DIY - House and Home

How to Use Liquid Fabric Conditioner

Tips to get the most out of your fabric softener


 Fabrics just feel better when you use Downy® Fabric Conditioner, infusing them with wonderful softness, freshness, and protection. Even better, Downy is easy to sue. But how you use it depends on what kind of washing machine you have—top—or front-loading.

Tip 1: How to use Downy in HE front-loading machines.

If you have an HE front-loading washer, your machine has a built-in automatic dispenser and you can add Downy Fabric Conditioner right when you add your laundry detergent. (All Downy Fabric Conditioner are 100% compatible with HE front-loading washers.)

Tip 2: Adding Downy to your front-loader.

Simply measure the correct amount of Downy and pour into the appropriate section of your washer’s dispenser tray. During the rinse cycle, your machine will wash water up into the dispenser, releasing the fabric conditioner, infusing your fabrics with softness and freshness.

Tip 3: Can I use a Downy Ball in my front-loader?

Do not use a Downy Ball in your HE front-loader. Check your machine’s care guide to see whether the manufacturer recommends using any separate dispensers in your front-loader.

Tip 4: How to use Downy in top-loading machines.

If you have a top-loading machine, there are three ways you can add liquid fabric conditioner to your laundry loads.

Automatic Machine Dispenser

If you have an automatic machine dispenser (a cup-like device in the center column), simply measure the correct amount of Downy using the fill lines in the lid, and pour it into the dispenser at the same time you add detergent. During the spin cycle, as the water level rises, the conditioner is dispensed evenly throughout the water to soften and protect your fabrics from stretching, fading, and fuzz.

Downy Ball

If you’re using the Downy Ball Dispenser, just measure your Downy Fabric Conditioner, fill the ball, pull the ring tight to close the lid and toss it in at the beginning of each load. During the rinse cycle, the spinning action of the chamber will release the lid and dispense the fabric conditioner.


If you’re adding fabric conditioner by hand, be sure not to add it during the wash cycle. The wash cycle will clean away much of the softener, so add it during the rinse cycle. Also, try to avoid direct contact with fabrics to avoid stains; instead, pour Downy into the deeper pockets of water.

About Downy Ball

No more waiting for the rinse cycle. No more cleaning out the dispenser. With the Downy Ball, fabric softener is automatically released during the rinse cycle. To enjoy the convenience of Downy Ball just pour the Downy fabric softener of choice up to the right fill line in the Downy bottle cap, pour into the ball, seal it, and drop it in at the start of the wash on top of fabrics. Downy Ball will release the softener on its own, making laundry less complicated.

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