The Best Reasons To Use White Vinegar In Your Laundry

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Vinegar In Laundry

One of the easiest toxins to remove from your house TODAY is fabric softener and dryer sheets. You can do this by using white vinegar in your laundry room instead.


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When you wash your clothing with detergent, those detergents get into your clothes and stay there as detergent residue. Making your clothes feel stiff and rough.  

Normally people then add fabric softener, which adds waxes, fragrances, and softeners to your clothing to make them feel soft and smell good.  The problem is, you now have both chemicals from the detergent and chemicals from the fabric softener residing in your clothes.  

Now, you, your kids, and your significant other are wearing these chemical laden clothes and the chemicals can slowly leach through your skin and into your body.  Which is not good.

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Adding Vinegar To Laundry

Adding vinegar to your laundry is not hard to do. It is a simple process that utilizes that same apparatus that you would normally add fabric softener to.

But now, you will have the benefits of using vinegar in laundry instead of the harsh chemicals in the fabric softener and dryer sheets.

White vinegar will not affect your clothes in any harmful way, and it will also not cause your laundry to smell by adding vinegar to the wash.

You can rest assured that using white vinegar in laundry is much safer, just as easy, and much cheaper than any store bought fabric softener or dryer sheets.

What Does White Vinegar Do For Laundry?

Adding either white vinegar to your laundry or adding cleaning vinegar to your laundry can have remarkably beneficial effects depending on when you add it.

You can vinegar as a fabric softener, use vinegar as a laundry detergent, vinegar can be used to remove stains, the options are all listed out below…

Vinegar As Fabric Softener

Using white vinegar in your laundry instead of fabric softener can have great benefits to your family’s health. 

White vinegar is a natural fabric softener.  The way vinegar works is that it actually pulls the detergent out of your laundry while it is still in the wash. 

 If the detergent is not in your clothing at the end of the wash cycle, your clothes will no longer have that stiff, rough feel.  You have also just eliminated the chemicals that come from detergents so they will not be sitting on your skin all day and leaching into your body.

PRO TIP:  When using white vinegar in your laundry as a fabric softener, do not add the vinegar to the wash at the same time as your detergent.  The detergent will not be able to wash your clothing as effectively if the vinegar is in the water with it. Make sure you add the vinegar when you would add your fabric softener, which is during the rinse cycle if you add by hand.  But most machines have an automatic dispenser which is a perfect place to put your vinegar.

Related Post: 11 No-Fail Ways To Reduce Static In The Dryer Without Fabric Softener

How To Add Vinegar To Laundry As A Fabric Softener

The best and most effective way to add white vinegar to your laundry is to add it during the rinse cycle. That means adding about 1/4 cup of white vinegar either by hand during the rinse cycle or into your fabric softener dispenser.

PRO TIP: Do NOT add extra vinegar thinking that you will get extra benefits from doing so. Adding TOO MUCH white vinegar to your washing machine could cause damage to the machine due to the acidity of the vinegar.

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Vinegar As Laundry Detergent: Does Vinegar Clean Clothes?

You can also use vinegar as a laundry detergent if you have an allergy to detergents or just don’t want all the harmful chemicals in your laundry. Vinegar will clean clothes by killing bacteria and also removing stains and other forms of dirt from your clothing.

How To Wash Clothes With Vinegar

How much vinegar to add to your washing machine: Add 1/2 cup of cleaning vinegar or white distilled vinegar directly to your laundry water or to your detergent dispenser.

Will my clothes smell like vinegar?

Your clothes will have a slight vinegar smell as they come out of the washing machine, but once vinegar is dry, it does not have a smell at all, therefore your dry clothing will not smell of vinegar either.

So now you have used the vinegar and your clothes feel soft, but it is just not the same when you pull your laundry out of the dryer and there is absolutely no smell.

That is when you are tempted to throw a beautifully scented dryer sheet in with your clothes!  But don’t do it!

Dryer sheets contain all of the same chemicals and fragrances as liquid fabric softener.  Not only that, but even if you only used the dryer sheet on a few loads here and there, the residue from the sheets will build up on the inside of your dryer, affecting other loads of laundry.

Related Post: How To Use Mesh Laundry Bags To Stop Damaging Clothes in The Washer

White Vinegar In Your Laundry Will Remove Odors

If you didn’t already know this, then listen up because this is huge! Vinegar is actually a natural odor absorber. So all of those sweaty, smelly, clothes that you put in to your washer will come out, well, they will come out smelling like vinegar.

But they will NOT smell like sweat, mildew, or anything else gross that they smelled like when they went into your washer.

And again, your clothes will not smell like vinegar after they dry.

Antibacterial Effects of Vinegar And Laundry

Have you ever heard of the antibacterial effects of using vinegar? Many people who make their own cleaning supplies (like myself) use vinegar on counter tops, floors, and in bathrooms.

This is because the acidity of the white vinegar kills bacteria and viruses. Therefor, by adding it to your laundry, you are raising the acidity of the water and killing bacteria and viruses that may be clinging to your clothing.

How To Add Vinegar To Washing Machine

If you have a regular top loading washing machine, then you will add 1/2 cup vinegar directly to your washing water as it fills the basin. To use as a fabric softener, you will add 1/4 cup of vinegar to the fabric softener dispenser.

How To Add Vinegar To an H.E. Washing Machine

If you have a high-efficiency washing machine, add 1/2 cup vinegar to your detergent dispenser to use vinegar for washing your clothes. Add 1/4 cup vinegar to the fabric softener dispenser if you want to use vinegar as a fabric softener.

Does White Vinegar Stain Clothes?

