How to Use White Vinegar in Laundry


Vinegar has many uses including cooking and cleaning. Commercial brands of vinegar contain 5 percent acetic acid on average. Five percent concentration is high enough to kill most germs. It is a safe and natural disinfectant, deodorizer and cleaning agent. The smell of vinegar might be intolerable to some, however, that can be remedied with a few drops of essential oil or diluting the vinegar with water.

Things You'll Need

  • Vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Water
  • Clean gallon container with a cap
  • Funnel (if necessary)
  • Essential oil (optional)
  • Heat source
  • Remove perspiration and deodorant stains from clothing by spraying undiluted white vinegar directly on the stain before putting it into the washing machine. The vinegar will also neutralize odors.

  • Soften your laundry with a homemade vinegar fabric softener. Pour 1 cup each of baking soda and tap water into an empty gallon container. Swirl the container to dissolve the baking soda. Add 6 cups of distilled vinegar slowly to keep the fizzing to a minimum. Pour 7 cups of tap water into the container to complete the softener. Add a few drops of essential oil for fragrance if you wish. To use, pour 1 cup into your washing machine during the rinse cycle.

  • Brighten your whites by adding 1 1/2 cups of distilled vinegar during the rinse cycle. To whiten dingy white socks, bring a stock pot half-full with water to a boil and add 1 cup of vinegar. Remove the pot from the heat and soak the socks overnight, then wash them in the morning as usual.

  • Make a paste using 3 parts baking soda and 2 parts white distilled vinegar to remove a ring around the collar. Rub the paste onto your collar stains and allow it to sit for 1 hour. Wash as usual to completely remove the ring around the collar.

  • Add ¼ cup of vinegar to the last rinse cycle to reduce lint, prevent yellowing and remove harsh soaps from your clothing. Vinegar dissolves the alkaline deposits and residue in laundry detergent that can irritate your skin and make your black clothes look faded and dull.

  • Add 1 cup of vinegar to your wash cycle to disinfect sheets and pillow case after recovering from a cold. This helps prevent you from infecting yourself and others in your home.

Tips & Warnings

  • Using the homemade vinegar softener recipe is a good way to reduce your carbon footprint and be more environmentally friendly.

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  • Photo Credit Buena Vista Images/Photodisc/Getty Images laundry image by timur1970 from
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