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Ultra Downy Fabric Softener - Laundry Product Guide Review

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Ultra Downy Fabric Softener - Laundry Product Guide Review

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The Bottom Line

Downy Fabric Softener can reduce static in synthetic fabrics and softens natural fibers. It also leaves a significant fragrance in laundry. Be sure to read all package instructions and warnings before using.

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  • Softens natural fabrics and reduces static.
  • Available in multiple formulas and fragrances.
  • Bottle contains 25 percent or more post-consumer plastics.


  • Some formulas are highly perfumed.
  • Lessens flame retardance in some garments and fabrics.
  • Can cause washer malfunction if dispensers are not cleaned regularly.


  • Fabric softener available in multiple formulas and fragrances.
  • Softens natural fibers and reduces static in synthetic fibers.
  • Manufactured by Procter and Gamble, Inc.

Product Review - Ultra Downy Fabric Softener

Procter and Gamble's Downy Fabric Softener should be a familiar brand on store shelves. Introduced in 1960, it has remained one of the company's leading performers. Downy is available in several forms - liquid, dryer sheets and as a wrinkle releaser. Downy also offers the Downy Ball as a laundry aid for distributing the fabric softener. It is offered in several scents including April Fresh, Floral, Rich & Creamy, Pure & Balanced, Modern & Exotic and Scent Free. It is also available in different formulas - Ultra Downy, Simple Pleasures, Free & Sensitive, Downy with Febreze, Pure Essentials and Downy TotalCare.

I tested Ultra Downy April Fresh liquid. It is compatible for all washers including high-efficiency (he) models. Since I do not have a washer with a fabric softener dispenser, I added it to the final rinse. If you have a dispenser, shake the Downy well and mesure to the desired amount as marked in the flower petal shaped cap. Pour the fabric softener into the dispenser and top off with water. To keep your washer working well, be sure to clean the dispenser regularly. If Downy freezes or thickens, dissolve it first in a capful of water before using.

Downy April Fresh left a noticeable fragrance to my laundry and did reduce static in the dryer with synthetic fabrics.

Ingredients are not listed (there are 11 ingredients); however, you can get Downy Product Information and Material Safety Sheets here. The bottle does contain 25 percent or more post-consumer recyled plastic and can be recycled. There is a convenient narrow window on the handle side of the bottle to indicate how much product is still available.

Product warnings include how to remove spotting caused by Downy if the product does not disperse well in the rinse water. There is also a warning that liquid fabric softener can increase fabric flammability. Do not use Downy on children's sleepwear or garments labeled as flame resistant. It may reduce flame resistance. Do not use Downy on garments made with fluffier fabrics such as fleece, velour, chenille or terry cloth. Excessive use can reduce moisture absorbency in clothing and towels.

I am not a huge fan of fabric softeners because of the problems they can cause. I prefer to use baking soda or white vinegar to soften laundry. If you still feel you need a commercial fabric softener, this one softens well.

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

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