Difference Wiki

Scent Booster vs. Fabric Softener: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Published on November 29, 2023
"Scent booster enhances laundry fragrance without softening, while fabric softener reduces fabric stiffness and adds fragrance."

Key Differences

Scent boosters are additives used specifically to enhance the fragrance of laundry. They do not have softening properties. Fabric softeners, on the other hand, are designed to make fabrics feel softer and often include a fragrance as a secondary feature.
The primary function of a scent booster is to provide a lasting and often intense aroma to clothes. Fabric softeners primarily aim to reduce the stiffness of fabrics caused by detergents and drying.
Scent boosters are used for their long-lasting fragrance effects and do not affect the texture or longevity of fabrics. Fabric softeners can reduce static cling and may slightly impact the absorbency of fabrics like towels.
In usage, scent boosters are added during the washing cycle, often in a separate compartment or directly with the laundry. Fabric softeners are typically used in the final rinse cycle to coat and soften the fabric fibers.
While scent boosters are solely focused on adding a pleasant smell to laundry, fabric softeners provide a combination of softening fibers, reducing wrinkles, and adding a mild fragrance.

Comparison Chart

Primary Function

Enhances fragrance
Softens fabric

Effect on Fabric

No softening effect
Reduces stiffness and static

Fragrance Intensity

Often more intense
Usually milder

Usage in Laundry Cycle

Added during washing
Used in final rinse cycle

Impact on Fabric Texture

Can affect absorbency

Scent Booster and Fabric Softener Definitions

Scent Booster

Specifically for aroma, not softening.
I use a scent booster along with my regular detergent.

Fabric Softener

Often includes a mild fragrance.
The fabric softener left a subtle scent on my sheets.

Scent Booster

Comes in various scents.
I chose a lavender scent booster for my linens.

Fabric Softener

A laundry additive for softening.
I use fabric softener for softer clothes.

Scent Booster

Enhances the aroma of clothes.
The scent booster left a lasting perfume on my towels.

Fabric Softener

Can affect fabric absorbency.
I avoid fabric softener for my microfiber cloths.

Scent Booster

A laundry additive for fragrance.
I added a scent booster for a fresh smell.

Fabric Softener

Reduces fabric stiffness.
Fabric softener makes my towels less rough.

Scent Booster

Used for long-lasting fragrance.
The scent booster kept my clothes smelling great for weeks.

Fabric Softener

Helps in reducing static.
Adding fabric softener eliminated static cling.


Will fabric softener damage clothes?

Not usually, but it can affect absorbency in towels and sportswear.

Can scent booster be used with any detergent?

Generally, yes, it's compatible with most detergents.

Is scent booster safe for all fabrics?

Yes, but always check the product label for specific instructions.

Does fabric softener clean clothes?

No, it's used for softening, not cleaning.

Can I use fabric softener in the washing cycle?

It's best used in the rinse cycle as directed.

Is scent booster necessary for laundry?

No, it's optional for added fragrance.

Does scent booster replace detergent?

No, it's an additive, not a detergent replacement.

Are scent boosters effective in cold water?

Yes, most are designed to work in all water temperatures.

How much scent booster should I use?

Follow the instructions on the package for the best results.

Can I use scent booster in a dryer?

No, it's meant for the washing machine.

Is fabric softener harmful to the environment?

Some types can be, so look for eco-friendly options.

Does scent booster work on pet odors?

It can help mask pet odors with fragrance.

Is fabric softener flammable?

No, but always use as directed.

Does fabric softener help with wrinkles?

It can help reduce wrinkles by softening fabrics.

Can fabric softener cause skin irritation?

It can for some people, especially those with sensitive skin.

Can I use fabric softener on baby clothes?

It's best to use a product specifically safe for babies.

Can fabric softener be used on all clothes?

It's not recommended for certain fabrics, like microfiber or sportswear.

Will scent booster fade clothes?

It shouldn't, but check the label for specific guidance.

Does fabric softener affect drying time?

No, it shouldn't affect the drying time significantly.

Can scent booster be used in HE machines?

Yes, just ensure it's labeled as HE-compatible.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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