“ Formula that aims to penetrate deep into fibers to help reduce creases and reduce ironing time „
Ah....I loved this product. Alas, P and G still make it, but for some reason stopped distributing it here in the UK. The injustice of it all! Downy is a major brand of fabric softener made by P and G, sold under the Lenor label here in the UK and in Ireland. Most of the Downy and Lenor ranges are the usual sort of fabric softening liquids, which put a coating on the fibres in order to reduce static and make it soft. This coating sadly means that over a very short period of time, towels and nappies will begin repelling water so that you have to either strip them to remove the stuff, possibly damaging the fibres over time, or replace them with new ones. The fabric enhancer works differently., saving time and effort and greatly extending the life of fabrics. Rather than coat the fibres with a slight waxy and oily like substance, the fabric enhancer works with the fibres to help keep them fully fluffed out so the the fabric's original nap is restored during washing. This means that towels and nappies and other clothes stay soft, and do not repel water. Cost wise, it was good value for money. A bottle cost about the same as other Lenor products, but was ultra concentrated so a very little bit went a very long way adding to value. Usefulness was extended by the fact that Downey was suitable for senstive skin, and was easy on the perfumes. I miss you Downey, and will continue to rail at P and G about the lack of distribution here!
Ever since I started my full-time job last August, I have been able to afford some of life's simple luxuries such as buying nice-smelling washing-up liquid instead of supermarket's own brands or swapping our terrible budget toilet paper for that nice, soft stuff with the cute puppies in the ads. Another one of my newfound luxuries is buying proper fabric conditioner, since both mine and hubby's clothes were slowly but surely getting a tad stiff and unpleasant to wear from frequent treatments with cheap no-brand washing powders. Okay, so my nasty habit of chucking all clothes in at 60° (no matter what the label says of course - I should really know better!) might have had something to do with it too, but thankfully the days of scratchy and stiff clothes are now over once and for all. After experimenting with various brands of ~ordinary~ fabric conditioners, I stumbled upon a reduced price offer on the much-advertised 'Downy Fabric Enhancer'. Around £1-70 instead of the usual ~£2 still seemed quite hefty considering the relatively small size of the bottle, but since fabric conditioner was on my shopping list anyway and my basket was already laden with cat food and other necessities (well, at least according to my cat!), I decided to grab one of the handy 750ml. bottles (I chose 'Relaxing' since this was just before the stressful Christmas shopping season) and struggled my way to the till and subsequently to the bus station. I have since bought another bottle (this time 'Invigorating' since spring is quickly coming along!) and I can tell you in all honesty that I am not in the slightest considering ever buying a different fabric conditioner again - well, at least unless they roll out some more lovely new fragrance variations of this wonder stuff!!! Here's why: ~ What is this Downy Stuff??? ~ Well, in fact Downy is not as such a 'fabric conditioner', but as the name says a fabric ENHANCER. This means that it enhances the touch and 'wear-comfort' of your clothes and any other hand- or machine-washable fabrics and improves the exchange of air, heat and moisture through the fabric. It also smoothens out creases and thus makes your kit easier to iron or can even eliminate the need for ironing some fabrics altogether. Since neither hubby nor I are required to wear shirts at work, our iron is now nigh-on unemployed, which is a very welcome change because like most people, I am not one to enjoy slogging over the ironing board for hours on end. Washing, hanging/drying, folding and putting away several machine loads of washing is already enough work in my books, so anything that helps you to avoid the dreaded ironing board (which in my household is now used to fold washing on, and, erm, yeah there's some other rubbish that keeps collecting up on it since we are still very short of work surfaces and storage!) can only be a change for the better! Downy is available in compact 750 ml. bottles (there are 500ml. ones available but I think they might have been promotional) and comes in 'relaxing', 'harmonizing' and 'invigorating', all very pleasant fragrances that keep your house (especially when you use your central heating radiators to dry clothes on - works better than the most scrumptious aromatherapy oils!) and clothes smelling absolutely gorgeous for a long time, even while you are wearing them (The clothes, that is, not the house! Hope that was obvious...). I could swear I have seen a third fragrance in a shop somewhere (if anyone knows, please say so in the comments section!), but our local supermarket only seems to stock those two. Maybe that was just wishful thinking though, since I am sure it would be just as lovely as the other ones I tried, just a little different - you can never have enough variations of gorgeous smells in your house after all! ~ How do you use it and does it actually work? ~ In spite of being more than a traditional fabric conditioner or -softener, Downy is used pretty much like these products - simply put in the rinse drawer of your washing machine or add to a hand wash and off you go! The big difference though apart from its great results (and this is why the price is actually justified even for