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Fabric softener reviews

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Last updated: 05 January 2022


Checked for accuracy by our qualified fact-checkers and verifiers. Find out more about fact-checking at CHOICE.

We lab test and review a range of fabric softeners to help you find the best one for you.

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We've tested most of the fabric softeners on the market to tell you which one:

  • makes fabric softest while maintaining absorbency
  • is good value for money.

Keep in mind that fabric softeners are only an additive – they don't make your clothes any cleaner, and using them adds a layer of chemicals to your fabrics after putting them through the washing machine. They may also reduce both the water absorbency of your towels and nappies, and more worryingly, the flame retardant properties of children's sleepwear and other fabrics.

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List of brands we tested in this review.


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    This is the price we paid for the pack size listed.

    enter value/s in increments of 1 between 0 and 15

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    Absorption score

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    Fabric softeners tend to reduce the water absorbency of towels as a side effect of the softness, so we also measure water absorbency. 

    enter value/s in increments of i between 20 and 90

    Softness score

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    Based on International Standard ASTM D5070, 90 cloth nappies (100% cotton) are conditioned with 5 cycles of a regular wash with just laundry powder. Then we run the top loader machine on a rinse and spin cycle with the fabric softener product, nappies and ballast (sheets and pillow cases). The nappies are then dried and the softness is evaluated with a panel of 10 people.

    enter value/s in increments of i between 22 and 90

    Cost per wash

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    Based on the price we paid and the manufacturer's instructions for usage. 

    enter value/s in increments of i between 0.02 and 0.69

    Shop Ethical rating

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    Shop Ethical rates the environmental and social impact of the company (not the product) using independent sources. This rating is not included in our total score. N/A means there is no rating for that company.

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      • Hypoallergenic claim
      • Septic and grey water safe claim
      • Shop ethical
      • Suitable for sensitive skin claim
      • Dermatologically tested claim
      • Overall score
      • Softness score
      • Absorption score
      • Recommended
      • Cost per wash ($)
      • Fragrance
      • Measure used
      • Bottle size (mL)
      • Price
      • Cost per 100mL
      • Ingredients
      • Dosing instructions
      • Range of fragrances available
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