...not to see the point of fabric conditioner?

(69 Posts)
snickersnacker Sun 15-Sep-13 17:33:23

I have never used it, probably because my mum never did when we were growing up.

Got a free sample of Comfort Pure and tried it on a load of the baby's clothes. I understand that it's meant to make clothes feel softer but I can't feel any difference.

AIBU not to see the point of it?

InsertBoringName Sun 15-Sep-13 17:34:50

It smells nice. At least, the decent ones do!

hiddenhome Sun 15-Sep-13 17:34:53

It reduces creases a bit and I find the clothes dry a bit faster. I can't stand the strongly perfumed ones though.

Screwfox Sun 15-Sep-13 17:35:22

it stops you having to iron so much

that and a low spin speed

lborolass Sun 15-Sep-13 17:35:39

I agree, I'm exactly the same. I was amazed once to read a thread on here started by someone asking if it would be OK to put a wash on as she'd run out of fabric conditioner shock.

Maybe there are some types of water that need something extra but I've never lived anywhere like that.

SoupDragon Sun 15-Sep-13 17:35:47

If I don't put it in my wash, the laundry comes out squeaky. I think it might depend on what your water is like.

whatastar Sun 15-Sep-13 17:36:02

agree with you snicker , just a waste of money when the detergent smells nice anyway .

TripleRock Sun 15-Sep-13 17:36:57

You notice the difference more in a hard water area

DoJo Sun 15-Sep-13 17:37:45

What kind of water makes your washing squeaky? We have really hard water and I have never used it because I don't like my clothes to be overly perfumed. Can't say I've noticed squeaky washing though but we're moving soon so I am intrigued...

Depends on where you live. We have very hard water and I can tell as soon as I get the clothes out if dh has forgotten to put it in.

cubbie Sun 15-Sep-13 17:38:58

You are a woman after my own heart! A low spin speed does indeed reduce creasing! Take it straight out of the machine, hang it up, smooth it out a bit et voila! No ironing required! (Mostly!)
Fabric conditioner is your friend!
(What a sad life I have)

GillyBillyWilly Sun 15-Sep-13 17:39:07

I live in central London and have to use fabric softener.... If we don't use it, our clothes come out a bit stiff and ridiculously creased.

HopeClearwater Sun 15-Sep-13 17:39:25

It's one of those things in modern life that are completely dispensable.

HopeClearwater Sun 15-Sep-13 17:39:48


cubbie Sun 15-Sep-13 17:39:56

And I live in a very soft water area.

expatinscotland Sun 15-Sep-13 17:39:56

I love it! Lenor Blue all the way!

SoupDragon Sun 15-Sep-13 17:40:27

It doesn't actually squeak. Obviously. grin It has that squeaky feeling to it though. Very hard water here and I can tell straight away if I've forgotten the softener.

You need less than the bottle suggests though - I often halve the amount.

itsallshitandmoreshit Sun 15-Sep-13 17:43:38

Actually it's proven to make clothes last longer. It protects garments from wear and tear. I can't link to studies but a friend of mine worked in the industry.

I literally can't NOT use it now I know this.

meganorks Sun 15-Sep-13 17:47:38

Don't use it but got some to try. Did make ironing shirts easier but DP said made his balls itch si stopped again. Liked it on towels but apparently not good to use it on them as makes them less absorbent

lborolass Sun 15-Sep-13 17:48:44

Can that be true atsallshit? How can a liquid which presumabley washed out protect something from tearing?

LisaMedicus Sun 15-Sep-13 17:54:10

Fabric Conditioner puts a sort of 'coating' on fabrics, so not good for absorbent stuff like nappies or towels.

If clothes are stiff it is a residue of the soap still in the fabric. Try white vinegar. No smell lingers after, no stiffness or roughness, lot less expensive if you get cheap white vinegar. Doesn't help ironing sad and I have fifteen shirts to iron per week (at least!)

I always feel a bit battered by the smell of fabric conditioner that comes from next door's clothes line.

If you wash fleece jackets with fabric softener they repell the water better when you get caught in a shower.
I also read somewhere that if you use it quite regularly that stains don't stick as much and are easier to get out.

