Updated 4 Aug 2016

Essentials

Fabric Softener Concentrate

Snapshot: Essentials Fabric Softener Concentrate is a liquid that comes in a 250ml pack. But does it leave your towels soft?

Fabric Softener Concentrate
Consumer score
SCORE
Avg price

$1.99

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Test results

Overall score
59
Softness
?/10
Water absorbency
?/10

Good points

  • OK softness.
  • OK water absorbency.

But

  • No obvious bad points.

How we test

Overall score includes:

Softness (60%)
Water absorbency (40%)

To test fabric softeners, we wash cotton swatches, with cotton sheets and pillowcases to approximate a typical load of washing. We put the load through a regular wash with just laundry detergent. We then run the top-loader machine on a rinse-and-spin cycle with the fabric softener. The swatches are dried and their softness and absorption are tested.

Softness

We get 10 people to test softness by using a paired method where each person is presented with two swatches and asked which is softer. A product scores a point if it’s softer than its paired product. The softeners are then ranked by their total score. All the products in the test are compared against each other.

Water absorbency

We also test for water absorbency of the swatches because fabric softeners tend to reduce the water absorbency of fabrics as a side effect of the making them feel soft. We use a dyed solution in a beaker and place a swatch into it. The dyed solution can then be seen travelling up the swatch, the further it travels, the better the water absorbency, which means the higher we score it.

Key data

Model

Type
Liquid
Avg price
$1.99
Cost per wash
$0.08
Pack size (g/ml)
250
Fragrance tested
Wild lavender
Other fragrances available
Dosage (ml per L of water)
80
Claimed number of washes
25
Notes
Only sold at Countdown stores.