What is a fabric softener?

What is a fabric softener? Here are some definitions.

Noun
  1. A chemical agent used to prevent static cling and make fabric softer by coating the surface of the cloth fibers with a thin layer of chemicals; these chemicals have lubricant properties and are electrically conductive, thus making the fibers feel smoother and preventing buildup of static electricity; usually available as a liquid or as dryer sheets.
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Examples
Before you put your clothes away for the winter, insert a fabric softener sheet or lavender sachet to keep them smelling fresh for next season.
Add one tablespoon of liquid fabric softener to one quarter of a litre of warm water.
For a natural fabric softener, soak garments overnight in a solution of one part vinegar to three parts water, then rinse well in clear water before washing.
I also only have one bottle of fabric softener, so must get more as soon as possible.
Fabric softener sheets are claimed to clean baked on foods from cooking pots and pans.
Mix a little liquid fabric softener with water and load into a spray bottle.

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