Thread Number: 91390  /  Tag: Detergents and Additives
When did P&G fabric softeners....
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Post# 1159021   9/7/2022 at 21:53 by volvoman (West Windsor, NJ)        

...start to smell so nauseating?

I ask, because a couple of months ago, I ran out of my wonderful Miele fabric softener. I live near the corporate center, and they did not have any in stock. They did, however, have these Keurig cup-looking things of softener - and the Mrs. and I really liked them. Unfortunately, we also went through them fairly quickly.

Anyway, on our last supermarket jaunt, we sniffed a couple of P&G's offerings (Downy...Gain...), and were horrified at the scents. Not sure when it happened, but they all have this heavy, sickly, candy-like scent. We also took a whiff of Lever's (now Henkle) Snuggle, and were just as offended by the scent.

Have the days of a soft, crisp-scented, readily available fabric softener gone the wayside? Is there a decent, pleasant-scented brand out there? Or, should we just stockpile the UK and German stuff? Oddly, we never had this issue with Lenor; we've ordered the blue version off Amazon a number of times, and love it, but it's eye-wateringly expensive - which is why we've held off on trying Vernel.

It seems as though fabric softener has both its fans and enemies here. Some people swear by replacing FS with vinegar (we've tried it; we're not fans). Others prefer the unscented stuff (we like scented laundry products - just a preference).

Just trying to get some options...

Post# 1159023 , Reply# 1   9/7/2022 at 22:05 by lakewebsterkid (Dayton, Ohio)        

It has been a while. The only Downy we purchase is Clean Breeze. Original Gain isn't horrible, but is just too strong. Otherwise, you are correct, all other softeners are too strong or smell like candy. I would really like to try Lenor Spring Awakening, but as you said it is pricey!
Have you tried 9 Elements purifying softener? I actually like the Eucalyptus version. I use it on loads that I do not use softener on and it does make a big difference.
If you find anything you like let us know.

Post# 1159041 , Reply# 2   9/8/2022 at 06:00 by angus (Fairfield, CT.)        

You could order some NuSoft from the Malco Products (based in Barberton, Ohio) website. I don't often use fabric softener, except on fleeces since they are synthetic and this really helps with the static and the cat hair that my sister manages to bring here from her house. Like you. I was disgusted by the ridiculously strong fragrances on most of the P&G, Henkel and Colgate Palmolive offerings )Suavitel is a Colgate brand) and refuse to use any of them.

NuSoft is coconut based so I don't think it contains tallow. Most importantly, the fragrance is quite mild and doesn't overpower. NuSoft hasn't been available in any of the major supermarket chains for a few years, but used to be carried by some of the smaller IGA (Independent Grocers Association) type markets or some of the ethnic supermarkets (in my area it was Gala Foods, formerly known as Compare Supermarkets).

I recently ordered some from the website and you have to order it in increments of 6 bottles. They weren't prohibitively expensive and the only drawback was that the bottles leaked a little in transit. However, customer service couldn't have been nicer. They sent me another case of 6 for no charge and each bottle was in its own plastic bag. Still leaked a little but all I needed to do was wipe off the bottle and we were good to go. They also informed me they were changing the bottle design to avoid leakage.

While you're at it you might want to order yourself some Bluette liquid bluing. They make that also. Not as difficult to find but the 32 ounce size that used to sell for $1.98 at the grocery store is now $3.49.

Post# 1159048 , Reply# 3   9/8/2022 at 09:00 by Launderess (Quiet Please, Theres a Lady on Stage)        

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Market for fabric softeners in USA has declined over past few decades. Younger generations either can't be bothered, and or don't exactly know what is the purpose.

OTOH those who like FS tend to prefer strong scents that last, in particular long after drying.

Then you also have the strong influence of Latino/Hispanic population that is rising in USA. For some reason that demographic tends often to favor highly scented laundry products.

Post# 1159064 , Reply# 4   9/8/2022 at 13:44 by Launderess (Quiet Please, Theres a Lady on Stage)        
Quite honestly don't use FS much if at all.

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Really have stopped buying as am that sick of throwing bottles of the stuff away that have sat sitting so long contents look like bad Hollandaise sauce.

Post# 1159068 , Reply# 5   9/8/2022 at 14:39 by DADoES (TX,U.S. of A.)        

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I use a light dose on shirts, makes them a tad smoother. A bit heavier dose (but still reasonably light) on sheets & bedding for a (Snuggle lavender/vanilla) scent.

