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Vinegar for Laundry

Clean with Vinegar

Vinegar has been used in laundry for decades. In fact, this one simple product can replace many other laundry products at a fraction of the cost.

Benefits of Adding Vinegar to Your Laundry

Vinegar has many used in the laundry room. It is effective to use as a fabric softener, static reducer, stain pre-treater, fabric brightener and even to clean the washing machine. For all of these applications, you can use distilled white vinegar for laundry. It's a good idea to purchase your vinegar by the gallon jug. When you see how well it works for so many things, you will find daily uses for it.

Fabric Softener and Static Reducer

To soften fabrics, add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of distilled white vinegar to the final rise cycle of your washing machine. There is no need to use additional fabric softener or to use dryer sheets, which are not good for your dryer anyhow. You'll also find that static is reduced when you add vinegar to the rinse cycle.

If you are washing blankets and comforters, add two cups of vinegar to the last rise. Your blankets will be softer and more snuggly.

You will also have softer, fluffier sweaters when you use vinegar this way. Even sweaters that are hand-washed will benefit from a final rinse with white vinegar.

Removes Lint and Soap Residue

That same half cup of vinegar in your rise cycle can minimize lint. You'll find less lint on your clothes, and even pet hair will find your clothes less appealing.

Using vinegar in your laundry will also remove that ugly soap residue that accumulates on your dark clothing. Just add a cup of vinegar to the rinse water, and the soap will totally dissolve and rinse away.

Brightens Laundry

Add a half cup of vinegar to your wash, and you'll have whiter whites and brighter colors. Vinegar is a great laundry booster that will help your detergent work more effectively.

Vinegar for Stains

Depending on the stain, vinegar can be used in different ways to refresh and clean your fabrics.

Whites that are getting yellow or dingy will be brighter with vinegar. Boil a large pot of water and add one cup of vinegar. Now add your whites (with the pot off the heat) and allow them to soak overnight. Wash as usual, and your clothes will look new again.

Vinegar works on mustard stains when used undiluted. It's also good for removing grass stains and red clay. Diluted with water (half water/half vinegar), vinegar will remove tomato stains such as from BBQ sauce or ketchup.

Removes Smoke and Other Odors

Vinegar is excellent for eliminating odors. Give these tips a try.

  • Use vinegar in the wash if you use cloth diapers. They will come out smelling fresh and clean and will be softer for your baby. Since vinegar also dissolves soap residue, your baby's sensitive skin won't be irritated.

Woman with a basket of laundry

  • Spray vinegar full strength on stains underarm stains. Allow it to soak it and then wash as usual. The stains will disappear along with any residual odor.
  • If your clothes have a smoky smell, hang them over a tub of very hot water that has one cup of vinegar added to it. Then close the bathroom door and let that steam go to work to freshen your clothes.
  • Musty smells on cotton clothing will also benefit from vinegar. Just spritz a little on the fabric and iron. Those musty odors will disappear.
  • If you forgot to take the clothes out of the washer, run the load again with just hot water and two cups of vinegar. Then run a normal cycle with laundry detergent and that sour smell will go away.

Other Laundry Uses

Here are a few more tips about using vinegar to clean your clothes.

Messy little boy
  • Keep your new jeans from getting faded by soaking them for 10 to 15 minutes in a solution of half water and half vinegar and then wash them as usual.
  • Pantyhose last longer when washed with a tablespoon of vinegar in water.
  • Smelly canvas tennis shoes are refreshed when washed with two cups of vinegar. Tennis shoes should be air dried after washing.
  • When hand washing delicate items, such as lingerie, add two tablespoons of vinegar to your rise water to dissolve any soap residue.
  • Silk can be dipped (not soaked) in a half cup of detergent and two tablespoons of vinegar in cold water. Rinse thoroughly and roll in an absorbent towel to dry. Carefully iron while the piece is still slightly damp.

And the List Goes on

There are so many uses for vinegar that this article cannot list them all. For more vinegar uses, visit these sites:

Vinegar for Laundry