Fabric Conditioners are all the rage now, and an absolute must-have for your laundry. For those of you who are absolutely new to this magnificent concept - don’t worry by the end of this blog, you’ll probably have all the info you need to make your laundry day extra special.
Before we get into the nitty gritty of it all, let’s understand what exactly is a fabric conditioner and why it is used. A simple analogy would be to say, Fabric Conditioner is to clothes what Hair conditioner is to your hair. Fabric Conditioners were made to add life to your clothes and make them last longer. Just like a post shampoo conditioning softens the hair, removes knots which helps in reducing friction, and leaves hair damage-free, fabric conditioner works on similar principles.
What is a Fabric Conditioner and Why is it used
Fabric Conditioner is the cherry on the laundry cake. It’s a tiny dollop of mushy liquid added at the end of your cycle, followed by one round of rinse. Your clothes will be soft and fluffy, even better than it was when you first laid eyes on them at the store.
Manual washing in India is slowly being replaced by machine wash in many households, the use of mechanical washers puts a lot of stress on fibers, especially the fabric fibers on the outer surface. Take your cotton shirt, for example, all that tumbling and spinning in the washing machine is bound to cause knots. Conditioners work to make clothes more durable, because it reduces friction between fibers that may cause wear and tear. It also helps to avoid static clinging, prevents wrinkles, and makes ironing easier. Some may even help fabrics retain color. Think of it as an anti-aging moisturising cream for your clothes (we’re really big on these analogies).
Your method of drying also determines the feel of the fabric. Usually air drying, which is still the popular method in India, can often leave clothes dryer than machine/tumble dry. Fabric conditioners are a must in that case. If tumble drying is your go to method, then your conditioner will help prevent static clings.
Static Cling as the name suggests, is a phenomenon caused by static electricity. The tumbling action of the dryer causes fabrics to rub against each other and build up the electrostatic charges that zap and cling. When you wear these clothes, they tend to stick to your skin and act as a dust and grime magnet.
Additionally, Fabric Conditioners also ensure long-lasting scent for days. This is because it is added right at the end, before the final rinse, so a lot of the scent doesn’t get washed away. At this point, you must be wondering what an all-round product, that’s cause it genuinely is. (Even better when it is sourced naturally).
Fabric conditioners also have the great property of lasting for a long time because they’re generally used in very small quantities.
When to use Fabric Conditioner
This comes down to the type of washing machine you use. Some machines have an automatic dispenser and some do not. The age of the washing will tell us that.
If you have one of the newbies, there is a very high chance it already comes with an automatic dispenser. However, if your washing machine is a generational relic (which makes you proud of its resilience to last the decade) then you will have to add the conditioner during the wash.
An automatic dispenser means you can load your laundry, put the detergent in its right spot, and not worry about when to add the conditioner. You can simply pour your Natural Fabric Conditioner into the designated dispenser before you start the load of the wash and the washing machine will take care of the rest. It knows the appropriate time to release it. You can kick back and relax.
For older models, you need to be aware of what cycle your washing is. The most appropriate time to add your conditioner is in the final rinse cycle for optimal effect.
Front Load and Top Load
Again, the same rules apply to both front-loading machines or top-loading machines if they have an automatic dispenser. It’s advisable to go through the manufacturer’s manual to see how this
dispenser works, to better understand your machine. Additionally, there might be a setting on your machine which can be turned on when you’re using the conditioner. (Note - For some machine’s loading this dispenser might not be at the beginning of the wash but at a different point too, which is why reading the manual is imperative)
If your front load and top load do not have a dispenser, you need to manually add the prescribed amount in the laundry dispenser at the start of the rinse cycle. Never add your fabric conditioner directly onto your clothes.