How To Use Vinegar In Laundry

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Once you know how to use vinegar in laundry you can save a small fortune on expensive products. Seriously, no condiment is more helpful around the house than white vinegar! In addition to its role in homemade cleaning products like DIY window cleaner and daily shower spray, vinegar is a star in the laundry room, too.

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How To Use Vinegar In Laundry

Remove wine stains from 100% cotton, cotton polyester and permanent press clothing by spraying it liberally onto the spill within twenty-four hours.

Use it as a fabric softener by adding 1 cup to the rinse cycle. This is particularly helpful for folks who like to line dry their clothes since vinegar will help reduce that “crunchy” feeling air-dryed fabrics often get. Don’t worry, the smell will disappear long before the clothes are dry.

Eliminate mildew stink from towels, blankets and other items. Add two cups to the wash cycle — but NO soap, bleach, etc. — and use the hottest temperature allowed on the manufacturer’s label. Run the items through the entire cycle, then launder as usual with detergent. No more yucky smells!

Make blankets fluffy again by washing adding 1 cup of vinegar to the wash cycle, then use it as a fabric softener, too. This will cut through any commercial fabric softener buildup and body oils so your blankets will be as soft as you remember.

Disinfect fabric without bleach, which can irritate sensitive skin and lungs. Just add 1 1/2 cups to the wash cycle along with your favorite detergent (but no washing soda) and run it through the hottest cycle specified by the fabric label.

Soften new jeans by adding 2 cups vinegar to the wash. This will set their color, too!

Get gum out of clothes by scrubbing it with hot vinegar and scrub brush.

Get rid of sweat stains by soaking the fabric for 10 minutes in a 50-50 solution of water and white vinegar then immediately launder as usual.

Deodorize your washing machine by filling the empty washer on HOT and adding 2 cups of vinegar. Let the machine run through its normal cycle all the way through. The vinegar will remove any soap scum, mildew spores and other mineral deposits, leaving you with a nice, fresh washer ready for your next load. (For a more thorough cleaning, check my guide here, and to remove the smell from HE washers read this guide.)

Of course, vinegar’s usefulness isn’t limited to the laundry room. Check out all the ways you can use it here!

Equipment I Use With This:


  1. matt brafford says

    Question for you,
    I am trying to get old antiperspirant stains out of regular T shirts. I am thinking about with the vinegar and water soak, and then launder. Should I or could I use the vinegar in my washing machine as well? Meaning after I soak the t shirts, when I launder, put detergent in and vinegar in the fabric softener cup?
    By the way I have a front load HE washing machine I don’t know if that matters.
    Thanks for all the info your site is one of the best I have found.

    • Katie Berry says

      I use vinegar in my fabric softener cup to prevent static, but I don’t think it fights stains at that point. To get antiperspirant stains out, try a 1:1 solution of warm water and warm vinegar and soak the fabric. If that doesn’t work, try an Oxyclean soak. Also, the best way to prevent them is to let the antiperspirant dry completely before putting your shirt on. Good luck!

  2. sarah says

    Does that gum on clothes trick work on carpet too? My in laws church has gum in the carpet (its been there close to a year though) and they’ve tried just about everything

    • Katie Berry says

      What works best to get gum out of carpeting is to ice it, then pry off as much as possible. After that, spray the area lightly with Goo-Gone (you can find it at hardware stores), and go at it with a brush to loosen what’s left. Wash that area very well, without soaking the padding, to remove any residue and repeat until the gum is completely gone.

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