fabric conditioner and laundry

Does Fabric Conditioner Clean Clothes?

Washing clothes is a never-ending chore! We all have done plenty of washes over the years. However, a lot of us don’t actually know where to start when it comes to getting the most out of the cleaning aisle! 

Fabric conditioner is a great addition to your laundry cycle, but does it actually give your clothing the thorough wash that it needs? Read on to find out. 


Does Fabric Conditioner Clean Clothes?

fabric conditioner

Fabric conditioner does not clean clothes, it just softens them and adds fragrance to them.

Fabric conditioner (also known as fabric softener – they’re the same thing!) is essentially like a hair conditioner for your clothes. It works by detangling the cloth to reduce friction and abrasion during a wash cycle. 

This helps to maintain quality, softness, thereby increasing the lifespan of your garments. It even adds a fresh scent to your laundry! 

Fabric conditioner doesn’t wash your laundry though. That’s a job saved for laundry detergent.


Why Use Fabric Conditioner?

Fabric Conditioner as Detergent

Laundry detergent is perfectly capable of producing a fresh and thoroughly washed load, so don’t worry if that’s all that you usually use. 

However, adding some fabric conditioner into the mix is the cherry on top. It infuses a fresh scent into your garments whilst reducing friction to keep everything super soft.

Reducing friction between clothes can help stop colours from fading, as it prevents dye loss. 


Where Does Fabric Conditioner Go?

Putting fabric softener in washing machine

Make sure to add your fabric conditioner at the start of the wash, just as you would detergent. 

Modern washing machines should be equipped with a compartment for fabric conditioner (don’t be mixing conditioner with detergent). 

The fabric conditioner compartment is typically labelled with a flower symbol. If the flower is nowhere to be seen then ensure to check the manual for your machine.


When Should Fabric Conditioner Be Avoided?

clothes to avoid using fabric conditioner

Whilst fabric conditioner generally softens your clothing, in some circumstances it can have a negative effect on washing results

Make sure to avoid using fabric conditioner when washing the following:

  • Wool and other delicate materials like silk
  • Down-filled items i.e., coats
  • Swim and sportswear
  • Linen
  • Newborn clothing

Try not to overuse fabric conditioner with towels. Use it roughly every other wash rather than every time. Whilst soft towels are great, they won’t be able to dry us if they’re too conditioned! 

To put things simply, whilst we need detergent to wash our laundry properly, fabric conditioner is just an addition. 

However, despite fabric conditioner not being an essential part of the laundry washing process, it can improve the quality of your clothing, so is well worth a go!