such a small bottle) is the fact that this stuff is also highly concentrated. This means that using a full cap for a large wash load will only set you back by less than 30 ml. whereas twice that amount with normal fabric conditioners would usually not even suffice for a hand wash. After about 10 wash loads, the first bottle is still nearly half full, while the first four or five loads with the 'invigorating' fragrance have barely touched the contents of the bottle. The compact bottle is transparent so you know exactly how much you have left, which is pretty handy since you don't want to prepare a large load of washing just to discover you've only got enough left to enhance a pair of knickers with! The easy-grip shape of the bottle and its small size also means that you can easily grab a hold of it when you're trawling down to the cellar/laundry room etc. (I don't have that luxury though) with your washing basket and washing powder in tow. The only slight design fault in my eyes is that the coloured cap (which, along with the label, indicates which fragrance it is - dark turquoise for relaxing, purple for invigorating and salmon/orangey for harmonizing) isn't see-through, which (due to the rather tiny size of the cap) means that you are hard-pressed to actually spot the markings on the inside that tell you whether you take out enough for a hand wash, a small or a large load. Then again, you just wanna chuck in as much as possible anyway because it really does smell fabulous! As for the effects this stuff has on fabric, it is absol utely amazing! Not only do your clothes feel and smell lovely, but even older and stiff clothes are given a whole new lease of life. In particular towels, bathrobes and washable bathroom carpets come out of the machine soft, fluffy and absorbent as if they were new! The greatest thing is that even my Dad's 10-year old towels (he's a barber) that he's given me for when I dye my hair come out perfect! ~ Final Verdict ~ This is one of those rare moments where I tried a new product that I had, admittedly, seen in adverts before and discovered that it actually does everything it promises to do! Not only do my clothes seem to have forgiven me for mistreating them for so long - even my 'awkward' jumper (shrinks in length but grows in width!) is behaving well now - but all our towels and bedding are now soft, cosy and fluffy as new. Downy lasts for ages and the bottles are small enough to carry along with a massive load of shopping or washing, and last but not least it makes everything treated with it smell absolutely fab. So all in all a picture perfect product - just a shame you can't use it on scruffy, smelly cats and hubbies! ;-) (c) 2002 Redhead23
I must be getting old. I never thought I would ever end up talking about the joys of washing pwoder and fabric conditioner but now, here I am... but damn, this stuff is GOOD!!! Now, first off, the important bit, you see Downy is not a fabric conditioner, it is a fabric 'enhancer'. Which means... well they have a very expensive marketing department. Essentially though there are a few differences between this product and others of its type on the market. 1. This does not repel water. Have you ever stayed at someone's house for a few days, gone to their bathroom/shower and seen oo the lovely fluffy towels they have. You then lift yourself out of the bath or leap from the shower, wrap yourself in the fluffy towel and find none of the water is sucked up so you're as damp as you were when you were being showered with water? Well that's the effect of your average fabric conditioner. I'm guilty of it too, but towels without fabric conditoner may be more absorbant, but feel scratchier. With Enhancer (ta dah!) you can have both. You will be dry, and your towels will be lovely fluffy and full of life. This also means your dishtowels, dressing gown, cat bed and everything else can be soft, fluffy and absorbant. 2. You use less. Most fabric conditioners I put a couple of capfuls in just for the sake of it. The Enhances is more concentrated so only a little bit is needed (and they give you clear measurements) so you no longer treck hokme with a huge 3 litre bottle and find yourself using it up in two weeks. It also probably means this is better for the environment as less crap is heading down your pipes. 3. It smells lovely. I know, the types of scent are naf. Refreshing and Energizing. Yeah... but then Spring Fresh, Carnival and Forest Fruits are really much better. I find most of the scents of the fabric conditioners to be overpowreing and disapear really quickly. But the Enhancer seemed much more of a backgr ound scent and stuck around for a couple of days. Even worn clothes smelled fresh. 4. The ironing. I know they're trying to sell things these days that make ironing easier, but this product slightly more expensive then a normal fabric conditioner and less then one of the easy iron ones, comes with easy iron as an easy add in. I always have trouble with linen clothes as they become so crumpled and are quite difficult to get back into shape, but since I've been using the enhancer I've found they slide back into flatness without much trouble. Silk is also much easier to deal with. And with delicate fabrics like that the less time you have to spend with them under a hot iron, the better. To conclude. I know it's naf to cry with joy about a fabric enhancer and talk about how it really does do what they say it does, but heck, if it makes life easier and simpler, give it a shot, it's the little things that matter in the end and spending less time doing the ironing means more time for happier and more interesting things. You can purchase this product in Tescos and larger Spars.
