Fabric Conditioners vs. Fabric Softeners – What is the Difference?

Last Updated on January 4, 2023

Fabric Conditioners vs. Fabric Softeners difference: Fabric softeners and fabric conditioners are additional laundry detergents added to the washing machine tray and powder. They soften water, make clean laundry fragrant and remove static electricity.

Fabric softeners and fabric conditioners may differ in the fabrics’ types, colors, and release form. Means can be biodegradable and hypoallergenic for children.

Why Do We Need Fabric Conditioners and Fabric Softeners?

Fabric Softener vs Conditioner

All laundry aids are similar in composition. They make clean laundry softer, contain antistatic agents, and give a pleasant aroma. The only difference between the fabric conditioner and the fabric softener is fabric softeners primarily soften fabrics, while fabric conditioners aid in fabric protection.

They are applied during the rinse at the last stage of the wash. They are added to the washing machine’s star or flower icon tray or diluted in a basin of water for rinsing.

In What Forms Are Conditioners and Fabric Softeners Produced?

Fabric conditioners are produced only in liquid form. Along with the liquid form, fabric softeners are also available in powder and sheet form.

Fabric Softener vs Conditioner

When adding them, it is important to use a measuring cup and follow the dosage indicated on the label. Their amount also depends on the volume of the washing machine and the amount of laundry. If you add too little quantity, the effect of it will not be effective. Again, if you use too much quantity, you can get too strong a smell to form the clothing, or it can ruin the fabrics or even the mechanism of the washing machine.

Conditioners and softeners are also dry – in the form of impregnated napkins or fabric balls, as well as granules in bottles. Such products are placed directly in the washing machine’s star or flower icon tray before rinsing or drying.

For Which Fabrics Are There Conditioners and Softeners?

Conditioners and softeners positively affect clothing made of cotton, wool, linen, and synthetics. Woolen items restore pile and fluffiness and turn linen and cotton into a starched fabric.

Fabric Softener vs Conditioner

Compositions for colored, black, and white fabrics contain light tinting agents. Therefore they help to preserve the brightness and saturation of shades. Again, conditioners and softeners have a strong antistatic effect.

However, conditioners and softeners are not suitable for all items. For example, stains and streaks may remain on silk even after using ordinary fabric conditioners. 

Some specially formulated softeners only work on them. The same things also happen to underwear. Corrective underwear wash with the conditioner becomes less elastic and deforms. 

High-tech breathable materials, thermal underwear, and fabrics with water-repellent impregnation can also lose their properties.

What is the Difference Between Fabric Softeners and Conditioners for Children and Allergy Sufferers?

Fabric softeners and conditioners for children and allergy sufferers are distinguished by a more thoughtful and safe composition so that clothes after washing are not only soft but also hypoallergenic, and skin does not become irritated.

Fabric Conditioners vs. Fabric Softeners

Such products are usually almost odorless. Their soft base does not contain chloroform, benzyl acetate, terpineol, and ethanol and may include proteins and oils. 

Softeners must comply with Ghost and be marked “0+” if they are intended for children. They are rarely cheap. The quality can be checked by shaking the bottle: there should be almost no foam.

Which is Better: Fabric Softener or Conditioner?

Fabric Softener or Conditioner

It actually depends. For clothes that remain stiff even after washing and drying, fabric softener is best for them. In comparison, for fabrics that get static or require protection from stretching and fading, fabric conditioners are best for them.

Can I Use Fabric Conditioner Instead of Fabric Softener?

Yes, you can. Both of these laundry aids are pretty similar in formation and operations. You can undoubtedly use fabric conditioner instead of fabric softener or vice versa. 

When Should You Not Use Fabric Conditioner?

As fabric conditioners soften fabrics, applying them on a feather or down-filled garments like coats, jackets, and blankets is not recommended. 

What Are the Benefits of Biodegradable Products?

For those who care about the state of the environment, biodegradable fabric conditioners and fabric softeners, marked with the prefix “eco,” have been developed. These are products on a natural basis, odorless, or with a slight aroma of essential oils.
Biodegradable products are generally free of sulfates, petroleum products, parabens, phenols, phosphates, phthalates, formaldehyde, chlorine, and synthetic fragrances. They are based on water and surfactants of plant origin.

Is It Worth Using Fabric Softener for Allergy Sufferers?

If you suffer from allergies, choose a fabric softener labeled “dermatologically tested” and pair it with a hypoallergenic laundry detergent, such as one certified by the European Allergy Research Center ECARF

Using fabric softener for sensitive skin is especially important because it minimizes the discomfort of contact with clothing by making the fabric soft. 

However, remember individual intolerance, which is possible for individual components. This applies to everything we come into contact with, including fabric softeners. If you feel a reaction, for example, to a particular fragrance, you should carefully read the composition before buying and make sure that there is no corresponding component. 

Conclusion – Findings

  1. Fabric conditioner gives clothes freshness and fragrance and protects clothes from the signs of aging: loss of shape, fading, and pilling. It also has an antistatic effect and makes ironing easier.
  2. The softener is applied in the last wash cycle during the rinsing phase. It is essential to add it to the appropriate compartment of the washing machine or during the rinsing phase in hand washing.
  3. Detergents, including laundry capsules, do not contain fabric softeners. You must add them separately.

Ask any Question Here!