Post# 1159092 , Reply# 6   9/8/2022 at 22:30 by Volvoman (West Windsor, NJ)        

NuSoft!!! I completely forgot about that!

Interesting that youd bring up IGA; our local one used to carry both the liquid and dryer sheets, but no more. Thanks for the tip that I can order it online; I may very well do that!

Post# 1159102 , Reply# 7   9/9/2022 at 01:34 by bradfordwhite (West Coast, U.S.)        

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Lasts me about a year.

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Post# 1159111 , Reply# 8   9/9/2022 at 05:23 by angus (Fairfield, CT.)        

Glad to help with the information. I guess one of the reasons we can't find NuSoft in any store is that there is a limited market for anything that doesn't overwhelm with a heavy scent (or something that isn't constantly being remarketed as new), combined with limited shelf space and the sheer number of offerings by P&G (Gain, Downy) and Henkel (Snuggle, Purex). C&P only offers Suavitel but there are at least 4 versions of those and there is another company who offers several versions of something called "Ensueno". And of course Final Touch is still out there... So there goes your shelf space.

Not sure if the Malco website is as up to date as it should be. In the "where to buy" section, it tells you where you can find NuSoft but I have been to every IGA market within a 35 mile radius and no dice.

Post# 1159116 , Reply# 9   9/9/2022 at 08:01 by tennblondie78 (Bowling Green, KY)        

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Malco also has Jubilee Kitchen Wax, which I dearly love!

Post# 1159118 , Reply# 10   9/9/2022 at 08:27 by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

This is going to sound bad, but most of these products are marketed to the women who do laundry and that is Hispanic women who like heavy floral scents. Hell, they even have dishwasher detergents that have such powerful floral scents that your plastic containers smell like an explosion in a flower market when you go to put food in them. It started with lemon and went down hill from there. The more that they like the fragrance, the more they will use so the more that gets bought. This is also related to the poor laundering techniques being pushed on the public like cold water washing so scent boosters are sold to cover up the stench in washers and textiles that are never truly cleaned. Most products are marketed to the young and dumb so those of us who were taught how to clean things properly have to be careful in the products we choose. Downy brand products like the lavender and vanilla, IF USED SPARINGLY, are not gag-inducing, or at least were not when I last bought a container. The scents are not as sophisticated as Miele or Vernel, but are tolerable. Funny how those tariffs that doubled prices for many imports at the start of COVID, if I remember correctly, have not been removed as the plague-induced-panic has lessened.

Post# 1159121 , Reply# 11   9/9/2022 at 09:18 by qsd-dan (West)        

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"This is also related to the poor laundering techniques being pushed on the public like cold water washing so scent boosters are sold to cover up the stench in washers and textiles that are never truly cleaned."


Post# 1159122 , Reply# 12   9/9/2022 at 09:24 by mrboilwash (Munich,Germany)        

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Tom are you sure those tariffs had something to do with Convid?
I think it is the trade war your former president started with everyone in the world to blame for. The damage was huge and things are still far away from normal these days.

I still remember when yellow Lenor came out in the late 1980s. It was a very sweet and floral scent and it immediately became my favorite FS as I never really liked the blue chypre scented ones.
I`m sure there is or was a Downy version of it too, so this might be considered P&G`s first floral scented FS.

Post# 1159125 , Reply# 13   9/9/2022 at 09:49 by Adam-aussie-vac (Canberra ACT)        
Call me crazy,

But with me Ive always washed in hot water and I do fabric softener in the final rinse, and not just a little bit, enough to make the water in the washtub turn blue, am I using too much? At least Im not one to wash in cold water and decide to do glug glug glug of fabric softener and detergent

Post# 1159139 , Reply# 14   9/9/2022 at 12:38 by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

Dear Mr. Boil Wash,
I don't like to berate those who first language is not English when they so horribly misinterpret what I wrote, but I was going after the terrible trade policy of that monster turd and wondering why it is still in effect. There was no need to do what he did to cause the prices of European products to double in price except to kiss the asses of domestic manufacturers and kill competition just like the meat packers were permitted to draft trade legislation pertaining to COVID like making meat packing a necessary industry forcing workers to work in dangerous industries. May they all burn forever.

Post# 1159146 , Reply# 15   9/9/2022 at 13:13 by bradfordwhite (West Coast, U.S.)        