MrsLouisTheroux Sun 15-Sep-13 18:17:07

Totally depends on hard/soft water areas. Our water is hard and clothes come out like cardboard without it. DM lives in soft water area and doesn't need to use it. Same with hair conditioner in the shower.

Mandy2003 Sun 15-Sep-13 18:21:30

...crispy towels, anyone...? Although it does say it should not be used on towels as it reduces the absorbency but I've never noticed that.

But I do live in what is claimed to be the hardest water area in the UK grin

Topseyt Sun 15-Sep-13 18:28:21

I have never used it and it doesn't tempt me. My MIL swears by it, but I can't see any difference between her washing and my own, so I see it as money I don't need to spend out of an already tight family budget.

My mother never used it, so I am probably influenced by that too.

I live in a very hard water area, but we do have our own water softener.

Ironing!!?? What is that?

OwlinaTree Sun 15-Sep-13 18:31:08

Nah I don't bother. I don't iron either.

I'm a lazy cow!

FredFredGeorge Sun 15-Sep-13 18:37:16

Ibrolas The whole point of fabric conditioner is that it isn't washed out, it remains between the fibres of the fabric resulting in lubrication of the fibres so they rub against each other less and are easier to iron etc. also the lubrication can help other stains wash away easier.

It's why you're not likely to see much difference in a single wash, as it builds up gradually over time. You shouldn't use it on any fabric that needs to breathe - e.g. sports gear that wants to allow sweat out. Cotton towels also don't get any benefit.

EduCated Sun 15-Sep-13 18:39:07

I'm allergic to it, so don't use it. I find my clothes are still nice and soft grin

Yonihadtoask Sun 15-Sep-13 18:43:47

I don't like it, find the smell overpowering. I hate walking past the laundrette, as the synthetic scent follows me.

I used to use many moons ago, but haven't for over 10 years now, and I can't say the clothes feel any worse.

We do have soft water though, so perhaps that helps.

Tumble drying softens clothes too, so if you line dry you're more likely to see a difference with fabric conditioner.

MIL bought a set of towels for us and a set for her at the same time. Hers looked an absolute tattered horrible mess within a year while mine are still going strong. It could be her washing machine I guess, but I also know she doesn't use fabric conditioner.

pianodoodle Sun 15-Sep-13 18:46:05

I'm the same I don't bother with it any more at all.

Plus I don't think towels dry you as well when they've been softened with conditioner smile

TwoMuchTwoYoung Sun 15-Sep-13 18:46:10

It stinks, that's why I don't use it.

nurseneedshelp Sun 15-Sep-13 18:47:57

I put a wash on this morning and realised I'd forgotten the lenor because ds was distracting me so I waited until the cycle had completed and re-washed it with the lenor!

I get through bottles of the stuff......

PuppyMonkey Sun 15-Sep-13 18:48:21

I definitely wouldn't use it on baby stuff - I'm allergic to anything like that so wouldn't put it near a ickle baby.

I haven't used it for two years. Tumble dryer sorts out creases.

LittleTulip Sun 15-Sep-13 19:10:47

I feel like I haven't done a proper wash if I haven't used fabric conditioner!

We stopped using it when we had dd as she seemed to react to it. In 15 months we haven't noticed any difference so I would never use it again. I don't use conditioner in my hair either after being told off by my hairdresser for using it too often, my hair is lovely and soft without it.

RaspberryRuffle Sun 15-Sep-13 19:21:02

Oh I love my fabric softener, the Lenor blue always reminds me of my mum's washing. I have another one I use too which DH has actually requested as he loves the smell of the sheets (right pair of saddos emoticon).
I usually use it on towels too as I'm not so dripping wet that the absorbency really matters. I don't use it on the skinny absorbent sports towels though or sports gear.

lastnightiwenttomanderleyagain Sun 15-Sep-13 19:26:58

We have an unscented one as I don't like to be bombarded with fragrance. That said, Thames Valley and very hard water make it an essential for us.

I agree with the towels though, I shove a load of white vinegar in in lieu of fabric softener to keep them nice and soft without affecting absorbancy.

