As you may guess from its name, a laundry scent booster is designed to boost the effectiveness of laundry detergent and give clothing, bedsheets, and other linens a long-lasting fresh and fragrant scent. Available in a wide range of fragrances from floral to fruity, a laundry scent booster is easy to use in most washing machines and can be added to a normal wash routine.
The best laundry scent booster offers an ideal solution for individuals who are dissatisfied with the freshening capability of laundry detergent and want to improve the way their clothing or other items smell. A laundry scent booster can help mask unpleasant odors that remain even after washing sweaty workout clothes, and some products can even offer up to 12 weeks of fresh-smelling clothing and linens.
This guide will share the most important considerations to keep in mind when shopping for the best laundry scent booster for your laundry room and then highlight some of the top products on the market.
- BEST OVERALL: Downy Unstopables In-Wash Scent Booster Beads
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Snuggle Exhilarations In-Wash Laundry Scent Booster
- BEST NATURAL: Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Laundry Scent Booster
- BEST FLORAL: Purex Crystals In-Wash Fragrance and Scent Booster
- BEST LONG-LASTING: Gain Fireworks In-Wash Scent Booster Beads
- BEST FOR BABIES: Dreft Blissfuls In-Wash Scent Booster Beads
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Laundry Scent Booster
There are a plethora of options from which to choose when shopping for the best laundry scent booster. Each product, however, may offer unique scents, feature different ingredients, be available in distinct forms, or last for varying amounts of time. Consider the features outlined below to narrow the search and zero in on the right laundry scent booster to match your needs and preferences.
Like linen sprays, laundry scent boosters offer a variety of scents to add a fragrance to clothing, towels, sheets, and other linens. The most pleasing scent for you will likely depend on your personal preference or those of other household members. Floral scents, such as lavender, rose, and cherry blossom, are popular options.
In addition to floral scents, some laundry scent boosters may mix different fragrances to create a unique scent. For example, fruit and floral scents are often mixed together to create “island” or “tropical” fragrances. Other mixed fragrance options may have a more neutral scent. These products may describe the scent as “clean,” “fresh,” “mountain breeze,” “spring waters,” or a similar name that connotes freshness, cleanliness, or nature.
Before purchasing a laundry scent booster, look at the ingredient list. When possible, consider products that feature natural fragrances as opposed to artificial ones. Scent boosters with artificial fragrances may be more likely to contain VOCs (volatile organic compounds) or toxins.
There is not as much regulation over the fragrance industry as there is over other consumer product industries in the United States, such as foods and drugs, so doing some research about the specific ingredients included in a product can be an important use of time.
Laundry scent boosters are available in several forms, including beads and pods.
- Laundry scent booster beads: Beads are the most common form of laundry scent boosters. Each small bead contains the scent, and users can customize the strength of the fragrance by adding as few or as many beads as they prefer to each load of laundry. The beads dissolve during the washing cycle and leave behind the fragrance on the clothing or the linens in the load.
- Laundry scent booster pods: Laundry scent booster pods work similarly to beads. Simply place one or more pods in with each load of laundry and wash as normal. The pods will dissolve in the water and leave the fragrance behind on items in the load. Pods don’t offer quite as much scent customization as beads, since the pod is prepackaged. While users can add two pods to a load for a stronger fragrance, it isn’t possible to use less than a full pod if the fragrance is stronger than preferred.
Finally, think about the longevity of the laundry scent booster. Many products advertise that they can deliver up to 12 weeks of freshness, though results typically vary based on the type of items, whether they are being worn or stored away during that time period, and other factors.
While considering longevity, think about your laundry routines and the items you are most interested in freshening up with a scent booster. For example, if the primary reason for purchasing a laundry scent booster is to remove the sweat smell from workout clothes that are washed after each use, you may not need a product with a scent that lasts as long as would be necessary to freshen up sheets that stay on the bed for a week.
Our Top Picks
Continue reading to discover these top picks for some of the best laundry scent boosters available today. In addition to taking the abovementioned features into consideration, these products encompass a variety of scents, ingredients, and forms, and there’s even a selection for freshening baby items.
The Downy Unstopables In-Wash Scent Booster Beads feature a fresh scent that can last for up to 12 weeks between washing and wearing. These booster beads allow individuals to customize the fragrance level by adding as few or as many beads as they prefer to the load. Simply add the desired amount of beads to an empty washing machine, and then add in the laundry detergent and clothing. The beads will dissolve during the wash cycle to leave the fresh airy scent behind on clothing and linens.
This laundry scent booster is safe to use on all fabrics and colors. It is also safe to use in any type of washing machine.
- Can add as many as desired to each load
- Beads dissolve during wash cycle but leave scent behind
- Safe for all fabrics, colors, and washing machine types
- Scent lasts up to 12 weeks for stored clothes/linens
- Perfumes in product might cause problems for sensitive skin
- Must add before placing laundry or detergent in machine
Snuggle’s Exhilarations In-Wash Laundry Scent Booster Pacs offer an invigorating Blue Iris Bliss fragrance—a rejuvenating blend of citrus and red berry featuring warm and woody notes with a light musk finish. The reasonably priced pack includes 20 pods designed for use with all clothing types and in all types of washing machines.
Before loading the washing machine, simply add one pod to the base of the drum, add the detergent and clothing, and start the cycle. During the wash, the pod will completely dissolve to add the fragrance to the clothing without leaving a mess in the machine.