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Yes, I agree with the Latino's and the WAY TOO MUCH perfume thing.

If in the grocery store, in line, or simply shopping and they are nearby....OH OH my GAWD. I get away quick and make a purposeful gesture to indicate they SMELL.

It seems like it's mainly the older generation.

I wonder if it's their version of self hatred. Do they feel they are so stinky that.....

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Post# 1159150 , Reply# 16   9/9/2022 at 13:45 by mrboilwash (Munich,Germany)        

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Sorry if I misinterpreted your post!
You said " Funny how those tariffs that doubled prices for many imports at the start of COVID, if I remember correctly, have not been removed as the plague-induced-panic has lessened"

"Have not been removed as the plague-induced-panic has lessened" led me to believe you put the blame on Convid. Again sorry for that!

I know I`m not a native English speaker so I might not always be 100% clear on what I mean and I sometimes miss a point when reading a post. Anyway I`m glad it doesn`t seem to affect communication with the majority of AW members.

BTW I would have said "I don`t like to berate those whose first language is not English" Is this wrong again?

Post# 1159171 , Reply# 17   9/9/2022 at 21:00 by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

In many lands that use a lot of fragrances they do it because bathing water, soap and facilities are more trouble and expense than slapping on some more perfume for the coming day. We are mostly blessed to have better bathing facilities than many in the world.

Post# 1160219 , Reply# 18   9/23/2022 at 14:01 by JustJunque (Western MA)        

I know I'm kind of late to the party, but I'll offer my two cents. (If it's worth that much)
I still use fabric softener. I'm no spring chicken, so it may be out of tradition or something.
But, probably also out of tradition, I still use the brands that I grew up with.
I keep on hand, a bottle of April Fresh Downy, and one of Spring Fresh Final Touch.
I don't know how I started doing this, but I use the Downy on my whites, and Final Touch on everything else. Maybe I somehow like my socks and "unmentionables" to smell like candy! LOL
I do find that the Final Touch leaves a much lighter scent on things; especially after going through the dryer. So, if you're looking for a lighter scent, maybe try Final Touch.


Post# 1160253 , Reply# 19   9/23/2022 at 20:06 by GELaundry4ever (Killeen tx USA)        
laundry detergent and fabric softener

I always use laundry detergent and fabric softener with smell. I want them looking and feeling fresh in addition to the smell.

Post# 1160256 , Reply# 20   9/23/2022 at 20:57 by DADoES (TX,U.S. of A.)        

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Jerome, of course go right on ahead with it if highly-scented laundry is what you want. Hundreds of millions of consumer like it, else the products wouldn't exist. However, don't kid yourself ... perfumed products cover the natural scent/odor of the fabric. Fabric that is 100% clean and natural doesn't have the scent of laundry detergent and softener.

Post# 1160266 , Reply# 21   9/24/2022 at 00:29 by powerfin64 (Yakima, Washington)        
Run with that theory Jerome

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More is best

Post# 1160267 , Reply# 22   9/24/2022 at 00:39 by DaveAMKrayoGuy (Oak Park, MI)        

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In Israel at the home my late-in-laws last lived at there was a really neat fragrance from the cleaning solutions it used that I wish Imcould have bottled up and bring home, maybe it would have smelled good in my clothes, maybe not, but it was a neat scent!

-- Dave

Post# 1160270 , Reply# 23   9/24/2022 at 00:50 by Dustin92 (Jackson, MI)        

I've become a huge fan of Member's Mark Spring Flowers fabric softener from Sam's Club. It smells similar to one of the older versions of April Fresh Downy (packaging colors are even similar) with a light slightly sweet floral scent. It softens nicely without feeling heavy or greasy, and the club size dispenser bottle is only about $9.
I also get All advanced detergent from Sam's club, which has a clean fresh scent and cleans great, and Member's Mark Dryer sheets which smell extremely strong in the box, but actually have a very light pleasant scent in the laundry. The 3 products used together do an excellent job cleaning and softening and the large sizes can last us a couple months.

Post# 1160275 , Reply# 24   9/24/2022 at 02:45 by askolover (South of Nash Vegas, TN)        

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We use the blue Great Value that's made by Sun for Walmart.  Works well, cheaper than Downy and doesn't smell bad.  Suavitel blue or yellow for our whites works too...blends well with the faint Clorox smell...which I actually like.  Smells like clean!

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