GENIUS LAUNDRY ROOM HACKS USING VINEGAR
There are so many laundry related problems that vinegar can solve. It is the laundry room staple that everyone should keep on hand because of it’s sheer versatility. Vinegar will whiten and brighten clothes while making them softer and getting rid of any unwanted odors. Read on to learn some of the best vinegar laundry hacks I’ve found that are going to make your life so much easier.
For more interesting and clever ways to use vinegar for your everyday household needs, check out my post 15 Household Uses For Vinegar That You’ve Probably Never Tried.
WHAT EXACTLY IS VINEGAR?
Vinegar is a liquid that contains acetic acid and is often obtained by fermenting diluted alcoholic liquids such as wine, cider, beer, and rice. This is where we get the different varieties such as apple cider vinegar, white wine and red wine vinegar, as well as rice vinegar.
WHAT MAKES VINEGAR SUCH A GREAT CLEANER?
Vinegar’s acidic pH is what makes it such a great cleaner. Because of vinegar’s acidic nature, it can counteract and cut through sticky and greasy messes, as well as germs and bacteria. Acetic acid (white vinegar) disinfects by killing bacteria cells. Vinegar is a natural and eco-friendly alternative to many of the chemical detergents and treatments out there.
IS IT SAFE TO USE VINEGAR IN MY WASHING MACHINE?
You can safely use vinegar in your washing machine. Vinegar is safe for both standard and high-efficiency washing machines. You don’t have to worry about vinegar rusting your machine because it is actually a natural rust remover. Vinegar is safe for septic tanks too.
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HOW TO REMOVE SWEAT STAINS WITH VINEGAR
Soak clothing with sweat stains in a 1/4 cup of distilled white vinegar and enough water to cover the garment. Let it soak overnight, then wash as usual in the morning.
HOW TO REMOVE DEODORANT STAINS WITH VINEGAR
Remove deodorant and antiperspirant stains by sponging the affected underarm area with distilled white vinegar. Launder per usual and check that the stain is gone before drying. If the stain is still visible, apply vinegar again and set in direct sunlight to help bleach the stain. Launder. Continue this process until the stain has disappeared.
HOW TO REMOVE WINE STAINS WITH VINEGAR
Treat wine stains within 24 hours of staining. This solution works for cotton, cotton/polyester, and permanent press fabrics. Using undiluted distilled white vinegar, sponge the wine stain until it disappears. Launder garment according to care label directions.
HOW TO REMOVE INK FROM FABRICS WITH VINEGAR
One of the most useful vinegar laundry hacks is using it to remove accidental pen marks on your favorite shirt or blouse. Dab the ink stain with a cloth or sponge dipped in white vinegar. Repeat until the marks are gone. There’s no need to worry about ruining your colored garment because vinegar is used to set colors in new cotton clothing which means it helps clothes keep their color.
HOW TO KEEP CLOTHES BRIGHT AND DARK WITH VINEGAR
Vinegar is wonderful for clothing because it has the ability to keep your fabrics white and bright as well as dark and inky. The acetic acid in vinegar is gentle and mild enough for washable fabrics but is strong enough to eat away at residues that leave your clothing looking dull and dingy.
Add a 1/2 cup of distilled white vinegar to the rinse cycle of any machine washable load of laundry. You can add the vinegar to the fabric softener dispenser or pour it in manually once the rinse cycle begins.
Your white and light laundry loads will come out whiter and brighter with truer colors. Your dark and black loads will come out dark and clear of dulling detergent residue.
HOW TO PREVENT COLORS FROM RUNNING WITH VINEGAR
If you have heavily dyed fabrics like new jeans or fabrics that tend to run no matter how many times you’ve washed them, then try this trick. Soak garments in undiluted distilled white vinegar for a few minutes before throwing them in the washing machine. This will help set the fabric colors and will make them less likely to run in the wash.
HOW TO SET DYED FABRIC COLORS WITH VINEGAR
If you have ever tie-dyed anything, then you know the role vinegar plays in the process. It helps “set” the color into the fabric so it stays vibrant and true. When rinsing your dyed fabrics, add 1 cup of distilled white vinegar to your rinse water before your last rinsing.
