Downy Unstopables Review

Does the scent booster work?

close up of blanket wrinkles
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There are many products on the market that are intended to make your laundry come out of the washer and dryer looking and smelling great. Downy Unstopables is a scent-boosting product that is primarily designed to keep fresh laundry smelling great.

Unstopables is made from tiny beads. These tiny beads are added directly to the drum of the washing machine at the beginning of the wash cycle. The concept is that they gradually break down during the action of the washing machine. When the clothes are finished washing and drying, they are supposed to smell distinctly of the Unstopables scent and are supposed to retain that smell for a long period of time.


Downy Unstopables come in three scents: Fresh, Spring, and Lush. They are available in a few sizes of bottles including 6.5 ounces, 13.2 ounces, 20.1 ounces, 30.3 ounces. The smallest bottle can cost from $4 to $5. In most cases, the larger bottles end up costing you less per cap full. They are available in most major stores that sell a large selection of laundry detergent. The number of loads you get out of a bottle will depend on how much of the Unstopables you add.

Directions for Use

The directions say to add as much or as little of the product as you want into the cap, although, a cap full is suggested.

Next, toss the beads directly into the drum of either a high efficiency or a regular washing machine.

Finally, add the clothing before beginning the wash cycle. The beads will dissolve in the wash leaving behind the scent.

A User's Guide

Prior to buying, you can lightly squeeze the bottle in order to get a whiff of the scent. The "Fresh" scent comes close to smelling like other Downy laundry products, but it still does not seem to mesh well with other major scents of common laundry detergents, fabric softeners, or dryer sheets.

The directions are slightly confusing. While the recommended amount is a cap full, it also suggests adding as much or as little as you want. By the time the load is done in the washer, you can smell the scent. Even after a cycle in the dryer, the scent is still present. Downy claims that the scent boost can last for up to 12 weeks. In reality, the scent seems to last for a few days after items are stored in the linen closet or dresser. This seems to be consistent no matter how much product is used.

The Bottom Line

Downy Unstopables may not seem to deliver enough of a bang for the buck for most users, especially when compared to a regular routine of fabric softener or dryer sheets. Unstopables is only a scent add-on, it does not soften clothes or have any other purpose. Adding this extra step and expense to the laundry routine may turn a lot of consumers off.

However, if your nose is your guide to what clean laundry means to you, then you may appreciate the added boost of scent that the product definitely provides.

Other consumers might not like that the product is essentially perfume and dye. This could present problems for those with allergies or issues with products that contain scents and dyes.

Additionally, Downy Unstoppables should be kept away from small children and pets. The small beads can cause adverse reactions if swallowed.