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Washing Clothes with Vinegar: Benefits of Adding Vinegar to Laundry

washing clothes with vinegar
Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pixabay – Wokandapix

White vinegar is an incredibly versatile household item: did you know that adding vinegar to your laundry has a whole list of benefits? We’ll show you why washing your clothes with vinegar makes a lot of sense, and give you 7 tips for how to do it most effectively. 

Washing Clothes With Vinegar

As a cleaning agent, white vinegar can be used as a replacement for many conventional cleaning products. It’s easier on your wallet, it produces less packaging waste and it’s better for the environment, because unlike aggressive chemicals, vinegar is non-toxic and does not have lasting polluting effects in the water or air. 

But white vinegar can do more than unclog your drain and clean your windows: washing clothes with vinegar has some major benefits. If you haven’t already, you need to try adding vinegar to your laundry. Here’s why.

Tips for Using White Vinegar to Treat Laundry

white vinegar laundry
White vinegar is a cheaper and more ecological alternative to fabric softener. (Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pixabay – 192635)

Start with plain white vinegar (distilled white vinegar is even better). Using white vinegar to treat your laundry before putting it in the washing machine can:

  1. Revive faded colors: soak your clothes in hot water with half a cup of vinegar. It will remove any graying that might have occurred over time and bring out the colors. Wash your laundry afterwards as usual. 
  2. Remove Stains: spray stains with vinegar before washing and allow to sit for ten minutes. Wash as usual. 
  3. Set colors and protect against color bleeding: before you wash new or dyed clothing for the first time, soak in a mixture of water and vinegar (about 2:1) for about thirty minutes. 

Tips for Adding Vinegar to Laundry

adding vinegar to laundry
White vinegar can be used to treat laundry before or during the wash cycle. (Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pixabay – Stevepb)

Vinegar also has benefits during the wash cycle. Just before the rinse cycle, pour a half a cup of vinegar into the compartment where you would normally put laundry detergent. The results will be:

  • Softer Laundry: washing clothes with vinegar will result in softer-feeling laundry: you don’t need expensive and ecologically questionable fabric softener. Adding vinegar to your laundry has a similar effect, because its slight acidity dissolves the residue left behind by alkaline soap. If you are washing heavier things like towels or sheets, use a full cup of vinegar instead of half. 
  • Fresh scent: To get rid of odors in your clothes, hang them over a bathtub filled with hot water and vinegar. You can also put your smelly laundry in the washing machine for a short cycle with a half cup of vinegar: if they are soiled, this won’t remove the dirt, but it will get rid of the smell. 

This text was translated from German to English by Christie Sacco. You can find the original here: Essig für die Wäsche: 7 Anwendungen für das Hausmittel

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