What is a fabric softener? In professional circles, they refer to softener as “relaxer”. During the washing and drying process, because of agitation, creates friction which creates “static cling”.
Manufacturers would have you believe that dryer sheets are a sufficient replacement for fabric softener, but this is not the case.
Dryer sheets are meant to heat up during the drying process and soften clothing in the process. However, in reality they mostly just add fragrance to the load. Downy, Snuggle, Suavatel, Gain fabric softener are all fabric relaxers. When used properly, these eliminate static cling, add a pleasant fragrance, and smooth out wrinkles in the fabric.
The best place to add softener is through the labeled softener dispenser in your washer. This assures that the softener is added during the rinse cycle. If your washer does not have this feature, you can add fabric softener manually during the rinse portion of the cycle. There is no need to use fabric softener sheets afterwards.
For the client that request fragrance free, Downy offers a fragrance free softener that can be used for these clients. In my experience, no particular softener is better than the other. I normally use either the Costco or Sam’s brand which has a fragrance similar to original Downy.