Tips and ideas for how to use white vinegar in your laundry. Creative ideas that you might not have thought of yet to add white vinegar to your healthy living routine!
If you’ve ever opened a bottle of vinegar, you know it smells…strong. Not something you think would be something that will help your laundry.
However, inexpensive distilled white vinegar in laundry will whiten, brighten, reduce odor, and soften clothes without the harsh chemicals that some cleaning products have. Even better it’s safe to use in both standard and high-efficiency washers and is beneficial to septic tanks and the environment.
All types of vinegar contain acetic acid. Acetic acid is the key part that brightens, softens, and kills odors in your laundry when used in conjunction with your normal laundry detergent.
White Vinegar For Laundry
White vinegar is a bit less acidic than apple cider vinegar and is the best for cleaning. Its acidity is mild enough that it won’t harm washable fabrics, but is acidic enough to dissolve residues from soaps or deodorant.
Another reason is because it doesn’t contain tannins (natural plant dyes) that would stain clothes and it is less expensive.
Simply add one-half cup of vinegar to the final rinse either directly into the final rinse, or in the fabric softener dispenser. The result is brighter, whiter, cleaner clothes.
If the load is very dingy, add a cup of vinegar into a large pot of water, bring to a boil and put in the clothes. Let them soak overnight and wash as usual. Note, only do the soak on 100% cotton material!!
1. Killing The Mildew Smell On Clothes
I don't know about you, but my laundry method is to wash it, then forget it it is in there and let it sit for a day or so. When I get back to it there is probably a bit of mildew, if not visibly, at least the smell is obvious.
Vinegar will kill the mildew and mold and freshen the load.
Use in a hot water cycle with just two cups of distilled white vinegar and run a complete wash cycle. Run a second complete cycle with detergent added. It works well for small amounts of mold and sour smells.
2. All Natural Unscented Clothing
Want fresh, not fake scented, clothing? Skip the commercial fabric softeners and use vinegar. It leaves no residue and if you still want a nice scent, add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to the bottle of vinegar.
Safety note, commercial fabric softeners interfere with the fire retardant qualities of children's clothing, especially pajamas, and should never be used for their laundry.
Distilled white vinegar is safe and hypoallergenic for all children's clothes.
3. Reduce Lint & Pet Hair
I have three dogs and three cats in the house and there are hairs everywhere! I was super excited to learn that white vinegar could help with this (without using chemical laden dryer sheets).
Tired of linty clothing or clothes covered with pet hair? Vinegar in the rinse prevents lint and pet hair from clinging to clothes.
4. Get Rid of Yellow Pit Stains
I hate it when my favorite white tank top ends up with yellow pit stains. They don’t wash out or bleach out. So to prevent it, fill a spray bottle with undiluted distilled white vinegar and spray the vinegar directly on the fabric on the inside of the underarm areas and allow it to work for at least ten minutes before tossing the garment into the washing machine.
If the fabric feels stiff before washing, be sure to use a soft-bristled brush to break up the residue. The vinegar will help to cut through residual deodorant left on clothing and prevent underarm yellowing.
5. Eliminate Smoke Smells From Clothing
Whether you’re a smoker or just have been around one, you know how your clothes reek of cigarette or cigar smoke odor. With washable clothes, add one-half cup distilled white vinegar to the wash cycle. For dry clean only clothes and furnishings like pillows and drapes, fill the bathtub with very hot water and add one cup vinegar, then hang the clothes or fabric above the steaming water and shut the door so the steam can penetrate the fibers.
This also works for smoke odors after a small household fire.
6. Stop Red From Bleeding
Ever opened your washer only to realize that a red sock made its way into the load and now everything white is now pink? Prevent that by adding vinegar to the cold water before adding the detergent and clothes to the machine.
7. Remove Sap and Tree Tar
When I was a kid, my sister begged my mom for an Izod® shirt. We didn’t have a lot of money, but mom relented and got her a yellow polo shirt. My sister promptly went up to a farm where her friend lived and climbed on tar treated fences. Mom used white vinegar to remove the tar and save the shirt.
Works well for tree sap too! Just pour some white distilled vinegar over the stain and allow to sit for several minutes. Then, merely launder the garment as usual.
8. A Natural Way To Remove Stubborn Stains
Have a stubborn stains? Try this: heat two cups of white vinegar in a large pot until almost boiling, then stretch the fabric, stained-side down, over a bowl. Carefully pour half of the vinegar, about one cup, over the stain. It is the same procedure you can use for removing bleach stains from any clothes.
Rinse the garment under cold water then place the fabric in the remaining cup of hot vinegar for 20 minutes. Rinse again with cold water and immediately wash as usual.
White Vinegar In your Laundry Wrapup
If you have never used white vinegar in your laundry before you are in for a treat!
Having a gallon of this in your laundry room will help with all kinds of problems, from static cling to stains and smells! It is such a easy solution to so many different problems!