Can't remember who asked about how it helps protect the fabric...but same principle as for your hair. Shampoo strips grease and dirt, conditioner restores the bits your hair still needs to stay strong and nice!

SilverOldie Sun 15-Sep-13 19:36:25

I've always lived in a hard water area and have never used it. I hate the smell and never had a problem with my clothes wearing out particularly quickly. I rarely if at at all iron anything either.

fluffyraggies Sun 15-Sep-13 19:42:20

Another saddo who loves it here.

Love to smell the laundry drying in the house in the winter when i cant hang it out. (no tumble dryer)

Love the big waft of it as i put clean clothes on.

HitTheNorth Mon 16-Sep-13 09:17:37

I stopped using it for a while and the clothes were noticeably less soft and more creased, so I started using it again. What put me off it initially was that it apparently contains formaldehyde, but now I've got a lovely lavender-smelling one, I've put that to the back of my mind <shallow>

VinegarDrinker Mon 16-Sep-13 09:23:15

Live in London and never used it. We line dry and don't iron either....

SarahAndFuck Mon 16-Sep-13 09:25:02

The point of it is to piss off my mother.

Any brand which is not the brand she uses is wrong. And if you use her brand, any fragrance that is not her fragrance is wrong.

To the point that she will wave her hand about in front of her face, with exaggerated gasps and chokes, while demanding to know if you use the entire bottle and wondering if you intended to smell so overpoweringly bad for a reason or if it might actually be something wrong with your nasal passages that requires the attention of a doctor.

Kaekae Mon 16-Sep-13 09:32:16

I live in a very hard water area so do need it for certain washes. I love the smell on my bed sheets. I must admit I've noticed how the prices of fabric conditioner has increased so don't buy it as often anymore, only if there is an offer on!!

VestaCurry Mon 16-Sep-13 09:40:15

I find it helps in our very hard water area. I use surcare, which is unperfumed because dh is allergic to any perfumed ones. I dilute it to more than half it's strength and find that's sufficient to be able to get most clothes straight out of the machine, and avoid ironing.

soimpressed Mon 16-Sep-13 09:40:40

We are in a very hard water area but I stopped using it because it's not good for people with sensitive skin or eczema. My washing is fine and it saves money.

Do you put the white vinegar in the fabric conditioner drawer?

LisaMedicus Mon 16-Sep-13 09:52:03

soimpressed I bung a glug of white vinegar in the fabric conditioner drawer (scientific measurement there). I sometimes smell the vinegar when the wash is on, but never while wearing. Apparently you can add essential oils. I don't bother.

I get my white vinegar for @ £3.00 for a five litre container, so saves pennies, and I notice the difference.

Fabric conditioner can also be anti bacterial, I used it when ds was tiny. On the other hand, white vinegar isn't exactly bacteria friendly and most soap powders will sort it out at 60 degrees (apparently - advice I was given with cloth nappies).

OTheHugeManatee Mon 16-Sep-13 11:31:46

We live in a hard water area and without fabric softener our towels come out like planks grin

Nancy66 Mon 16-Sep-13 11:33:19

I also live in a hard water area and use it but not convinced it makes any difference.

SueDoku Mon 16-Sep-13 13:35:27

When my DD was a baby she had bad eczema and the doctor treating her told me to never use fabric conditioner as it is one of the things that a lot of people are allergic to. I stopped then and have never used it since (and yes, her eczema cleared up in a couple of weeks).
Over the years, I reckon that doctor's advice has saved me hundreds of pounds.... grin

londonrach Mon 16-Sep-13 13:41:25

Years ago i once asked my mum why my friends swimming towels felt so fluffy whilst mine felt so hard. My mum went very quiet and bought some conditioner at the next shop. If you live in a hard water area without the conditioner clothes feel harder. I cant imagine washing my own washing now without....

FionaJT Mon 16-Sep-13 13:48:39

I live in a hard water area (and line dry) and have never used it. I hate the smell, and dd is prone to eczema so I have no desire to try it. My towels might be a bit crispy when they are clean, but I don't like that slightly slimy feeling of trying to dry yourself on a towel full of fabric conditioner.
I see it as part of the great capitalist conspiracy to make us all buy expensive stuff we don't need wink

ringaringarosy Mon 16-Sep-13 13:51:37

i use it because it smells nice,i dont iron except for the school uniforms or something that really needs it.

