Towels and sheets benefit greatly from the use of dryer balls, which expedite the drying process.

Our Top Picks

This list of the best fabric softeners is based on their essential qualities and the advantages and disadvantages of each type. You may expect softer clothes and a longer lifespan from all of these options. There’s a fabric softener for every taste and budget on the list below.

1. BEST OVERALL: Bounce Fabric Softener and Dryer Sheets

They are one of the best-selling and best-rated fabric softeners on the market. Fresh aroma, less wrinkles and reduced static are just some of the benefits that come with these sheets. High-efficiency (HE) dryers can also be used with these dryers.

It is a cost-effective solution to keep your clothes smelling and feeling fresh. For a typical load, the manufacturer recommends using two dryer sheets, which comes to less than 6 cents each load. Portable, easy to use, and economical, Bounce is a popular choice. In addition, it softens laundry and imparts a pleasant but not overpowering aroma.

2. BEST VALUE: Heinz White Vinegar

When it comes to domestic cleaning, white vinegar is a “jack of all crafts.” It also acts as a natural softener for clothing. When used in laundry, vinegar’s acetic acid brightens, softens, and eliminates unpleasant odors. There’s no need to worry about your clothes smelling like vinegar. The vinegar stench will be removed by the dryer’s heat.

Vinegar is a cheap and versatile cooking ingredient; a 14 cup bottle costs around 5 cents. The addition of fabric softener to vinegar’s various household cleaning and culinary uses reduces the need to acquire other goods. Using distilled white vinegar in the washing machine is essential. It is possible for vinegar and other similar substances to leave stains on clothing due to their tannin content (natural plant dyes).

Vinegar can be used on many types of clothing, including colored ones. When it comes to softening towels, this is the finest method. It is possible to whiten light colors with distilled vinegar while keeping dark colors dark. As a bonus, it doesn’t cause any product buildup in the washing machine and reduces mildew odor. Infusing wool dryer balls with essential oils during the drying process can help mask the vinegar’s lack of fragrance.

3. BEST LIQUID: Downy Ultra Cool Cotton Liquid Fabric Conditioner

Liquid fabric softeners are unquestionably the best when it comes to laundry that smells great and feels great. Some fabric softener scents, on the other hand, are excessively overpowering. Scent and softening characteristics are well balanced in Downy’s Ultra Cool Cotton.

Cool cotton has a fresh, clean aroma that isn’t overly strong or overpowering. Static cling is successfully reduced, as well as stretching and fading, by the product. Dryer sheets are often less expensive than liquid softeners. For a reasonable price and in two-pack bottles of 51 fluid ounces, Downy’s Ultra Cool Cotton fabric conditioner is available. Laundry detergent costs an average of 11 cents a load for 60 loads. The softener can also be used in high-efficiency washing machines.

4. BEST DRYER SHEETS: Gain Dryer Sheets, Original

The aroma of Gain dryer sheets sets them different from the competition. The aroma isn’t overpowering, but it does give the laundry a fresh, clean scent. With a citrus and amber aroma, Gain Original is a classic. The delicate scent should linger on clothing for several weeks after they’ve been removed from the dryer. Gain is so certain that its original aroma would be beloved by customers that they proudly tout its pleasant and long-lasting nature right on their container.

Gain Original eliminates static cling and minimizes wrinkles in the same way as other dryer sheets. Compared to liquid softeners, the sheets are slightly more expensive, but per load, they are still less expensive. Many Gain aroma aficionados use the dryer sheets to refresh their houses, cars, work boots, furniture, and more in addition to freshening laundry.

5. BEST DRYER BALLS: Smart Sheep Wool Dryer Balls

Smart Sheep dryer balls are a warm and cuddly way to freshen up a washing routine for those searching for an environmentally responsible solution to soften their clothing. This pack of six dryer balls is free of chemicals and synthetics because it is made entirely of New Zealand wool.

In circumference, each dryer ball is about the size of a tennis ball. Lifting and separating clothes is how they get rid of static and wrinkles. This also reduces the drying time of the product. Wool balls, rather than tennis balls, are quieter and softer on the clothes in the dryer. Wool dryer balls have no aroma, making them an excellent hypoallergenic option. For those who want the aroma, you can dab a few drops of essential oil on the wool balls before tossing them in the dryer.

6. SCENTED PICK: Downy Infusions Calm Liquid Fabric Conditioner

Downy’s Infusions range is ideal for those who enjoy the scent of fresh-smelling clothing. Four distinct smells are available in the Infusion line: refreshing, calming, blissful, and romantic. The peaceful aroma appears to be the most favored of these. In order to create Calm, a combination of lavender and vanilla bean has been used in the formula. It’s well-known that lavender and vanilla have calming properties, and it’s also thought that they can help individuals sleep better at night. The combination of these scents creates a calming aroma that is ideal for snuggling up.

Fabrics are protected from fuzz, fading, wrinkles, and straining using Downy Infusions, which can be used in high-efficiency washers. Because it can stain garments like other liquid fabric softeners, it should only be used in the final rinse or through a dispenser.

