top of page

Downy Rinse & Refresh | Your questions answered

Updated: Oct 24, 2022

Disclaimer: This page contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.




I’m so excited to work with Downy to reveal their new Downy Rinse & Refresh product! Are there any parents that can relate to that time when you walked into your pre-teen’s room and just felt like, ‘what is that smell?!” I learned pretty quickly that the answer wasn’t just that it was time to start using #deodorant. That alone didn’t seem to be enough!

If you look closely at the video, those workout pants had been freshly washed and worn through a spin class. After waiting about an hour, I snapped the fabric back. Look at what I refer to as the “keratin plume” - a cloud of dead skin cells, dust, and other debris that is trapped in the fabric!!! This buildup could potentially lead to an odor developing quickly with use.

Just dousing your clothes or skin in more fragrance is not necessarily the answer. That’s why I am so excited to partner with Downy to share this groundbreaking product that addresses the source of this odor. Downy Rinse & Refresh is a new fabric rinse that addresses the source of these odors by removing odor-causing residue instead of just masking them! Downy Rinse & Refresh was made with sensitive skin in mind with no dyes or heavy perfumes.


🧺 Still use your regular detergent
🧺 Add Downy Rinse and Refresh to your fabric softener drawer, or agitator cup or straight into the rinse cycle (depending on your laundry machine) so that it will work in the rinse cycle
🧺 The best part: you can use as much or as little as you like. If you feel like your laundry load is presenting an odor challenge- add some more! It is safe to use on all fabrics.

How much Downy Rinse and Refresh should I use?

This can vary based on your personal preference, the size of the load, and perhaps the extent that you feel that your laundry load needs the product. Fill the fabric dispenser to just below the ‘max fill’ line.

What is residue in laundry terms - is it the same as a stain?

Residue and stains are actually different concepts.

Stains we are familiar with- sliding on the grass, spilling food on your clothes, etc. Think of staining as something coming into contact with your clothes or sheets that deposits itself into the fibers and can leave your fabrics discolored.

Residue can build up on textiles over time from particulate or oily matter that gets into the fabric. This serves as a source for bacteria, germs, odor, and dirt to attach themselves. Residues can accumulate from detergent left behind from prior loads, other products deposited on fabrics over time, oils from our skin and the environment, and even the water we wash our clothes in itself such as hard water.

Stains leave the fabrics discolored and are typically concentrated in a certain area. Residue can occur across an entire garment and slightly discolor the fabric, but it also can change the way it feels over time as well as serve as a source for the odor to linger in our clothes.

If you think of hair products as an analogy, shampoos clean, conditioners soften, hair color dyes the hair, and clarifying shampoos lift out product accumulation, oils, dirt, and debris that accumulates over time in spite of a consistent and careful hair care routine. We only recommend clarifying shampoos to be used when needed based on what your hair deals with, say once a week or a couple of times a month


Hair products analogy for laundry...









Fabric Softener

Residue removal

Clarifying shampoos

Apple Cider Vinegar masks and rinses

Downy Rinse & Refresh

Borax and other DIY home supplies


Hair dye

Foods and environmental culprits such as mustard, red wine, ketchup, chocolate, etc...

In laundry terms, shampoos are like your detergents, fabric softeners are your conditioner, stains are like hair dyes, and Downy Rinse and Refresh is like your clarifying shampoo. Just like with clarifying shampoos, this does not have to be used with every laundry load, just when you feel like your fabrics are starting to show signs of residue accumulation or odor buildup that does not seem to wash out completely or stay clean. As Downy Rinse and Refresh is safe on all fabrics and for all loads, there are no concerns about using the product in every load if you choose!

Pre Wash: Note the residue on the left as a "buildup" on the textile that can discolor as well. The stain is on the right by a surgical marker.

Post wash: Note the reduction in residue on the left. Anyone that has ever had surgical marker stains on their clothes knows how hard that is to remove! Note how much was removed with a combination of Tide Hygienic Clean and Downy Rinse and Refresh!

Is it ok that Downy Rinse and Refresh has a scent?

Downy Rinse and Refresh is released into the wash during the rinse cycle to get to work on odors and residue. The scent is relatively light. Since it is working to remove a buildup of odors and residues, this is helpful to reduce your skin’s exposure and re-exposure to these oils, dirt, and debris, especially when there is prolonged contact with your textiles such as bedsheets and towels.

Contact dermatitis to laundry detergents is rare and when it has occurred it has been thought to have a stronger correlation to preservatives such as methylisothiazoline. A study evaluating contact dermatitis to laundry detergents showed that not only was it rare, but the researchers also could not reproduce the results in most cases.

One of my favorite articles to quote is a letter from Dermatologist Dr. Rockoff from Boston to our main Dermatology journal the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology entitled “Detergent Allergies: An urban legend”. Toward the end of his letter he says:

“Several years ago I called the laundry departments of several teaching hospitals in Boston, Massachusetts, to ask about their procedures when wards send down sheets with the message that a patient is allergic to the detergent in their bedclothes. “Can I be frank?” asked one laundry director, in a conspiratorial tone. “We wash them again, pack them in a different-colored wrapper, and send them back up.” “Then what happens?” I asked. “Nothing,” he said.”

I couldn’t agree more. In the case of Downy Rinse and Refresh, since it is lifting residues, the risk is even smaller.

What are your thoughts on using Downy Rinse and Refresh to get the urine odor out of clothes?

I have been asked this question by several people over the past few weeks in various scenarios. I have elderly patients that try to manage odor released from sheets from incontinence and young parents potty training their kids that find that the urine smell can be hard to get out.

I think the urine question actually helps define the difference between stains and residues. The color of urine in bed sheets and clothes can come out rather quickly with detergent alone. However, uric acid from urine can deposit as a residue on textiles as it forms salts that can stay on fabrics.

Initially, there is no odor when the clothing comes out of the laundry. However, once the textiles are exposed to sweat or moisture, the uric acid left behind in the fabric can degrade to ammonia again and release more odor. Normally, to clean this out products such as vinegar, baking soda, peroxide, and borax amongst other options have been used.

I have not tried it yet, however, theoretically Downy Rinse and Refresh could be a potential way to address this type of odor issue by helping lift out the uric acid residues and gentler on your clothes. It's a lot easier to use than some of the DIY methods as well! While the chemistry between human and pet urine does differ, we have found that Downy Rinse & Refresh helps remove pet urine odors, especially tough ones like cat urine!


Get in the know!

Join our email list and get access to specials deals exclusive to our subscribers.

Thanks for submitting!

bottom of page