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Ultra Downy With Febreze Fabric Softener - About.com Laundry Product Review

Fresh and Silky

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Ultra Downy With Febreze Fabric Softener - About.com Laundry Product Review

Photo: MML

Downy has added Silk Touch to its formula to make your clothes feel more silky soft. And, now Ultra Downy Spring & Renewal has the fresh scent of Febreze. Who could ask for anything more?

Ultra Downy with Febreze

Since Downy hit the shelves, it has been a popular choice as a fabric softener. The Downy line is now divided into liquid fabric softener, dryer sheets, in-wash boosters and a wrinkle releaser. Within the liquid line, there is Ultra Downy in Free & Sensitive, Spring Lavender, Sun Blossom, Clean Breeze, April Fresh, Mountain Spring and now Ultra Downy with Febreze.

Ultra Downy with Febreze comes in several sizes (35, 52 and 78 loads). All are safe to use in both high efficiency (he) and standard washers. The directions for use state: Find the fabric softener dispenser for your washer, shake the bottle of Downy fabric softener well and measure to the desired line marked in the cap. You are instructed to add more or less depending upon the size of your laundry load and washer. Pour the softener into the dispenser and top off with water.

The product should not be poured directly onto clothing since spotting can occur. To remove the spotting, wet the area and rub with a mild soap (bar soap) then rinse or rewash.

A warning states that liquid fabric softener can increase fabric flammability. Using more than the recommended amount can increase this effect. The product should not be used on children's sleepwear or garments labeled as flame resistant. It should also not be used on fluffier fabrics like fleece, velour, chenille or terry cloth.

The ingredients listed on the label are: biodegradable fabric softening agents (cationic). The complete list of ingredients is listed on the P&G website. They are:

  • Water - process aid
  • diethyl ester dimethyl ammonium chloride - Softening agent
  • Fragrance - Aesthetics
  • Starch - Structuring agent
  • Ammonium chloride - Chlorine scavenger
  • Calcium chloride - process aid and product stability
  • Formic acid - pH modifier
  • Polydimethylsiloxane - anti foam agent
  • Liquitint™ Purple - colorant
  • BENZISOTHIAZOLINONE - preservative
  • diethylenetriamine pentaacetate, sodium salt - chelate metals in product

    The instructions are offered in English, French and Spanish. The bottle contains 25 percent or more recycled consumer plastic and is recyclable. The suggested retail price is $6.49-6.99 for the 52 load bottle.

  • Procter & Gamble and the Downy Line

    Procter & Gamble began in 1837 when Cincinnati brother-in-laws, William Procter, a candlemaker, and James Gamble, a soapmaker, came together to form the company. In just twenty years, the company would reach one million dollars in sales. The company continued to grow during the Civil War when the Union Army awarded two contracts to Procter and Gamble to supply soldiers with soap and candles.

    Procter & Gamble found gold with the launch of Ivory soap in the 1890s. In the years to come, Procter & Gamble would invent and produce some of the most common products - like Crisco, Tide and Pampers in American homes. The company now is one of the largest advertisers in the United States and around the world.

    Downy was introduced to the Procter and Gamble laundry line in 1960 as fabric softener to be used during the final rinse cycle of laundry. The Downy line now includes liquid, dryer sheets, spray on wrinkle releaser and Unstopables.

    Laundry Guide Recommendation

    I gave Ultra Downy with Febreze a try with our laundry. The clothes came out soft and static-free. Even though I'm not big on scented laundry, I found it to be pleasant and not overpowering.

    I spent a bit of time reading the Downy website to learn that SilkTouch infuses fabrics with a silky softness and that Renewing Scent Pearls create fresh bursts of fragrance each time you are embraced. Could fabric softener lead to more hugging?

    I will admit that I'm not a big fan of most fabric softeners due to the coating they leave on fabrics. The coating makes the clothing less flame resistant, less absorbent and less breathable while wearing.I prefer to soften our clothes and linens with baking soda or white distilled vinegar. However, if you like to add scent, Ultra Downy with Febreze is a good choice.

    Specific questions? Just ask here.

    Your Thoughts

    Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.
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