DIY Vinegar Is the Secret to Soft Towels, Whiter Whites, and More Laundry Solutions


Six Practical Applications of White Vinegar in Your Laundry

The correct use of white vinegar can solve a myriad of laundry challenges. Below are methods to implement this acidic elixir to enhance your laundry experience:

Neutralize Odors

Do you battle with mildew on your laundry, stubborn sweat stains or persistent unpleasant smells on your clothes? Vinegar, owing to its ability to kill bacteria, can eliminate these odors.

For towels with a mildew smell, add 2 cups of distilled vinegar to a washer full of hot water, throw in your towels, and operate the standard cycle.

To freshen up your clothes, incorporate half to one cup of vinegar during the rinse cycle.

For intense odors, soak the garments in a solution of one cup vinegar and cold water, and leave them for about twenty minutes prior to washing.

Erase Stains

Apply vinegar directly to the stained area and let it sit for 10-15 minutes before laundry. For minor stains, immersing the garment in a solution of one cup vinegar and two cups warm water will suffice.

Treat severe stains with a paste made of baking soda and vinegar, but be cautious about using this method too frequently.

Preserve Colors

Residual soap can adhere to your clothes' fibers, leading to faded dark garments over time. To avoid this, introduce half to one cup of vinegar during the final rinse cycle, ensuring your darks stay dark.

Tackle Static

If your clothes are prone to excessive static, lint, or pet hair after washing, a remedy could be adding half a cup of vinegar during your machine’s rinse cycle.

Function as a Fabric Softener

As vinegar can dissolve detergent residue, it can also soften your garments, beddings, and towels. Swap commercial fabric softeners for a half cup of vinegar in your machine's fabric softener dispenser.

Repair Dye-Damage, Maintain Whites

When color from your clothes leaks or "bleeds," adding one cup of vinegar to your wash cycle along with your regular detergent can help restore them.

If your whites are turning yellowish, consider adding one and a half cups of vinegar to the wash cycle. For persistent underarm stains on whites, soak the garments in a mixture of half a gallon of hot water and two cups of vinegar overnight before washing.

Precautions with Vinegar

To prevent damage to your clothes or washing machine, ensure proper usage of vinegar. Keep the following tips in mind for your next laundry session:

You can use vinegar along with detergent, but never mix them. Introduce vinegar during the rinse cycle after the detergent is rinsed out to avoid ending up with greasy clothes.

The point of adding vinegar in the wash cycle depends on your objective. For fabric softening, add it to the softening dispenser. To eliminate odors, introduce it to the washing drum during the rinse cycle or substitute it for regular detergent, adding it again during the rinse cycle for potent odors. To brighten clothes, add it to the bleach dispenser.

Exercise caution while using vinegar on delicate fabrics as concentrated vinegar can cause staining.

Always consult your washing machine's manufacturer to ensure vinegar compatibility, as its strong acidity can corrode certain materials. Some users have reported issues with scum buildup in their machines after using vinegar.

Use baking soda judiciously, as it can block pipes and hoses, potentially damaging your machine.


When used correctly, vinegar can significantly enhance your regular laundry routine, improving the appearance, feel, and scent of your clothes and linens without introducing harmful chemicals.

If you're aiming for a greener laundry routine, grab a bottle of vinegar during your next grocery trip. It's an affordable and eco-friendly method to optimize your laundry while reducing your environmental impact.