- Inexpensive scent booster
- Safe in all washing machine types
- Comes in one of three pleasant scents
- Easy-use pods
- User cannot control amount of scent in prefilled pods
- Must place pod in machine before adding laundry or detergent
- Pod might not dissolve completely
Individuals looking for a natural method to freshen clothing should consider Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Laundry Scent Booster. Unlike many other options on the market, this bead-style laundry scent booster uses a mixture of plant-derived and other thoughtfully selected ingredients. It doesn’t contain any parabens, phthalates, phosphates, artificial colors, or animal-derived ingredients. Mrs. Meyer’s products are not tested on animals, so this scent booster is also a cruelty-free option.
Enjoy a fresh and relaxing lavender fragrance with this laundry scent booster. Use it in any washing machine to freshen laundry with a floral touch.
- All-natural, cruelty-free formula includes plant-derived scents
- Contains no artificial colors or known chemical allergens or irritants
- Works in conventional or HE washing machines
- Leaves a mild lavender scent
- Scent might not last as long, but gentler than some
With a fragrant lavender blossom scent, the Purex Crystals In-Wash Fragrance and Scent Booster is an optimal choice for those looking to freshen laundry with a floral scent. Individuals can customize the strength of the fragrance by adding as few or as many crystals to the washing machine as they prefer before adding detergent and clothing or linens. During the wash cycle, the crystals dissolve to infuse laundry items with the soothing lavender scent that can last for up to 12 weeks.
This laundry scent booster is safe for use in all washing machines and with any type of laundry, including activewear, children’s sleepwear, and towels.
- Offers a fresh floral scent
- Users control scent by selecting how many crystals to add
- Safe for all washing machine types and fabrics
- Scent lasts up to 12 weeks on stored clothing/linens
- Must add product before placing laundry or detergent in washer
- Formula contains possible skin irritants
Gain’s Fireworks Laundry Scent Booster Beads deliver up to 12 weeks of lasting freshness to clothing and linens from the time of washing to the time of wearing. This scent booster features Gain’s original scent. Customize the level of fragrance by adding the preferred amount of scent booster beads to the washing machine before adding laundry or detergent. Wash items as usual; these beads will dissolve in either hot or cold water.
Clothing and linens will smell fresh all day due to the special formula that continues to release fragrance as items are used. This laundry scent booster is safe to use with all washing machines and fabric types and colors.
- Long-lasting fragrance (up to 12 weeks)
- Control scent strength by shaking boosters from container
- Safe for all fabric types and colors
- Works in all washer types
- Perfumes/dyes in ingredients might irritate skin or allergies
Individuals looking for the best laundry scent booster for baby and children’s clothing may want to consider the Dreft Blissfuls In-Wash Scent Booster Beads. This laundry scent booster is designed to be used alongside Dreft detergent and adds a baby-fresh scent to clothing and linens.
Tailor the level of fragrance to match personal preferences by adding any amount of the booster beads. The beads completely dissolve in water during a wash cycle and leave behind a long-lasting fresh scent to any load of laundry.
- Phosphate-free formula designed for babies and children
- Customize fragrance level with how many booster beads added
- Scent made to complement Dreft detergent
- Includes perfumes and dyes
Laundry scent boosters can freshen linens and clothing by adding scents during the washing process. Downy Unstopables Laundry Scent Booster Beads add a lasting fragrance that the user can customize based on the items they are washing or personal preference. For a natural and light scent boost, we like Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Laundry Scent Booster.
How We Chose the Best Laundry Scent Boosters
Laundry boosters can add scented freshness to linens and clothes for storage or to wear right away. We considered scents and scent choices, and many of the top picks on this list offer a selection of scents in their formulas. To get these scents, manufacturers must add natural or artificial fragrances, and buyers should carefully review a product’s ingredients when buying, especially if they prefer natural ingredients or have sensitivities to perfumes and chemicals.
The form of boosters available make their use simple, and many come as beads or crystals. We looked at those, as well as products in prefilled pods. Finally, the scent should last, especially for items like folded linens that are stored for a season. Many of the products on this list last up to 12 weeks.
If you still have a few questions about laundry scent boosters, read through the frequently asked questions below to learn more about these freshening agents and how to use them to freshen laundry.
Q. How do laundry scent boosters work?
Laundry scent boosters are designed to be used with laundry detergent. Scent booster beads and pods dissolve into the water to add a fragrance to clothing and linens that will last longer and be stronger than what you’d achieve with detergent alone.
Q. Are laundry scent boosters bad for your washing machine?
No, laundry scent boosters are not bad for a washing machine. Most boosters are safe to use with both conventional and high-efficiency washing machines, but it is always a good idea to confirm compatibility with your machine before making a purchase.
Q. How much of a laundry scent booster should I add?
The exact amount of laundry scent booster to add to a load of laundry can vary based on the selected product, the size of the load, and your personal fragrance preferences. Many manufacturers don’t specify a set amount, so it may require some experimentation with different quantities until discovering the ideal amount for your preferences; the more you add, the stronger the fragrance will be.
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Deirdre Mundorf is a freelance writer who most enjoys writing in the home, family, and pet niches. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education and a Bachelor of Science degree is Psychology and spent the first 11 years of her career as an elementary school teacher. When not writing, Deirdre enjoys spending time with her family, cooking, and traveling.