Fabric Softeners

Fabric softeners are products that give laundry a range of desirable properties for users. We can outline, among them, the improvement in the sense of touch because it attains softer fabric therefore becoming more pleasant and smooth and the improvement of the sense of smell. A long lasting fragrance with a feeling of clean, soft clothes is desirable.

It is a mature, stable market that could be very saturated if it wasn’t for the continuous renovation, innovation and fabric softeners quality improvement process.

Fragrance, the most important additive

Fragrance is one of the most important additives because it associates the efficiency of the product with the fragrance of the clothes after being washed, even when dry. On the other hand, the decision to purchase the softener is directly linked to the fragrance the product gives off when smelled directly from the container.

Therefore, fragrances for softeners are especially designed to achieve balance between a strong top note and an important substantivity, both in wet and dry clothes.

The formulation

Fabric softeners belong to the group of cationic surfactants. There are different formulations in accordance with the effects we want to achieve (a full-bodied, puffy and silky touch) and in accordance with the fabric (acrylic fibres, cotton, natural fibres…)

In products under the concept “easy to iron” silicones are added. For industrial applications lubricant additives are required to increase the speed of the dressmaking machines.

Colour is also an essential additive and it necessary to check that it is not altered with the softener formulation. Over the past years, there is a marked trend towards more concentrated softeners. This allows saving up because they offer a higher number of washings and comfort and take up less space.

Test conditions

Washing tests are carried out in accordance with the following characteristics:

- Concentrated softener
- Fragrance dose: 1,5%
- Type of fabric: cotton
- Washing: 30 min 40ºC
- Quantity of softener: 10g

The performance of the fragrance in the softener, the substantivity in wet and dry clothes is evaluated.