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6 Best Budget Fabric Softeners (And what to look for)

Almost all clothes feel rough, creased, and charged with static straight out of the dryer. This happens for a number of reasons, including using hard water and fabric types.

Nonetheless, all this would be different if you use fabric softeners. Fabric softeners make clothes feel soft and fluffy, remove static, and smell heavenly. 

But the problem is, with so many fabric softener varieties, determining the right one can be confusing.

And that is why we dove deep into research to bring you the following 6 of the best fabric softeners on the market today.

The best fabric softener has several qualities. It softens clothes, is naturally scented, and is affordable. But above all, it should have no additives harmful to the user and the environment.

Meyer’s Clean Day Fabric Softener

Mrs. Meyer’s is unmistakably a popular product in the fabric softening market. Inspired by the garden, as they claim, it is packed with a myriad of plant-based softening ingredients in its formulation.

This makes it easy to streamline creases in clothes, neutralize static, and infuse a touch of lingering fresh scent.

Furthermore, it is made without any harmful ingredients such as phthalates, parabens, or animal-derived ingredients.

And with this fabric softener, it doesn’t matter whether you’re using the standard or the HE washer, as it is compatible with both types. 

Method Fresh Fabric Softener

Methods Fresh Fabric Softener is an all-natural fabric softener that is well formulated to get the job done. This is all thanks to its array of streamlining ingredients that include canola, citric acids, natural fragrances, and preservatives. 

Once all these ingredients go to work on your fabric, the result is a comfy, non-clingy, and natural-scented wash. And if you’ve been looking for a safe to use and ethically produced fabric softener, look no further. 

It is formulated without any harmful ingredients, and it is cruelty-free. That means you can use it with a free conscience as it is not tested on animals, but by people. And with the 53.5 oz bottle giving you 45 loads, that is quite a substantial number of loads.

Downy Infusions Laundry Fabric Softener

Downy is a renowned brand in the detergent and fabric softening market. And as expected, they did not let down their customers in making this product. Downy infusions is an affordable product that works great in transforming creased and statically charged clothes into fluffy and cling-free garments.

Moreover, if you opt for the new Calm Scent, a lingering aura of lavender and vanilla beans permeating your nostrils, the feeling is purifying. But if you are the adventurous type, you can try even other fragrances such as their April Fresh scent or the Lavender Serenity.

All these features portray a product that is formulated with the best results. To enjoy its benefit, all you have to do is to add a normal dose in the final rinse and dry your clothes.

Snuggle Super-Fresh Fabric Softener

Snuggle Super-Fresh is a unique fabric softener that has more added value. It is reputed to be among the few fabric softeners, combining innovative fabric softening and odor-clearing features. 

Other than the features of softening clothes and removing static, you can expect it to completely expunge all residues of bad odor from clothes. From pets’ beddings to children’s washable diapers, just add a dose of snuggle super fresh in the final rinse cycle. 

Your wash comes out super soft and with a tranquil smell. For a 90oz bottle, you can expect approximately 90 loads, which is a great bang for the buck.

Botanic Origin Plant-Based Fabric Softener

Botanic fabric softener is a leading organic fabric softening product among its peers. This is not surprising, considering it is mainly plant-based in its formulation. With approximately 71% USDA-approved ingredients, few competing products come close to this. 

What is more, their packaging is made from 25% post-consumer recycled plastic. Consequently, it adds an eco-friendliness feather to its cloth softening accolades. Additionally, being hypoallergenic makes it a safe use product. 

You can use it on children’s clothes or clothes of people with low immunity. If you’re looking for a clothes softener that is inspired by nature to give your clothes that velvety feel, this is it.

Gain Eco-Box Liquid Fabric Softener

Gain Eco-box softener is another affordable fabric softener geared heavily toward effectiveness, eco-friendliness, and user safety. This is owing to its innovative packaging that comprises 75% less plastic than its recyclable packaging. Furthermore, in its formulation are mainly plant-based softening agents to comply with its organic policy.

The ingredients include all-natural stabilizers, softeners, PH adjusters, and thickness regulators. Moreover, the Gain Eco-box is designed with an ergonomic spill-free softener dispenser. To use it, all you have to do is place the dosing cup, twist the cup clockwise, and do a mess-free dispensing. Considering all these features, buying Gain Eco-box is definitely value for money.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which Fabrics Need Fabric Softening?

Most fabrics need fabric softening. This is because all of them generate static and become creased and rough during the laundry process.

This happens over issues of hard water and the harshness of some detergents.

However, specifically, it is not safe to use fabric softening agents on towels, activewear, microfiber, and flame-resistant clothes. Using fabric softeners on these reduces their essential wicking abilities.

I wrote a guide on the best detergent for hard water and a really comprehensive guide on the best washing machines for hard water that may interest you.

Is Using Fabric Softeners Worth It?

Using fabric softeners is worth every bit of it. Of course, this also depends on the quality of the brand you use for clothes softening. But in general, a great clothes softener should make your rough clothes softer, reduce static, and infuse natural fragrances. This all makes your clothes more comfortable to wear and reduces the friction extending their life.

Can I Make a Homemade Fabric Softener?

Making homemade fabric softener is possible. All you need are a few ingredients from around your house and a good recipe, and you can mix them to make a functional softener. For instance, with the right ratios of baking soda, vinegar, and essential oils, you can make your fabric softener. However, you need to be extremely careful with these DIY recipes, as they may ruin your clothes.

Next, you can check out my list of the best laundry detergents or my list of the 13 laundry detergent alternatives that actually work.

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