Inexpensive white distilled vinegar can be used in the laundry to whiten, brighten, reduce odor and remove mildew without harsh chemicals. Keep a bottle next to your detergent to keep laundry looking its best.
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Be a part of the Laundry Community
Leaving wet towels in a hamper or a load of wet clothing in the laundry washer creates mildew and a moldy smell. To get everything smelling fresh, fill the washer with hot water, add two cups of white distilled vinegar and run through the wash cycle. Then, run a normal cycle with detergent.
This works well for small amounts of mold and sour smells. For larger mold issues, you'll need to use a more aggressive treatment.
Green Fabric Softener
If you don't like the idea of using heavily scented commercial fabric softeners, but want softer clothes, white distilled vinegar acts as a natural fabric softener leaving no residue on laundry. Just add 1/2 cup to the final rinse. This should be used with all fire-retardant children's clothing - especially pajamas. Commercial fabric softeners interfere with fire retardant qualities.
The mild acetic acid in vinegar acts as a whitener and brightener for gray, dingy clothes in the laundry. To get stained white socks and dingy dishcloths white again, add 1 cup of white distilled vinegar to a large pot of water. Heat to boiling and add the articles. Let soak overnight and then launder as usual. This should only be used on 100 percent cotton clothing.
To learn more about how to keep whites white, follow these steps.
Reduce Lint and Static Cling
By adding 1/2 cup white distilled vinegar to the washer rinse cycle, you can help prevent lint and pet hair from clinging to clothes. If you accidentally washed something dark with some lint-producing towels, follow these tips to help get rid of the excessive lint.
Remove Smoke Odors
If your washable clothing reeks of cigarette or cigar smoke odor, add 1/2 cup vinegar to the wash cycle. For dry clean only clothes and furnishings like pillows and drapes, fill the bathtub with very hot water and add 1 cup white distilled vinegar. Hang the clothes or fabric above the steaming water and shut the door so the steam can penetrate the fibers.
For heavy smoke odors from a fire, follow these steps to remove the odor.
Keep Black Clothes Black
Adding 1/2 cup white distilled vinegar to the final rinse cycle will remove soap and detergent residue that makes black clothes look dull.
Seam and Hemline Mark Remover
Steam Iron Cleaner
Mineral deposits can clog an iron's steam vents and spray nozzles. To remove those deposits,fill the water chamber with a solution of equal parts white distilled vinegar and distilled water. Set the iron in an upright position on a heatproof surface and let it steam for about five minutes. When the iron is cool, rinse the tank with water. Then refill the iron and shake water through the vents onto an old cloth. Iron an old cloth for several minutes before moving on to wearable garments.
To remove scorch marks from the faceplate of an iron, rub with a warmed-up solution of equal parts white distilled vinegar and salt. Finish with a cloth dampened with full-strength white distilled vinegar.
Washing Machine Cleaner
Soap scum and mineral deposits can build up in the hoses of your washer restricting water flow and performance. Four times per year, remove soap scum and clean the hoses by using hot water and a cup of white distilled vinegar in the wash cycle.
If you have automatic detergent or fabric softener dispensers, use pure white distilled vinegar to clean any build-up that may limit performance.