How we’re wasting money in the laundry and hurting the planet
Consumer advocate CHOICE has slammed laundry aids as expensive, unnecessary and bad for the planet.
It recently tested 31 fabric softeners and found two to be less effective than water.
Aldi’s Sensitive Fabric Softener ($2.79 for 2 litres) was second last with a score of just 47 per cent – worse than plain water, which scored 48 per cent.
A second Aldi fabric softener also performed badly, with Anco Soft Lavender Fabric Softener Concentrate scoring just 59 per cent.
In last place was Cuddly Concentrate Soft & Sensitive Fabric Conditioner, which scored 46 per cent, despite being one of the most expensive products tested.
CHOICE warns that most fabric softeners contain a variety of silicone and petrochemical ingredients that coat your clothes and can end up in our waterways, poisoning marine life.
“Fabric softeners are really only good if you like smelling like your nanna’s house,” said CHOICE expert Ashley Iredale.
“[They] aren’t great for your washing machine either and are big contributors to a gunky build-up known as ‘scrud’, which can also be redeposited on to your clothes.”
A further concern was that fabric softeners reduced the effectiveness of flame-retardant treatments on clothing, with all products tested by Choice carrying warnings on the labels.
“If you’re looking to save on household expenses, this is one cleaning product you just don’t need,” said CHOICE household expert Rebecca Ciaramidaro.
For consumers who feel they must use a fabric softener, CHOICE recommended Huggie’s Easy Iron Fabric Conditioner, which top scored with 82 per cent.