How to use vinegar to wash clothes

Distilled white vinegar almost works like a miracle when it comes to doing laundry. You can use this inexpensive product to do everything from softening and deodorizing clothes to removing stains. In most cases, all you have to do is pour vinegar or a mixture of vinegar and water directly into the washing machine.

  1. Keep your clothes clean with vinegar. Instead of the detergent you normally use, pour 1/2 cup of distilled white vinegar in the washing machine. This will clean your clothes without the use of the strong chemicals found in many commercial laundry detergents.
  2. Use the vinegar as a softener. Prepare 1 cup of distilled white vinegar. When the laundry load reaches its final rinse cycle, pour the vinegar directly into the washing machine. This will act as a simple but effective natural softener.
  3. Pre-treat the stains with vinegar. Dilute 1/2 cup of vinegar in 4 gallons of water. To apply it directly to the stains on the garments, use a clean cloth or pour the solution directly onto the stain. Then wash the clothes as you normally would
  4. Bleach the clothes with a vinegar solution. Mix 1/4 cup lemon juice, 1/4 cup borax, and 1/2 cup vinegar. Use this mixture as a softer alternative whenever you need to use bleach to wash your clothes.
  5. Use the vinegar to deodorize the clothes. If you have smelly clothes, add 1/2 to 1 cup of undiluted vinegar to the washer during the last rinse cycle. This will remove bad odors from clothing without leaving a vinegar scent.


Be sure to use only distilled white vinegar to wash clothes.
Vinegar solutions are safe to use on most 100% cotton, permanently pressed cotton, and polyester garments.

If you have doubts about how vinegar will affect certain garments, apply a small amount of the solution you use in a hidden place. If it does not appear to damage the garment, then it is safe to wash it completely in the solution.

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