Fabric Softener 101: The Tale of Fabric Softener and The Top Loading Washer

Once upon a time, there was a young maiden who was trying to find her way in the big, bad, scary world. She had a long list of daily responsibilities and chores, the least favorite of those was the dreaded laundry. When her laundry basket runneth over, she made the tenuous trek all the way to the basement to fight for a top loading washing machine of her own. When successful, she would throw her dirty garments into the top loading washer she had claimed, pour in the laundry detergent and fabric softener and quickly snuck away before the laundry troll caught her. All was hunky dory, until one day, the laundry fairies gifted the maiden with the Downy Ball and her life and laundry were changed forever.

Why Fabric Softener?

Ok, so there is no laundry troll hiding in my basement, but I DO dislike doing laundry. And to be honest, until I sat down to write this blog, laundry took up exactly .0004% of my brain space.

Sure, I get the essentials:

  • Sort by color(ish)
  • “Dry Clean Only” isn’t a suggestion
  • Add detergent and fabric softener
  • Dry and Done

But, I wasn’t 100% sure what the point of fabric softener was… I mean, it makes your fabric soft? And my mom uses it, so what else is there to think about? I try to keep my laundry process as fast and efficient as humanly possible and like I said, I don’t put a lot of (or any) thought into it. Who does? It’s just laundry.

Well, after a quick Google search, it turns out, that fabric softener is a little (lot) more powerful than I have given it credit for. Fabric softener, when used correctly, can help repel stains, reduce wrinkling and pilling, reduce drying time and decrease static cling (i like my men clingy, not my clothes. jk. unless you’re interested, then idk we can chat). Ok, damn. Fabric softener is more than just the liquid you pour in after the detergent. It can help expedite the laundry process AND keep my clothes in better condition, who knew!? (why don’t they teach you this stuff in college?? This would have been infinitely more helpful than Plant Science 101…although my succulents are struggling, so…idk.)

Here is the thing: to work efficiently, fabric softener must be added during the rinse cycle, not the wash cycle (again, who knew!). Otherwise, it could interfere with the cleaning process. For the past 7 years, I have been tossing the softener in with the detergent and had NO CLUE that this could actually be preventing my clothes from getting 100% clean. (I know I am not the only one that is having a laundry revelation right now.)

Ok, TIME OUT: I know. This is way more than you EVER wanted to know about laundry science, but keep going.


In your mom’s fancy washing machine at home, you have probably seen the little spot where you pour the detergent and the fabric softener – easy peasy. The washing machine does all the work for you. But if you are 20-something like me, you are still living community laundry life and will be for a few more years. (and if you are also like me, you love that you can do two weeks worth of laundry at one time, holla.)

The Downy Ball to the Rescue

Here is where the magical Downy Ball from the laundry fairies comes in. Since my old school top loader, doesn’t have a fancy spot reserved for the fabric softener, this tiny little ball saves you the headache of having to remember to add the fabric softener during the rinse cycle while keeping your clothes 100!

Simply fill the Downy Ball with your favorite fabric softener and pull the ring tight. Toss the Ball into your top loading washing machine and continue business as usual. During the rinse cycle, the spinning action shakes the ring open, dispensing the softener perfectly. And now you too have become a laundry fairy in your own right.

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For same price of a Taco Bell taco, you can harness the magic of the Downy Ball. Get yours today and award yourself 5 adulting stars.
Now that you know all about fabric softener and you have discovered my wrinkle-free potion, Who is ready for Laundry 102!? What other laundry questions do you have? Leave your laundry woes in the comments!

Join the Non HE-Nation!

Be proud of your non-HE washing machine! It has been with you for countless spills, stains and spin cycles. And it’s going to be with you for countless more. Buck the high-efficiency trend and be proud to be Non-HE!
With Downy Ball, your non-HE washing machine makes softness simple. All you have to do is fill the ball with fabric softener, seal it and drop it in at the start of the wash. Then let your non-HE washing machine automatically release the fabric softener during the rinse cycle.

You can’t do that in an HE washing machine! Click here to learn more.


This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Downy Ball, but the content and opinions are mine.

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