Best Fabric Softeners and Conditioners (UK 2018)

Everyone likes soft fabric, whether it’s sheets or clothes. As such, fabric softeners are a key part of the washing process in many homes. Whilst most fabric softeners function using the same mechanism, picking out the right product for your washing can be extremely tough. There are a whole range of fabric softeners and fabric conditioners on the market with different formulas. Picking out the best option isn’t easy.

Thankfully for you, we’ve compiled a few of the best fabric softeners on the market. Whether you’re looking for the best smelling fabric softener, best fabric softener for hard water, or simply wondering which fabric softener scent lasts the longest.

1. Lenor Gold Orchid Fabric Conditioner

Lenor are a very popular brand for their fabric softeners. They offer a variety of fragrances, including: Diamond & Lotus Flower, Ocean Escape, and this Gold Orchid scent. According to Lenor, their formula is supposed to protect your clothing from signs of aging, such as: stretching, fading, and bobbling. It’s also allegedly capable of reducing wrinkling and static cling.

Ignoring all the fancy bonuses, Lenor’s Gold Orchid Fabric Conditioner still leaves clothes feeling soft and comfortable. The scent lasts for up to 12 hours when worn, so your clothes should smell fresh and feel great all day.

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2. Fairy Original Fabric Conditioner

Fairy are another household name, known for their household products. Their fabric conditioner lives up to the name. It lacks all of the fancy bonus features of the Lenor product, but it still leaves your clothes feeling soft with a light fresh fragrance. The scent is noticeable, but not strong. We personally think that this is the best smelling fabric softener.

If allergies are a problem for you, this fabric softener is hypoallergenic meaning that it’s unlikely to cause an allergic reaction. It’s ideal for sensitive skin in general, apparently being rated #1 in an online poll.

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3. Comfort Fabric Softener Sunshine

Comfort are another popular brand for their fabric softeners. They make fabric conditioners in a whole variety of scents, such as: Lavender Bloom, Blue Skies, Jojoba Oil, and many others. We suggest you try out a whole bunch of their fragrances until you find one that you like. Or, you may prefer to just switch fragrances occasionally to keep your clothes smelling interesting, preventing you from becoming used to the fragrance.

Fragrances aside, this is still a very good fabric softener. Your clothes will be noticeably softer and more comfortable and should remain like that for a long while, even when worn.

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4. Ecoleaf Fabric Conditioner

If you’re concerned about the environment as well as the softness of your clothes, Ecoleaf are a great choice. This fabric conditioner is derived from plant extracts and comes in fully recyclable packaging. In fact, their product is approved by the BUAV and the Vegan Society. The conditioner has a soft floral fragrance which isn’t too overpowering. Another perk of this fabric conditioner is that it’s very cost-effective.

According to the manufacturer, 30ml of this liquid is enough for a medium wash. That means the 5L container is enough for over 160 washes. So, if this conditioner works well for you, it’s a great investment.

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5. Comfort Pure Fabric Conditioner

This is the second Comfort product on this list. They produce extremely high quality fabric softeners. Their Comfort Pure fabric conditioner is designed for people with sensitive skin, such as babies. In fact, it’s recognised by the British Skin Foundation for being suitable for sensitive skin. It’s highly suitable for many people who typically suffer allergic reactions to fabric softeners.

The fragrance of this product isn’t as potent as Comfort’s other products, but it still delivers a light fresh scent. Obviously, they cut back the perfumes to make the product easier on sensitive skin, but it still does a good job of leaving your clothes smelling fresh.

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Fabric Softener FAQs

Fabric softener is a chemical compound used during the rinse cycle in a washing machine. It softens the clothes as you might expect, and also leaves them smelling lovely.

Forms of fabric softener have been around since we started wearing clothes. Before shops existed, people of old would use natural products to soften their clothes to make them a little nicer to wear. Even a medieval knight couldn’t put up with a scratchy jumper!

However, even in this day and age, fabric softener is misunderstood by some people. So, here are some FAQs about fabric softener that will hopefully help you understand what fabric softener does and why it should be used in every wash.

Is fabric softener necessary?

No, fabric softener isn’t necessary, it is more of a luxury. However, using fabric softener in your washing machine can make clothes easier to iron, reduce static cling and decrease wrinkles. Of course, it also makes everything softer too. For example, your towels will be lovely and soft on your skin. However, some people have noted that towels absorb moisture better when they aren’t washed in fabric softener.

So, no fabric softener isn’t necessary, but it can make your clothes feel great against your skin, save you ironing time and make them smell lovely. The choice is yours, of course, but fabric softener can save you time and make you feel more comfortable in your clothes.

Is fabric softener toxic?

Some fabric softeners do contain chemicals that can be toxic. Long-term exposure to these chemicals can make you incredibly ill, and it would be remiss of us to say otherwise. There are many chemicals in fabric softener that have been linked to forms of cancer and other nasty diseases. However, these are only some fabric softeners; other fabric softeners are totally natural and perfectly good for you and your clothes.

Of course, using natural fabric softeners does come with a risk as well, you may be allergic to an ingredient, for example, but as long as you read the ingredient list before using it, a natural fabric softener can soften and decrease your clothes without any harmful chemicals in sight!

Is fabric softener bad for clothes?

There is a lot of talk on the internet about fabric softener being bad for clothes. Many say that fabric softener can make clothes more brittle and so they do not last as long. The truth, however, is that these people may have just been using too much fabric softener in their washes.

A lot of people add too much fabric softener to their washes because they think it will clean better if they do. However, what actually happens is that it stays in the clothes and leaves them feeling a bit stiff and dull.

As long as you don’t go crazy with the fabric softener, your clothes should last a long time. Also, if you are worried about fabric softener ruining your clothes, try a natural fabric softener instead, these have all the softness that you could want, with none of the chemicals that are “harmful” to clothes.

Is fabric softener flammable?

Liquid fabric softener isn’t flammable in its liquid state. However, tests have been done that show clothes with fabric softener on them can be more flammable. A coroner in Quebec has noted that terrycloth and fleece washed in fabric softener may be more flammable than if they were washed without it.

Before you throw out your fabric softener, it is worth reading the full news story. It also states that dryer sheets do not have the same problems. Unfortunately, it also doesn’t state which brand of fabric softener can make clothes more flammable.  This fabric softener may only be sold in Canada, we simply don’t know. There is research being done on the flammable properties of fabric softener currently because of this case, so we’ll keep you updated.

Is fabric softener the same as fabric conditioner?

No, fabric softener isn’t the same as fabric conditioner. Fabric softener softens your clothes and gives them a fresh smell. Fabric conditioner on the other hand prevents stretching and fading and also softens your clothes.

So, if you think your clothes need a little bit more protection, use fabric conditioner. If you just want your clothes soft and fresh, use fabric softener. They both provide a certain amount of protection for your clothes, it just depends on the degree of protection you are after.

Does fabric softener go off?

If you want to buy fabric softener in bulk to save some money, but are worried about it going off before you get the chance to use it, you can rest easy. Fabric softener doesn’t go off, well, not exactly. Like a lot of household products, fabric softener doesn’t have a use by date, but its performance can weaken over time.

However, if you do notice your fabric softener not performing as well as it once did, just add a little more into the wash. Sure you’re going to use more, and each wash will cost a little extra, but it saves wasting any of your bulk purchase!

We hope these FAQs about fabric softener have helped you understand the important role it has to play in your washing routine. To find out more about other household items, please explore our website further. We have plenty of articles on here that can help you turn your house into a home.


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