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How to use vinegar in laundry

Vinegar offers a natural and helpful solution for tackling some stains and odors. However, directly adding vinegar to the washing machine may not be the best approach. Instead, vinegar can be useful for pre-treating stains, as long as it’s thoroughly rinsed out of clothing before you put them in the washing machine. Remember to read your garment’s care tag for instructions before pretreating and washing. Read on to explore how to harness the power of vinegar in your laundry routine.

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What are the benefits of using vinegar in the laundry?

Although you shouldn’t use vinegar directly in your washing machine, it can be helpful for some laundry tasks, such as:

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1. Whitening clothes

To help revive the brightness of your white clothes, you may consider using a whitening agent such as oxygen bleach or bleach-free options like baking soda or vinegar. Never use vinegar and bleach together, however. Make sure to check the laundry care label of each item to prevent damage.

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2. Removing sweat stains

Vinegar can be a helpful tool to help eliminate sweat stains. Just combine 2 cups of water with 1 cup of white vinegar and soak your shirt for up to 30 minutes. Afterward, gently remove any excess liquid by squeezing it out, then lay the shirt flat. Mix ½ cup of baking soda with 1 tablespoon each of salt and hydrogen peroxide to create a paste. Apply the paste as needed. Rinse the garment thoroughly and machine wash, as usual.

Person treating a stain

3. Removing deodorant stains

You can also use vinegar to help remove deodorant stains from your clothing. Combine 4 cups of warm water with 1 cup of white vinegar. Test the solution on an inconspicuous area of your shirt before applying it to the stain. Wet the stain with the mixture and gently massage it into the fabric. Soak the shirt directly in the vinegar solution for stubborn stains. Rinse the garment thoroughly and wash it in the washing machine.

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4. Deep cleaning bras

For heavily soiled bras needing extra cleaning, try these steps: First, pretreat sweat stains with mild detergent. Then, add ¼ cup of vinegar to water and soak bras in this mixture to target sweat odors. Make sure to rinse them fully before washing in the machine.

How do you use vinegar in a washing machine?

It is not recommended to use vinegar in your washing machine. Because of its acidic nature, vinegar can corrode some parts of your washing machine over time, especially rubber elements.

Where do you put vinegar in a washing machine?

Vinegar should not be placed directly in the washing machine. However, it can be beneficial to use it to treat stains and odors prior to washing. Just make sure you thoroughly rinse the items before placing them in the washing machine.

Can you use vinegar and laundry detergent together?

Adding vinegar directly to the wash with your laundry detergent may compromise its cleaning performance. Laundry detergents are formulated for specific pH levels, which may be disrupted by the acidity of vinegar, leading to less effective cleaning. It's best to avoid mixing them to ensure optimal results.

How do you use vinegar and baking soda together in laundry?

Combining baking soda and vinegar may result in neutralization, negating the benefits of their respective pH levels. This cancels out their individual advantages, making their combined use ineffective.

When should you not use vinegar in laundry?

It is not recommended to put vinegar directly in the washing machine, but there are also instances where using vinegar may be detrimental to your items. For instance, vinegar can potentially cause bleaching on some fabrics and may damage elastic.

What are alternatives to using vinegar in laundry?

Vinegar and baking soda can both be helpful for pretreating stains and odors, but your best option for washing items in the washing machine is probably laundry detergent. Choosing the best laundry detergent and cycle for your fabrics will give you optimal results, and only using laundry detergent in your appliance will help keep it functioning properly and in good repair.

If you are looking for a detergent that is convenient and easy on your washing machine, consider trying Swash®1 laundry detergent. With Swash® laundry detergent, you can use less per load and still get the clean you want.

Tips and tricks when using vinegar in laundry:

  • Soak a sweat-stained garment in a vinegar and water solution, then rinse it fully before placing it in the washing machine.

  • Vinegar may be useful for removing paint stains from clothing.

  • White clothing that has yellowed may be restored to its original brightness after soaking in vinegar and water.

  • If you need help removing a grass stain, vinegar might do the trick.

  • Vinegar might be helpful in removing coffee stains. Place vinegar on the stain, rinse it thoroughly and wash as directed.

  • Ink stains can sometimes be removed or lessened using vinegar.

  • Always refer to your garment’s care tag before using vinegar.

Explore Whirlpool® Washers

Whirlpool brand offers a range of washers tailored to suit your family’s laundry needs. Whether you opt for a top load or front load washing machine, select models boast innovative features like the Pretreat Station or the Load & Go Dispenser, helping to ensure a seamless laundry experience.

Learn more with Whirlpool brand

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1. Swash® products and the recommending brands’ products are all owned and distributed by Whirlpool Corporation.