Spin cycle of washer caused large fabric softener jug to fly off the top and spill/spatter everywhere (yes. as bad & April fresh as it sounds.) a small amount of Downy made it thru floorboards to light fixture of ceiling below. maybe a tablespoon or 2 total dripped all the way thru. Have flipped circuit breaker for the lite.

no way to know how much Downy is puddled under the floor or near light/wiring.

Thoughts, please? thank you!

  • 1
    If breaker is off for the light, then let light down and see if the stuff is in it. The stuff should not affect wires themselves too much, but the connections maybe. If at connections, then remove, clean and dry.
    – crip659
    Commented Feb 13 at 23:26
  • 1
    With the breaker off, taake the light fixture down and wipe out as much of the softener as you can. Cap the wires with wire nuts and leave the light fixture down overnight. Anything of any concern should drip out by then. Leave a bucket under to catch the drips.
    – RMDman
    Commented Feb 13 at 23:28
  • Thank you so much! I really appreciate your quick and clear response!!
    – Pokey
    Commented Feb 14 at 0:08

1 Answer 1


Cleaning up the liquid in the fixture with detergent and water and letting it dry would be sufficient electrically.

However, there are other issues.

  • It likely has soaked into the ceiling so that no amount of washing by itself would remove it. Wash gently, repeatedly, let dry thoroughly, and then use a sealer to prevent bleed-through of the stain. Afterwards, the entire ceiling can be painted a uniform white.
  • If the softener has an overpowering stench, the use of sealer can help, but ultimately, you may need to remove the ceiling entirely and replace it. That also gives an opportunity to wash the floor above it, top and underside. And if the floorboards retain the odor, they can be replaced.
  • If the joists have absorbed the liquid, and still smell bad, wash and coat with shellac or other sealer.
  • thank you very much! in fact, the smell is "nice"--it's fabric softener, after all, and is supposed to smell fresh; it's just very intense right now, and I expect it will quickly dissipate. I appreciate your thoughtful and quick reply!
    – Pokey
    Commented Feb 14 at 19:16

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