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.
The softness is evaluated with a panel of 10 people. We use the paired method where the panelist is given two swatches and asked which is softer. Each product in the set is paired with every other product in the set in this process. A product scores one point each time it is deemed softer than the paired product. The products are then ranked by their total score.
Water absorbency is also measured because fabric softeners tend to reduce the water absorbency of towels as a side effect of the softness. We use a dyed solution in a beaker and a swatch of the treated nappy. By placing it in the dyed solution you can see the solution travel up the swatch and the further it travels the better the water absorbency.
From the labelling on the container. Most commercial products don't show their ingredients. From the sample group we tested, only fabric softeners which claim some green credentials disclose their ingredient list.
White vinegar brewed from fermented spirit
Add 1/2 cup to fabric softner dispenser or dilute and add to the final rinse
This where they are manufactured, but individual ingredients that make up the product can come from anywhere, so the origin statement is a little rubbery, unless each ingredient's origin is listed. No softener does this.