Although white vinegar is usually used for cooking and pickling, there are also quite a few uses for it around the house. Although you might not think of vinegar as a must-have item for your laundry room, its uses for laundering are many, and you might be surprised at how much this common acidic substance can do for your clothes during various stages of the wash. But don't worry, its uses in the laundry won't leave you smelling like a pickle.
Adding vinegar to your pre-wash soak can have numerous benefits. Add 1/2 cup of vinegar to a water rinse to help neutralize allergenic chemicals that new clothes may have been treated with. You can also use a vinegar rinse to help break up yellow perspiration stains, especially on whites. To make this rinse, simply fill your washing machine with water (using the "soak" function) and then add 1/2 cup of vinegar. Your pre-wash soak should last no longer than 30 minutes. Don't forget to drain the soak before starting the wash.
Main Wash Cycle
Add 1/2 cup of vinegar to your regular wash cycle to help get rid of heavy odors, such as body odor or mold. You can also add 1 to 2 tbsp. of vinegar to lightly-soiled whites as a soft bleaching substitute. If you live in a house with hard water, you can add 1/2 cup of vinegar to help soften it.
The rise cycle is where adding vinegar can be most productive. Add 2 or 3 tbsp. to a load of blankets to increase their fluffiness in the dryer. You can also add 1/2 cup of vinegar to the rinse cycle to help minimize static cling that might be incurred in the dryer. This same increment of vinegar also works as a natural fabric softener. If you have soap stains on dark clothes, adding 1/2 cup of white vinegar will remove it.
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