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Washing not smelling of softener after washing

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My clothes always smelled of softner after a wash and now they don't. I thought we had a problem with the washing machine so bought a new one with new fitting etc and I still have the same issue. Tried water softener, soda crystals etc. But they haven't solved the problem. I am not overloading the washing machine and not putting more than the max level of softner in the draw. Tried different softeners and power as well as the gel but nothing is working. Can anyone help?

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Hi there. This is possible they have changed the formula, but generally one of the big selling points for a lot of people is the "pleasant smell" although not everybody likes it. Many washing machine detergents are designed to leave a pleasant smell although how they do it I don't know because the detergent is only used on the wash cycle and the washing machine goes through three or four rinses after.

I suppose the main thing is was the smell previously definitely from the softener and not the detergent? If it was definitely the softener then the most common explanation is that the softener is getting taken out too soon

However, if you replaced the washing machine and it is still the same then some of the causes can obviously be dismissed. The next time you do a wash cycle allow the washing machine to fill up with water and begin washing. Then carefully open the drawer and check that the softener is still present. Gently close the door as if you cause the fabric softener to spill over the side it can start it off siphoning and it will all drain away. This is one possibility if you by any chance from the drawer shut.

If it is still there then check it again half an hour later, and check it after it has filled up and begun each rinse cycle. The softener should normally be taken out on the last rinse.

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Hello @Sped25- you didnt specify if the clothes are tumble dried after the wash. i find with our Vented tumble drier that as your drying all the smell the fabric softener/conditioner get extracted from the tumble drier to the outside vent and that greatly takes away the smell of the fabric conditioner in the clothes, especially if they are dried on the 'extra dry setting' of the tumble drier even more so. if you are tumble drying them have a go at (if you have a sensor tumble dryer) drying them at the 'ready to iron' or 'Ready to Hang' setting and see if that will leave some of the 'smell' of the fabric conditioner in the clothes. 

Couple of other things you could try:

try not to overload the wash drum - the less clothes in the drum the more the fabric softener can get to all the clothes .

Try adding a cap of Dettol antibac laundry cleanser to your wash (or similar) in the soap drawer as the machine is washing (dont put it in at the start as some washing machines empty the drum water / sump water before it starts to wash, so if you put the cleanser in before the wash it much just get drained straight away) - or you could try a powder with a built in softener fragrance (like bold 2 in one) with the fabric softener at the end (but you may get a plethora of too overpowering smells though then on the clothes. 
But what i am thinking is that to make the clothes smell nice and fresh at the end of the final rinse/spin the clothes have got to be smelling nice before it gets to the final rinse / taking down the softener liquid - if the clothes laundry detergent isnt that good at removing the smells from the laundry at wash stage then the fabric softener is not going to be as effective as it should be for giving that long fresh smell that fabric softener should give - and if the laundry powder/liquid is not effective or the washing machine not as effective as getting the odour out of the garments as it once was then the smell thats not removed from the garments may be actually overpowering the smell of the fabric conditioner even - so have you changed the actual laundry powder / liquid recently at all? (or could the manufacturers changed the ingrediants of the washing powder / liquid possibly?)

and are you putting enough powder/ liquid into your machine for the wash to take out all the odours out of the garments so that before it gets to final rinse/fabric conditioner stage they are already fresh smelling before it takes down the fabric conditioner from its drawer compartment? 

Also have a little experiment of adding more rinses to your wash (if your washing machine allows that setting) so instead of just using normal rinse then choose 'extra rinses' or some washing machines have an 'anti allergy' setting which will greatly increase the total wash time but will rinse the clothes thoroughly (and hopefully all remaining soap powder /liquid out of the garments and any odours with fresh clean water) your fabric conditioner will (should) still go in on the very last rinse from the soap drawer. 

also has the water inlet to your washing machine, is that nice and clean with no odours / smells that could be taking away the effectiveness of the fabric softener smell? 

check your Fabric softener. Its very easy to buy the same make - packaging looks all the same, same colour , same brand name but with one difference. look for the word(s) 'Concentrated' - if you have bought the fabric softener before and it was 'concentrated' and you got the next one same brand but did not have the word concentrated on it then you will have to put more of a dose into the fabric conditioner compartment than the concentrated one . - If you have the concentrated one don't underdose still. have a look on the back label at what they recommend and add a little more - manufacturers have gone a bit frugal on their does later to help save the planet and may suggest half a cap full , if they do try adding a little bit more or even a capful even of the concentrated fabric softener. 

Hopefully this will get your clothes smelling nicely again of softener - good luck.


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