WaitingForMe Mon 16-Sep-13 13:56:16

My ex used to insist fabric conditioner made towels crispy and forbade me from using it. Our towels were horrible. I went out and bought some after I ended it and luxuriated in fluffy towels.

It was probably the most bizarre of his gas lighting techniques - I used to get accused of sneakily using fabric softener hence the towels were horrible.

SoupDragon Mon 16-Sep-13 14:19:44

I don't like that slightly slimy feeling of trying to dry yourself on a towel full of fabric conditioner

I don't put conditioner in with a towel wash. Towels are the only thing I tumble dry.

Chocolatehunter Mon 16-Sep-13 14:54:13

I use it on everything and don't know what kind of water we have. I just like the smell and like getting into bed when the sheets are a couple of nights old and smelling the fabric conditioner.

fatlazymummy Mon 16-Sep-13 14:56:38

I never use it and I live in a hard water area. My washing feels fine and last for donkeys years, even cheap primark stuff.
I have felt washing that's been done with it and to me it feels kind of slimy and smells ,well, unnatural.

elcranko Mon 16-Sep-13 15:51:13

I use fairy fabric softener on my DD's clothes just because it smells LOVELY smile

valiumredhead Mon 16-Sep-13 16:05:28

Squinkies-that's odd because the instructions for Patagonia fleeces are NOT to use softener.

Fakebook Mon 16-Sep-13 16:12:24

I don't see the point either.

I saw an advert for a dettol fabric conditioner or something today to get rid of "bacteria" in clothes confused. Really can't see the point of that either. Bacteria in clothes? Surely they die at high temperatures?

Twattybollocks Mon 16-Sep-13 16:19:25

Water is hard as nails where I live. If I don't use fabric conditioner the clothes stand up on their own

SoupDragon Mon 16-Sep-13 17:34:53

Bacteria in clothes? Surely they die at high temperatures?

Well the "point" (and I use that term loosely) is that they supposedly aren't killed at the new lower temperatures we wash at. Utter madness. No wonder we're screwing up our immune systems!

expatinscotland Mon 16-Sep-13 18:53:18

They die with soap and water, which, erm, laundry detergent is.

CelticPromise Mon 16-Sep-13 19:05:18

I've stopped using it, but DH requested I start again if I'm washing his shirts as he thinks it makes them easier to iron. I live in hard water London, line dry everything and iron about twice a year. I put in white vinegar with nappies to stop them going crispy and usually use about half the recommended dose of laundry liquid.

I can't believe how many of you condition towels! How do you ever get dry?

CelticPromise Mon 16-Sep-13 19:06:20

Get the bacteria out of your clothes, then put them on and fill them with bacteria from your skin grin

valiumredhead Mon 16-Sep-13 20:03:26

Towels are lovely with softener, somehow I manage to dry myself

valiumredhead Mon 16-Sep-13 20:03:35


steppemum Mon 16-Sep-13 20:23:10

The thing that no-one has mentioned is that the effect is very different on different types of fabric.

so, cotton clothes, not much difference, but anything artificial fibres and you really see the difference.

So a jumper which is a mixed fibre, not 100% cotton or wool, will feel very different with fabric conditioner. The more artificial fibres the more the difference.
I really notice it with tights, which are lovely and soft and stay stretchy with FC. If you have something soft and silky (but not real silk) the Fc stops the static and the cling.

That all sounds as if I have a drawer full of artificial fibres, and I don't, as I tend to buy mostly cotton, but I have a few things and that is when it makes a huge difference. I wouldn't have noticed it on baby clothes as they are 100%

ItIsKnown Mon 16-Sep-13 20:26:25

I stopped buying it a few years back but if it really means less ironing then I might get some. I'm of the shake and fold persuasion but cheap school polo shirts do sometime necessitate unearthing the iron from the cupboard. Not now, obviously because DC are wearing sweatshirts <yay for autumn>

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now