Glossary

Fabric softener

11.16.21

A laundry additive that gives fabrics a soft feel and smooth surface, reduces static electricity and wrinkling, and makes ironing easier.

Most fabric softeners are designed for addition to the rinse or drying cycles, but a few are available for the wash- and rinse-added types are liquids; dryer-added fabric softeners come as sprays, impregnated tear-off sheets, and impregnated foam (porous) sheets, or as a slow dispensing solid bar that attaches to the fin of a dryer.  The softening agents most commonly used are cationic quaternary ammonium compounds .   Bluing is frequently included, as well as fragrance.  Infrequently, antimicrobial ingredients or fluorescent whitening agents are added.  Fabric softening ingredients also are incorporated in some laundry detergent products.