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Downy Safety Process

Keeping you and your family safe – our ingredient safety process

Downy Safety Process

Keeping you and your family safe – our ingredient safety process

For more than half a century, Downy has brought softness, freshness and other fabric enhancements like protection from winkles to countless loads of laundry. Because all of our Downy products are designed for everyday use, product safety is our top priority.


Before any of our brands are on shelves or online, they are rigorously tested to ensure they are safe for use as directed in your home. Each ingredient is carefully selected: to even be considered for use in our products, every ingredient must be known to be safe for its intended use. We hold ourselves to the highest standards of safety, and as such, our brands meet or exceed every product safety standard in North America. We go beyond regulatory compliance to ensure continued monitoring of every ingredient, in every product. Simply put, if an ingredient has not been proven safe for its intended use, we don’t put it in our products.

Downy’s Safety Process

At Downy, safety guides the ingredient choices we make so your family (and ours) can confidently use our products every day. We use the same safety process as regulatory agencies like the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the European Union (EU), the World Health Organization (WHO), and others. But, before we market any new product, we go well beyond complying with laws and regulations to ensure every ingredient goes through a four-step, science-based process.

1. Question

Before we use any ingredient, our scientists start by asking questions, just like you. If an ingredient doesn’t answer our questions and meet our safety standards, we don’t use it.

2. Define

We define the ingredient’s safe range. If an ingredient passes the first step, we then define the ingredient’s safe range, which tells us the amount of an ingredient that is safe to use. Almost everything in the world has a safe range and an unsafe range, including life-sustaining basics like sunlight, oxygen, and water. Using the same science-based standards as major regulatory agencies around the world, we define the safe range for every ingredient we use.

3. Determine

We review the collective ingredient safety of each product. This means that we evaluate all Downy ingredients in every product to ensure they’re safe when used as directed – both for you, your family, and the environment. If we can’t confirm that, we go back to the drawing board.

4. Diligence

We care deeply about the families that use our brands, so we keep innovating to create products that are better for people and for the environment. On this journey, we will continually collaborate with regulatory agencies and scientists around the world. We will also listen to you to make sure our products meet your safety and performance expectations. We will continue to share information about our products, because we’re committed to being safe in the choices we make so families can trust our brands for years to come.

Keeping your family safe

See how we use science to ensure product safety in this two-minute video.

Ingredient choices and how we make them

You might have been told that natural ingredients are safer to use than man-made, synthetic ones. In reality, though, it’s not that simple, because both natural and synthetic ingredients have a safe range and an unsafe range. Even basics like sunlight, oxygen, and water have safety limits. So, what goes into choosing our product ingredients?

Group 22620 Safety As outlined above, every ingredient’s safety is assessed through a four-step, science-based process.

Group 22621 Performance Every ingredient has a role in delivering the softness, freshness, and other fabric enhancements you expect from Downy. We seek to use the best ingredients for our products so that you can use them with confidence.

Group 22622 Sustainable Sourcing Synthetic ingredients can oftentimes be more sustainable than natural ingredients, because they require fewer resources. We’re working hard to try and use the most sustainable and earth-friendly solutions in all of our products.

Ingredients Downy will never use

We know feeling safe is important, so we’re committed to providing you with clear, accessible, and reliable ingredient information. You have many reasons to be interested in what ingredients are – and are not – in the products you use, and there are some ingredients we’ll never use. Period.

  • Alkylphenols and alkylphenol ethoxylates
  • Benzene
  • Bisphenol A (not in formulas)
  • Heavy metals: Arsenic, Lead, Chromium VI, Mercury, Cadmium, Nickel
  • Microbeads
  • Organotins (TBT, DBT, MBT, DOT)
  • PVC (not in formulas)
  • PAHs (Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons)
  • PCBs (Polychlorinated biphenyls)
  • Phthalates
  • Triclosan
  • Triclocarban

This list is not exhaustive but a starting point. You can learn more about these ingredients that we’ve restricted for Downy and all PG products.

We have strict product safety limits in place when any of these materials could be found in tiny amounts due to their natural (or background) presence in water, the environment, or as part of the manufacturing process.

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