when to add fabric softeners

When to Add Fabric Softener to Your Laundry?

We’ll look at the what, why, when, and how to add fabric softeners to your laundry in this article. Please keep reading.

Most people picture a large bottle of liquid that softens clothes, reduces static, and adds fragrance to their laundry when they think of fabric softener. Fabric softeners’ lubricating agents coat fabrics to give them a softer feel. But when should you add fabric softener to your laundry?

It ultimately depends on the type of washing machine you have when to add fabric softener to the wash. You can add fabric softener before starting the load if your washing machine has an automatic dispenser. The fabric softener should be added during the rinse cycle if it doesn’t have an automatic dispenser.

When to Add Fabric Softener to the Washing Machine?

Depending on the age and make of your washing machine, you should add fabric softener at the proper time. Fabric softener is automatically released by some washing machines’ dispensers. Some people don’t even have a dispenser.

A dispenser was probably included with your washing machine when it was newer. However, if your washing machine is more than a few years old, you’ll need to add the fabric softener yourself while the laundry is being washed.

Further Reading: How Long Can You Leave Clothes in the Washer?

You don’t have to worry about knowing when to add fabric softener to washing machines that do have a dispenser for it. Simply add the recommended quantity of fabric softener to the dispenser. The fabric softener will be released by the washing machine at the proper time because it knows when to do so.

In contrast, if your washing machine lacks a dispenser, you will need to keep track of the cycle it is in and adds the fabric softener yourself at the proper time. The best time to add fabric softener is during the rinse cycle to ensure its effectiveness.

when to add fabric softeners

When Do You Put Fabric Softener in Front Loader?

If the automatic fabric softener dispenser on your front-loading washer is functional, you can add the softener before you begin the load. The right moment will come when the fabric softener is released.

However, the majority of contemporary washing machines allow you to pause them at various points while the load is running. Therefore, you can add the fabric softener yourself at the start of the rinse cycle if the automatic dispenser breaks down, you prefer to do it yourself to avoid any potential laundry mishaps, or you don’t have a dispenser.

When to Put Fabric Softener in Top Loader?

Similar to adding it to a front loader, fabric softener can be added to a top-loading washing machine. Once more, a lot depends on whether you have an automatic dispenser or not. The fabric softener can be added to the dispenser before the washing cycle begins in the majority of top-loading washers with an automatic dispenser.

To add it at a different time might be advised, though, depending on where the dispenser is located on your washing machine. How to properly use the fabric softener dispenser should be covered in your washing machine’s manual.

It’s important to pay attention to where the washing machine is in the cycle if you don’t have a dispenser or if it breaks down. It is typically best to add the fabric softener at the beginning of the rinse cycle, just like with front loaders.

When to Add Fabric Softener at a Laundromat?

The guidelines for adding fabric softener have not changed just because the washing machine is located in a laundromat rather than your home. First, check to see if the machine has a dispenser for that chemical. If it doesn’t, the manufacturer may be a company that doubles as a laundry detergent dispenser.

You ought to choose the fabric dispenser if it has one. Or, if it doesn’t, you wait to add that chemical until the very last rinse cycle. Fabric softeners work in a similar way in that if you add them too early, the wash cycle will simply wash them away before they can do anything for your clothes.

At worst, the bleach cycle will cause a chemical reaction; at best, it will merely neutralize the fabric softener’s chemical components.

Where Should You Use Fabric Softener?

For the following circumstances, fabric softener should be used.

  • Hard Water Areas
  • Bed Linen
  • Keep Clothes Looking New
  • Sensitive Skin
  • Clothes Likely to Bobble
When to Add Fabric Softener to Your Laundry?

Hard Water Areas

You might notice that your clothing feels rough when it comes out of the washing machine if you live in a region with hard water. This is so that your clothing will be stiffer than it would be in areas with soft water because hard water has a high mineral content that adheres to the fibers. Your clothes will feel softer if you add fabric softener to your wash to get rid of some of those abrasive minerals.

