Once you know how to use vinegar in laundry you can save a small fortune on expensive products.
No condiment is more helpful around the house than white vinegar. It’s no secret that vinegar is the power behind homemade cleaners like my daily shower spray and DIY bathroom disinfectant. It’s also a miracle-worker in the laundry room, too.
How To Use Vinegar In Laundry
Remove wine stains
On clothing: Heat 2 cups of white vinegar to almost boiling. Stretch the fabric stained-side down over a bowl and pour half of the vinegar through it. As you pour, the vinegar will start pulling the stain out of the clothing. Rinse under cool water then soak the fabric in the remaining cup of hot vinegar for 20 minutes. Rinse again and launder immediately.
On carpet: Heat 1 cup of white vinegar then pour it into a spray bottle. Add 1/2 teaspoon liquid dish detergent and swirl to combine. Blot the carpet stain with paper towels to remove as much wine as possible and then spray the stain with the heated, soapy vinegar. (Do not saturate the carpet or you’ll drive the stain into the pad!) Wait 5 minutes then blot with clean paper towels. Repeat if needed until the stain is gone.
Use it as a fabric softener
Just add 1 cup of straight vinegar to the rinse cycle. This is particularly helpful for folks who like to line dry clothing 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.
If catching your machine when it switches to the rinse cycle is a challenge, you can make your own dryer sheets instead. Just cut an old white t-shirt into squares. Stuff these into a jar and add equal parts white vinegar and inexpensive hair conditioner, then shake. To use, simply toss a square into the dryer with your clothing!
Eliminate mildew smells
If you’ve ever forgotten about a load of laundry in the washing machine (and who hasn’t) then you know that rewashing them doesn’t necessarily get rid of that awful mildew smell — it’ll reappear in towels and blankets the next time they get damp. To eliminate that smell for good add two cups of straight white vinegar along with the detergent when you rewash them, and use the longest, hottest setting the fabric can handle.
Make blankets fluffy again
Sweat, body oils, and fabric softener all build up in blankets over time. Eventually, your once fluffy, cozy blanket starts feeling flat and looking dingy. Get it back to looking and feeling almost new by washing them on a long cycle with only white vinegar and no other laundry products — not even detergent. The vinegar will cut through the buildup and loosen the fibers. If desired, you can then launder them again with detergent but lay off the fabric softener if you want your blankets to stay fluffy. (Consider using homemade dryer sheets to cut the static instead!)
Disinfect fabric without bleach
Although effective, bleach can irritate skin and lungs, which is why many people with respiratory illnesses (and those with sensitive skin) should avoid using it. That doesn’t mean you have to give up cleanliness, though! Just add 1 and 1/2 cups of straight vinegar to the wash cycle along with your favorite detergent and run it through the hottest cycle specified by the fabric label. Note: if you’re using homemade laundry detergent or adding washing soda, wait until the rinse cycle to add the vinegar and then let it soak for 20 minutes.
Soften new jeans
Give brand new jeans that buttery lived-in feel without ruining them by washing them before wearing in a cold/cold cycle using 2 cups straight vinegar. Stop the machine before the rinse cycle and let the jeans soak for 20 minutes, then proceed. This will also set their color and help keep jeans from fading.
Get gum out
On clothing: Place the clothing into the freezer for 30 minutes to harden the gum. Immediately after removing it from the freezer use the edge of a spoon to break away as much gum as possible. Next, heat 1/2 cup of vinegar to almost boiling. Place the clothing on a clean towel and gently scrub the remaining gum with an old toothbrush dipped in the hot vinegar. Repeat as needed until the gum is completely gone, then pour the remaining hot vinegar through the fabric to remove any residue. Launder immediately.
On shoes: Scrape away as much of the gum as possible with the edge of a table knife. Place the shoe in a plastic or paper bag and put it in the freezer for 20 minutes. Use the knife to pry up any remaining, hardened bits of gum then wipe the area with straight white vinegar to remove any sticky residue.