A substance, usually liquid, that you add to your laundry in order to make it feel softer. It's usually added after the first spin cycle, when the basin is almost entirely full of water again, before the second agitation begins. I felt great satisfaction tonight when I walked into the laundry room just in time to add fabric softener.

You can also buy fabric softener sheets that are used in the dryer, with the added bonus of an anti-static effect.

If you find that the carpet in your home is giving you a static shock, mix a bit of fabric softener into water and spray a bit of this on top of the carpet. Not too much, mind you -- you don't want it permanently soggy. But it'll help you avoid blasphemy every time you touch a doorknob.