Bed Linen

Everyone enjoys having sheets that are crisp, soft, and fresh-smelling. Add fabric softener when washing your bed linens. The soft sheets and divine scent you will encounter the following time you climb into bed will make it even harder for you to get out of bed.

Keep Clothes Looking New

When you wash your favorite sweater, it always comes out unraveled and with a hole in it. Your clothing’s fibers become smoother thanks to fabric softener, reducing friction from washing and resulting wear and tear. Your favorite clothing can stay intact longer by washing it with a small amount of fabric softener.

Sensitive Skin

Buyers of fabric softeners should exercise caution if they have sensitive skin. As a result of their fragrance, some softeners may aggravate the skin further. However, if you purchase a fabric softener that is gentle on sensitive skin, it will be possible to get rid of the rubbing that causes skin irritation from wearing rough clothing.

Clothes Likely to Bobble

The aesthetic of your favorite look can be seriously harmed by clothing bobbles. They develop when friction causes the fibers on the outside of your clothing to rub against one another, producing tiny, irksome balls of loose fabric. Your clothing’s fibers are strengthened by fabric softener, which eliminates bobbling.

When Should You Not Use Fabric Softener?

There are some fabrics that you shouldn’t use fabric softeners on because of their special properties. This could harm the fabric. Check the care label of the fabric in question if you’re unsure whether or not fabric softener can be used on it. If fabric softener is allowed, that information should be included.

Here are a few things that, in general, you shouldn’t use fabric softener with.

  • Athletic Wear
  • Microfiber
  • Towels
  • Flame Resistant Fabric
  • Water Repellent Fabric

Athletic Wear

when to add fabric softeners

Fabrics with moisture-wicking properties are used to make a variety of athletic clothing. Through the removal of sweat from the body, a fabric that is moisture-wicking will aid in keeping you cool. Fabric softener may, however, impair the fabric’s capacity to effectively transport moisture because it coats each fiber that makes up the cloth with a lubricant.


Although microfiber is a very soft fabric, many people want to use fabric softener on their microfiber items to keep them soft. Microfiber fabric is intended to absorb moisture, just like athletic apparel. The fibers become less absorbent when they are coated in fabric softener.

Because there is a lot of static electricity in microfiber, it also does a great job of trapping dust. The amount of static electricity produced by microfibers is decreased when fabric softener is applied to coat them. Dust will not adhere to the fibers as well as a result of using fabric softener.


Using fabric softeners is one method for making fabrics softer and fluffier. Who doesn’t adore a fluffy, soft towel? Towels can lose some of their absorbency when fabric softener is used, even though it is generally safe to use on them. It is advised not to use fabric softener each time you wash towels. Use it instead for one load and omit it for the next. Your towels will still be fluffy and soft.

Flame Resistant Fabric

The majority of pajamas are constructed from flame-resistant materials. Clothes that are flame-resistant, however, may become less flame-resistant if fabric softeners are used on them. Chemicals that may or may not be flammable are used to make fabric softeners. The fabric softener will still coat the fibers even if the chemicals aren’t flammable, which means that the flame-resistant qualities might not work.

Water Repellent Fabric

Fabric softeners can affect a piece of clothing’s capacity to absorb water as well as its capacity to repel water. Similar to flame-resistant fabrics, water-repellent fabrics can lose some of their effectiveness over time. It all comes back to coating the individual fibers, which is the main goal of fabric softener.

when to add fabric softeners

Tips for Using Fabric Softeners

  • After using in-wash fabric softeners, regularly clean your washer. The washer’s drum is coated with the same lubricants that coat the fabrics, trapping dirt and odors there as well.
  • If you use dryer sheets, make sure to clean your dryer at least four times a year to stop residue from building up on your clothes.

Can You Put Fabric Softener Straight into the Washing Machine?