7. SENSITIVE SKIN PICK: Downy Nature Blends Fabric Conditioner

Because of their fragrance, scented fabric softeners have traditionally been avoided by persons with sensitive skin or allergies. However, it appears that Downy’s Nature Blends fabric softener can be used without causing allergic reactions.

You may use Nature Blends without fear of irritating your skin because it is made up of 70% plant-based ingredients and is devoid of dyes and parabens. In order to soften and fluff the laundry, the mixture includes coconut oil. As a bonus, it’s free of animal testing and is a great choice for eco-conscious shoppers. When it comes to fabric softener fragrances, the honey lavender aroma works great for individuals who like a more mild perfume. Downy’s Nature Blends can be used in high-efficiency washing machines (HE).

8. ECO-FRIENDLY PICK: Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Liquid Fabric Softener

Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day fabric softener is made from plant extracts and essential oils, including cotton extract. If you’re looking for something a little more unique than cotton or the usual “clean” aroma, this is a perfect option. Honeysuckle, basil, lemon verbena, geranium, and lavender are just a few of the garden-fresh scents available in this collection of items. There are no parabens, phthalates, or chemicals derived from animals in this product. People with sensitive skin or allergies should be able to use this product without any problems.

There are 32 loads in a bottle. This particular liquid softener is more expensive when compared to the alternatives. Some people complain that the liquid is difficult to dispense because it is thicker than other fabric softeners. It may be necessary to dilute it in order for it to work correctly. Cleans and deodorizes clothing in a way that is both environmentally responsible and machine-friendly.

5 Things You Shouldn’t Do with Fabric Softener

I forgot about that. It’s possible you’re missing out if you haven’t heard of it (like most millennials allegedly). All kinds of household chores can be accomplished with the same fabric softener, from removing wallpaper to sanitizing carpets and upholstery to softening your clothes. Contrary to popular belief, there are a few things you should never do with fabric softener, just as there are a few things you should never do with detergent or dish soap.

Is your laundry room bursting at the seams with fabric softener, but you’re not quite sure how to put it to use? Here are a few things not to do with it.

Don’t (always) use fabric softener when you wash your towels

When you get out of the shower and have to fiddle with a brittle, stiff towel, we understand. Too much fabric softener might cause your towels to lose their absorbency, so it’s best to use a small amount (which kind of defeats the purpose). Try adding a cup of white vinegar and a half cup of baking soda to your next load of towels to renew them or soften new ones.

Avoid using fabric softener on certain fabrics

Fabric softener can damage certain textiles because of its chemical qualities. Don’t use it on microfiber because it can affect its absorbency like towels. Specialty textiles, such as wicking sportswear, flameproof children’s clothing or pajamas, water-resistant products and synthetic fabrics, such as polyester or anything containing elastane and nylon, should be avoided while using fabric softener (think skinny jeans or leggings).

What Is Fabric Softener and What Does It Do? | Whirlpool

Skip the fabric softener on baby items

Fabric softener should also be avoided while washing infant clothing. The use of fabric softener on various baby pajamas could decrease the efficiency of flame-resistant fabrics. In addition, the skin of infants is more delicate, making harsh chemicals such as fabric softener or ordinary detergent problematic. Use a “free and clear” detergent with vinegar in the wash to maintain baby’s clothes supple without increasing the risk.

Don’t pour fabric softener directly on your clothes

You can use fabric softener in your laundry instead of stain remover. Stains and oily, waxy marks may be difficult to remove if it is applied directly to garments. Make sure the machine isn’t overloaded so that water can flow and dilute the softener and detergent and prevent it from going all over your clothes.

Don’t use fabric softener at all if you prefer something more natural

If you’re environmentally conscientious or interested in green cleaning, you may want to consider doing away with the fabric softener altogether. Many fabric softeners include dangerous compounds that can have a bad influence on our health, from exacerbating asthma to irritating our skin, according to the Environmental Working Group, an organization that evaluates the safety of home items and food. Some researchers believe that the BPA found in fabric softeners is linked to an increased risk of cancer.

Check out these natural fabric softener substitutes. Wool dryer balls or white vinegar in the wash (don’t worry, your clothes won’t smell—but if you want them to, you can add a few drops of your favorite essential oil) are both good options for keeping your clothing fresh.


Q. When do you put fabric softener in the washer?

During the final rinse cycle, add a small amount of liquid fabric softener to your washing machine.

Q. What should you not use fabric softener on?

Not advised for microfiber, towels, or synthetics like water-resistant and flame-resistant apparel are liquid fabric softeners.

Q. How do you clean a fabric softener dispenser?

Pour hot water and liquid laundry detergent into the fabric softener dispenser to clean it. After that, repeat the rinse cycle two or three more times in the washer to remove any soap residue.

It’s A Wrap!

Having clean clothing that are also pleasant to wear is always a source of joy for me. When you’re confident that your clothes are clean and perfumed, you’ll feel better about yourself, and that’s a good thing. The answer to the question “When do you put Downy in the washer?” will vary according on the type of washer you have. The Downy can be added at the end of the rise cycle if your washer has an automatic dispenser; otherwise, you’ll need to fill the dispenser. Learn how to properly use laundry detergent pods if it interests you.

Helen Skeates

Helen Skeates

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