VINEGAR LAUNDRY HACKS FOR SOFT CLOTHES
Distilled white vinegar naturally softens clothing fabrics, so you can save money by skipping fabric softeners and dryer sheets. It also naturally eliminates any lingering odors in the fabric.
Pour a 1/2 cup of vinegar right into your washing machines fabric softener dispenser or you can manually add it at the beginning of the rinse cycle. You can add a few drops of your favorite fresh smelling essential oils like lemon or lavender to give your laundry a pleasant scent.
HOW TO REMOVE MILDEW FROM TOWELS WITH VINEGAR
This is one of my all time favorite vinegar laundry hacks. My kids like to leave wet towels crumpled up all over the place no matter how many times I tell them to hang them up. This vinegar trick has saved them from my wrath on multiple occasions. This works with mildewed clothing as well.
Add a cup of distilled white vinegar in the wash with your towels. Don’t add any detergent and set the water temperature to hot. This will remove the mildew bacteria that causes the stench. Once the load has completed, wash the load again on hot but this time you can use your detergent.
You will be left with fresh smelling, fluffy clothing and towels.
HOW TO REMOVE MILDEW FROM BATHROOM RUGS AND CURTAINS
Throw your plastic shower curtain liners, tub mats and bathroom rugs into the washing machine on the gentle cycle using warm water. Add 1/2 cup of white vinegar to the load. No detergent is necessary.
The rugs will loosen up any grime and the vinegar will disinfect and clean everything. As an added bonus, the vinegar will also soften the rug fibers for a plush under foot experience.
You can tumble dry the curtain liners on low for a few minutes to get any excess water off before you hang them back up to finish drying.
Prevent future mildew from forming on rugs and carpets by misting the back of the rug with full strength white vinegar in a spray bottle.
HOW TO CLEAN YOUR WASHING MACHINE WITH VINEGAR
Sometimes mildew and detergent build-up can occur in your washing machine. You can help keep your machine running in tip-top condition by occasionally running a vinegar cycle.
Do this without any clothes in the machine, just water. Put your machine on the hot water setting, the large load setting, and the extra rinse cycle if it has the option. Pour 2-4 cups of vinegar in the wash basin and let it complete its cycle. It will be clean and ready to go the next time you do laundry.
Keep the machine lid open when it’s not in use to prevent moisture from being trapped inside. This will help your machine from growing mildew in the first place.
HOW TO REMOVE SCORCH MARKS WITH VINEGAR
You can remove scorch marks from your steam iron or from clothing with vinegar.
To remove scorch stains from your iron, heat up equal parts distilled white vinegar and table salt in a small pan. Rub the mixture in a circular motion on the scorch marks of a cooled iron until the stains are removed. Wipe with a damp cloth to remove any residue.
Remove scorch marks from clothing by dabbing and gently rubbing the affected area with a white vinegar moistened cloth. Follow with a clean cloth and repeat until the stain has been removed. Launder per the garment’s care label instructions.
HOW TO REMOVE SMOKE AND FOOD ODOR FROM FABRIC
Cigarette or cigar smoke in your clothing or house can be an unpleasant bummer. If you just quit smoking or if you are a non-smoker that had the unfortunate event of being near someone who does smoke, you want to get rid of the stinky smoke smell fast!
For clothing, wash as usual but add a 1/2 cup of distilled white vinegar to the wash cycle. For other fabric furnishings such as curtains, throw pillows, or dry clean only garments, fill your bathtub with steaming hot water and add 1 cup of vinegar. Hang the fabrics directly above the tub so the steam can penetrate the fabric fibers.
To cleanse the air in your home of offending odors such as smoke or food smells, you can do a couple things.
- You can set a bowl or two of undiluted white vinegar out to naturally soak up and neutralize any lingering smoke or food smells. Replace the vinegar every 24 hours until the smell has been neutralized.
- You can gently simmer 2 cups of distilled white vinegar on your stove. Heating the vinegar allows the steam to reach further into your home and release more odor neutralizing power into the air. It only smells like vinegar at first, after a while it won’t smell like anything at all.
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Do you know of other laundry or cleaning related ways to use vinegar? Let us know in the comments below and be sure to share this post to share these great tips!