I'll admit to being sceptical about new washing products. I've usually experienced a rushing let down feeling when pulling out the wet clothes and expecting to not see the stubborn stains or finding that the lingering fresh sundried aroma you've been promised is a vaguely present pot-pourri smell that vanishes along with the water. I'm therefore happy to report that Downey Fabric Enhancer from Lenor is actually rather good. It comes in three fragrances of Invigorating, Harmonizing and Relaxing. Being a stressed out individual in need of quality help, I've tried out all of them. The perfume is exactly that. A perfume. These are sophisticated aromas, not the usual fare that fabric care usually produces. They aren't overpowering as such, but they are a definite presence which may lead to some olefactory confusion when mixed with your favourite scent. (If you can't afford expensive perfumes, this may have added benefits previously unthought of). For example, the Harmonizing liquid smells very apple-y to me, quite fresh and not sickingly fruity, and certainly along the lines of the floral type of fragrances on sale in the shops. Besides the joy of finding a product that actually smells very pleasant, it also does do the job of reducing the amount of creases in ironing. Espcially if the fabric can also be tumble dried. Sadly, I've not recently been in any significantly passionate embrace to test out the theory that the creases stay away for longer than just the ironing phase, but with the nice weather being here and a bank holiday weekend on the cards, maybe I'll get back to you later on that very point. The clothes have a really soft feel to the fabrics, and towels especially seem to benefit more from this, than other products I've tried. The instructions are clearly labelled and easily understood. A picture of the washing machine then a normal load of washing in a bask et, followed by a drawing of the upturned cap of the bottle with 28mil written on it. A larger load has the lid reading 35mil on it. The handwashing, normal load size, is shown with 18mil - although whoever has to do a normal load size of washing by hand deserves a medal alongside having clean and fresh clothes at the end of it. It is also shown that this product is not to be used alongside fabric softeners, although it is to be added to the rinse drawer. Other symbols include keeping it up out of children's reach, a weeping eye with a dripping tap underneath (not to be confused with receiving a plumber's bill) and the final picture shows that the fabric enhancer should not be applied directly to the clothes. It skips the list of ingredients in full, but does claim that it contains <5% non-ionic surfactants and 15-30% cationic surfactants. Still not sure what it means, but they seem proud enough to mention it. It has also been dermatologically tested. Proctor and Gamble can add another successful product to their already vast empire, especially as the 500ml size has been on a specially reduced price at Asdas for weeks now at approx £1.80. So to wrap up. It does what it says on the clear plastic bottle. Sorry? The Father Ted reference? Well, it was a bit personal for him, but apparently he had an abundance of soft, downey hair on his <coughs and whispers> backside. And the money really was just resting in the account...
I use Downy Enhancer fabric conditioner and I have to say that it is very good. I use the harmonizing one as it smells very nice. Also if you put your clothes into the dryer it does not kill the smell. It is true it does make ironing a lot easier even though I iron everything the time is cut by half. When I put on fresh clothes people comment on the smell from my clothes saying how nice the smell is. I have tried other fabric conditioners and I have to say this one in my opinion has got to be the best. Give it a try you will like it.