In short, no, white vinegar will not stain your clothes. HOWEVER!!! If you use regular laundry detergent on your clothing, be sure NOT TO ADD VINEGAR to the detergent as well.

Since vinegar stops detergents and removes them from your clothing, then adding these items at the same time will essentially cancel them out. And along the same lines, if you use vinegar on your clothing to say…treat a stain or if you accidentally splash some on your clothes as you pour it into the fabric softener dispenser, then it could cause your clothes to come out with some “stains” or “marks” where the vinegar prevented the detergent from doing it’s job in that particular spot.

Vinegar On Colored Clothes

Vinegar is safe to use on colored clothes. As a matter of fact, you can actually help set in colors and prevent fading or clothing and even bathing suits if you soak them in vinegar before you ever wash them.

Soaking Clothes In Vinegar

Soak brightly colored clothes or brightly colored bathing suits in vinegar for 20 minutes in order to help seal in the colors. That way, when you launder your clothes or swim in your bathing suits, there is less likelihood of the colors fading.

How to Clean Washer Machine With Vinegar

Cleaning your actual washing machine with vinegar will help keep it free of hard mineral deposits and soap scum buildup. Whether you have a top load or front load washing machine, you can use this method to clean it.

  1. Empty washing machine.
  2. Add no more than 2 cups of white vinegar to the water.
  3. Fill washing machine with hot water set on large load, longest cycle.
  4. Before starting the washer, dip a microfiber cloth in the water and vinegar solution and ring it out.
  5. Start the washer.
  6. While the washer runs, wipe down the rest of the washer with the microfiber cloth.
  7. Let the washer run through the last rinse cycle.
  8. Finish by wiping the inside of the door and gaskets with the microfiber cloth once the cycle is finished.

If you do not want to dip the microfiber into the solution, you can just make a vinegar spray bottle. For best results mix 1 part vinegar and 2 parts water to make sure you do not compromise the rubber seals on your machine.

Review of Vinegar Tips

  • Best way to add vinegar to your laundry is during the final rinse cycle.
  • Vinegar takes away the need for commercial fabric softeners and dryer sheets.
  • Vinegar can make clothes softer by removing soapy residue left behind by detergents, and mineral deposits left behind by hard water.
  • Vinegar can help eliminate bad odors in laundry.
  • Add vinegar to the fabric softener compartment.
  • If you don’t have a fabric softener compartment, add it to the beginning of the rinse cycle.

Additional Ways To Use Vinegar In Your Laundry

  1. You can use vinegar to remove soap residue from clothes. Place clothing in a large basin, sink, or bucket. Pour in a bottle of vinegar and allow the clothes to soak for 30-60 minutes. This should remove any left over detergent from your clothes.
  2. Use a spray bottle with vinegar to help break up stains on clothes.
  3. Vinegar can make clothes softer by removing mineral deposits and detergents from clothing.
  4. Vinegar can be used to clean your washing machine.
  5. Set color in new clothes and new bathing suits. Vinegar can be used on new clothes during their first wash to set their color. This works on any colored clothes including bright colors and black clothes. You can also set the color in bathing suits by soaking them in a solution of half water half vinegar for 15 minutes. Then rinse and wear. Doing this will help your suit keep its color all season long.

A Natural Way To Use Vinegar On Stains

Vinegar can be used on many different types of stains.

It is a good idea when removing stains with vinegar to check care instructions and spot test before using on new clothes.

For large stains, you can pour undiluted vinegar into a large bowl or bucket and soak the stain for 15-30 minutes. If the stain does not come out with a cold water rinse, repeat.

For small spot stains, use a spray bottle with undiluted vinegar or a few tablespoons of vinegar poured onto the stain.

Vinegar can remove things like yellow stains left from residual deodorant, sweat, or natural yellowing of shirts in the underarm area.

It can also remove things like ketchup, mustard, grass stain, mud, and many more.

Be sure to read care instructions and spot test before using vinegar on any of your new clothes.

What Not To Do With Vinegar In The Laundry

  • Do not use apple cider vinegar in your laundry. Distilled white vinegar is best.
  • Do not add extra cups of vinegar. Doing so could damage the rubber gaskets on your washing machine.
  • Do not add vinegar until the end of the complete wash cycle or your laundry detergent will not work as well. This means, only add vinegar to the beginning of the rinse cycle.
  • Do not use balsamic vinegar or any other types of vinegar.


Can you use vinegar and laundry detergent together?

Do not use vinegar and laundry detergent together. Laundry detergent works by being a strong base and by adding vinegar, which is an acid, you actually will mess up the detergent’s pH properties and make it less effective.

What is Vinegar?

Vinegar is acetic acid that has been diluted with water resulting in a mild acetic acid.

Where to Buy Vinegar?

You can buy Distilled White Vinegar on Amazon or in your local grocery stores.

Why I started Using Vinegar In My Laundry

I began using vinegar in my laundry when I found out my kids both have very sensitive skin. They were riddled with eczema every winter, so I began researching ways to make their washable fabrics clean in a safe way. I did away with any kind of fragrance even if it was a light scent and opted for a cleaner version of a fresh scent…which is no scent at all.

I then found out that vinegar can be used in my home for cleaning and help with static cling in the laundry.

I have fully embraced using vinegar in my home and I hope you will give it a try as well to create a safer home for your kids and family.

Start Using White Vinegar In Laundry Today To Help Remove Toxins From Your Clothes

I hope this article is informational and helps you feel that going natural by using white vinegar in your laundry is not as scary and un-doable as you thought!

There are so many uses for vinegar that go beyond cooking and cleaning. And the benefits of white vinegar are beneficial in many ways to our health and lifestyle.

I hope you will learn other ways to make your home safer and less toxic by using vinegar.

Happy Washing!


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