The answer is yes, fabric softener can be added directly to either an automatic or conventional washing machine. This won’t prevent the automatic system from turning on the dispenser at the appropriate time.

If the machine is functioning properly, you should hear that click. It is best to manually add the fabric softener to the machine rather than wait for the dispenser to open if your machine is having trouble doing so.

Just make sure the tub has water before doing that. Even though fabric softener is meant to help with laundry, it still stains clothes. Before the chemical touches your clothing, it must be diluted.

When Does Fabric Softener Get Dispensed?

when to add fabric softeners

The rinse cycle is when fabric softener is typically dispensed by automatic dispensers. It makes no difference whether your washing machine is a top or front loader. What matters, however, is the settings or number of rinse cycles that your particular washing machine has.

When using fabric softener, you can only choose one setting on some washing machines. There might be a “fabric softener” knob that you can turn to “yes” or “no,” depending on the situation. There is an additional rinse cycle option on some washing machines. Others have a button you press to indicate whether fabric softener was added.

There are usually additional settings for adding fabric softeners, such as those mentioned above, so that the washing machine can give your clothes a deeper rinse. To make sure the fabric softener is thoroughly rinsed out, longer or deeper rinses are required. Your clothes might accumulate softener residue if this doesn’t happen.

Although every brand and model of the washing machine is unique, it’s crucial to use the right settings when adding fabric softener. Using the correct settings ensures that the fabric softener is released during the proper rinse cycle even if your machine runs multiple rinse cycles.

What Does Fabric Softener Do?

Using fabric softener while washing your clothes has many advantages. Fabric softener’s primary function is to shield your clothes from damage in addition to making them smell nice. The fabric is better preserved as a result. Liquid or powdered fabric softeners are available for purchase.

Regardless of the kind of fabric softener you purchase, putting it in the washing machine can help your clothes not stretch out and pill. Some fabric softeners can aid in preventing the fading of the color of your clothing.

When to Add Fabric Softener to Your Laundry?

Fabric softener functions because it contains components that aid in lubricating individual fibers of clothing. The lubricants coat the fibers as the fabric softener is released during the washing process, softening the fabric. Now that the fibers are coated, they generate less static as they rub against one another in the washer and dryer.

You can check out more information we have on What Does Fabric Softener Do?

Is Fabric Softener Harmful If I Use Too Much?

Amount of fabric softener being used too much? If you are, you might be subjecting yourself to toxic substances. You can absorb chemicals from fabric softeners and dryer sheets through your skin. These substances can irritate the skin, resulting in rashes, and harm the body in other ways.

You can take a few steps to prevent using too much fabric softener. Start by reading the labels on your dryer sheets and fabric softener. A lot of fabric softeners and dryer sheets contain chemicals that, when used in large doses, can be dangerous. Reduce your fabric softener usage next.

You might not need to use it as much as you think. Third, whenever possible, air dry your clothes. Fewer toxins will be absorbed into your skin as a result of air drying your clothing.

Try substituting a natural option if you are concerned about how much fabric softener you are using. There are a number of natural fabric softeners on the market that are made with ingredients that are safe for you and the environment.


So there you have it! The next time you’re doing laundry at the laundromat, be sure to add a fabric softener during the rinse cycle for the best results. Your clothes will come out softer, less staticky, and smell wonderful.

You can easily use fabric softener to keep your clothes smelling and looking great. Simply add it to the rinse cycle, then sit back and let the machine handle the rest.


Can You Put Fabric Softener Straight into the Washing Machine?

If you’re wondering how to use fabric softener in the washing machine without a dispenser, all you need to do is add the correct amount to the lid and place it directly in the drum of the washing machine.

Can You Put Fabric Softener in Right Away?

If you add the fabric softener at the beginning of the wash cycle, it will likely be washed away before doing its job. Simply pour fabric softener in during the rinse cycle to add it to a top-load washer without a dispenser.

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