When To Add Fabric Softener To Wash

Last Updated on April 30, 2021 by

Fabric softener leaves your clothes soft, cuddly and smelling as fresh as a daisy. To enjoy the great benefits of any fabric softener, you need to add it at the right time. The best time to add fabric softener is during the spin cycle, as the wash cycle is likely to wash it away. 

Your type of washing machine, either front or top loading, will determine how you use fabric softener. If using an automatic machine, add the softener to the dispenser; it will automatically be released in the spin cycle. In today’s post, we take you through everything you need to know when using fabric softener to make your laundry days magical. Please stick with us!

You will need to add a fabric softener to the final rinsing water for best results when handwashing.  Let’s take you through the process of adding fabric softener for different machines. The first step is always to check the care label on your garments to ensure they are machine washable.

Top-Loader Machines

1. Measure the recommended amount of fabric softener as indicated in the instructions on the label

2. Pour the fabric softener into your machine’s dispenser. For most top loaders, the fabric softener dispenser is found on the central column and is marked by a flower or star icon

3. Start your wash. Fabric softener will be released during the spin cycle leaving your clothes fresh and soft

Using A Front-Loader

Front-load machines are the easiest to use when it comes to adding detergents and softeners. Here are the steps you need to follow:

1. Measure the recommended amount of fabric softener

2. Pour the measured softener into the washers  softener automatic dispenser tray

3. Start your cycle and let the fabric softener work its magic

How To Add Fabric Softener To A Machine With No Dispenser

For some washing machines, especially the semi-automatic ones, you have to know when to add fabric softeners since they don’t come with dispensers. If your washing machine doesn’t have an automatic dispenser, worry not. We got you.

You need to know the right time to add fabric softener, and that’s during the rinse cycle. This is because, if added during the wash cycle, it is likely to be washed away. When your machine is just about to start the rinse cycle, add the recommended amount of softener mixed with water to the machine. It is important to mix your softener with water and avoid direct contact with clothes to prevent stains.

Can You Put Fabric Softener Straight Into The Washing Machine?

Yes, if your machine doesn’t have a dispenser, you can add fabric softener directly to the machine. You only need to ensure that you use the right amount of softener and dilute it with water to avoid staining your clothes. Another point to note is that you need to add a fabric softener during the rinse cycle. This is important because adding it in the wash cycle will have it washed out, and your clothes will look as if no softener was used.

What Is A Fabric Softener, And What Does It Do?

Fabric softener or conditioner works to condition and soften your clothes, making them feel soft and less scratchy on your skin. Most brands of fabric softeners have a fragrance that leaves your clothes smelling fresh days after they have been washed. Fabric softener also has other benefits that are not well-known. Let’s have a look at these other benefits of fabric conditioner: 

1. Helps To Protect And Care For Your Clothes

Fabric softener makes clothes softer and smoother, thus reducing clinginess caused by static. It also conditions the fibres of your garment, making them look new much longer. It helps cushion garments from severe effects of wear and tear.

2. Saves You Ironing Time By Reducing Creases

When you add fabric softener to your clothes, they come out of the washing machine less creased. The fibres are also smooth, thus making ironing easier and faster.                                                       

3. Helps To Reduce The Risk Of Irritation For Those With Sensitive Skin

If you or anyone in your house is prone to skin sensitivities and mild skin reaction, using fabric softener on clothes will help reduce the risk of irritation. For people suffering from eczema and other skin conditions, fabric softener will help prevent irritation by scratchy or rough materials.

Can I Use Fabric Softener On All Laundry?

Fabric softener is safe to use on all fabric types, but some items are best washed without. A good example is towels and microfiber cloths meant to absorb water or moisture. Fabric softeners often leave a silky film on the surface of clothes to give a smooth feel, But this film affects the absorbency of the material.

To ensure your towels remain absorbent but still soft and fluffy, it is advisable to alternate washing with and without fabric softener. For sportswear meant to absorb sweat, handle with care and follow washing instructions on the garments label. Always ensure you read the packaging on your fabric softener for instruction on when you can use it.


Fabric softener makes laundry days more bearable and leaves garments soft and smelling fresh for long. They also help reduce irritation from scratchy or rough garments. People with sensitive skin should consider using fabric softener for most of their garments to reduce the effects of friction and rough garments. Before using a fabric softener, it is advisable to read the instructions on the label and the care label on all your garments.

Always ensure you wash your hands thoroughly after touching or handling fabric softener to reduce the risk of irritation on your skin. People with very sensitive skin may sometimes, though rare, notice a mild reaction if they allow undiluted fabric conditioner to sit on the skin for long periods. We hope that this post was enlightening and you now know when to add fabric softener and how to do it correctly. Enjoy your laundry and iron days with your favourite fabric conditioner.

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