Cleaning Tips: 7 Ways to Use Vinegar in Laundry

Blossom Lady
Dec 30, 2022 10:29 PM
Cleaning Tips: 7 Ways to Use Vinegar in Laundry

Using vinegar in laundry whitens, brightens, reduces odors, and softens laundry without using harsh chemicals. Vinegar is inexpensive and can be used in both regular and high-efficiency washing machines. When buying vinegar for laundry, choose distilled white vinegar. It does not contain tannins (natural plant dyes) that can cause stains on clothes. If you only have apple cider vinegar, use less and dilute it with water before putting it directly on clothes. Here are 7 ways you can incorporate vinegar into your laundry routine.

1. Banish mildew odor
Leaving wet towels in the hamper or a load of wet clothes in the washing machine can lead to mold growth and a musty smell. To make everything smell fresh again, fill the washing machine with hot water, add 2 cups of distilled white vinegar and run a full wash cycle. Run a second full wash cycle adding detergent. This works well for small amounts of mildew and acidic odors. For larger mold problems and stains, you will need to use a more aggressive treatment.

2. Whitening and whitening clothes
The acetic acid in distilled white vinegar is mild enough that it will not attack washable fabrics. However, it is strong enough to dissolve residues (alkalis) of ingredients in soaps and detergents. Adding only 1/2 cup of vinegar to the final rinse will give you brighter, clearer colors. Add the distilled white vinegar to the fabric softener dispenser or add the vinegar manually at the beginning of the rinse cycle. The mild acetic acid in vinegar also acts as a bleach and brightener for gray, dingy clothes. To restore whiteness to stained white socks and dirty dish towels, add 1 cup of white distilled vinegar to a large pot of water. Heat the water to boiling and add the soiled clothes. Let them soak overnight, and then wash them as usual. This method should only be used on 100 percent cotton fabrics.

3. Softening textiles naturally
If you do not want to use heavily scented commercial fabric softeners but still want softer clothes, distilled white vinegar acts as a natural fabric softener and leaves no residue on the laundry. Simply add 1/2 cup to the final rinse cycle. If you like a light scent, add a few drops of an essential oil like lavender to the vinegar bottle.

4. Reduce lint and pet hair
Adding 1/2 cup of white distilled vinegar to your rinse cycle prevents lint and pet hair from sticking to your clothes. It also helps get rid of excess lint if you accidentally washed something dark with lint-producing towels.

5. Fight underarm odor
Fill a spray bottle with undiluted distilled white vinegar and keep it handy in the laundry room to remove sweat odor and stains on washable clothes. Spray the vinegar directly on the fabric in the underarm area and let it sit for at least 10 minutes before putting the garment in the washing machine. If the fabric feels stiff before washing, use a soft bristle brush to dissolve the residue. The vinegar will help remove deodorant residue on the clothing and prevent yellowing of the underarms.

6. Remove hem marks with vinegar
To remove the tiny holes that appear along a seam or hem when altering a garment, dampen a white cloth with distilled white vinegar, place it under the fabric and iron. Choose the correct ironing temperature and place an ironing cloth on the fabric to prevent it from burning.

7. Keep dark clothes dark
Adding a half cup of distilled white vinegar to the final rinse cycle will remove soap and detergent residue that makes black clothes look dull.

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1 comment
Jan 30, 2023 01:45 PM

I've been using vinegar in the wash for over a year and like the effect, however I've been putting it in the bleach dispenser and using detergent and fabric softener accordingly.
I stopped using it last week however, after reading that it should never be used in washing machines, especially front loaders because it deteriorates the rubber seals and gaskets.

How can I be sure to use it safely?