How Vinegar can be used in Laundry

Vinegar for laundering clothes

In The Laundry

  • Add ½ cup of vinegar to the wash cycle to prevent lint from clinging to the clothes.
  • Add ¼ cup of vinegar to the last rinse cycle in just about any type of laundry. *** Don’t use vinegar on silk, rayon or acetate***The vinegar will dissolve the alkalies in the detergents and soaps. It will also prevent yellowing, act as a fabric softener and reduce mold and mildew.
  • Wash new clothes with ½ cup of vinegar to get rid of the chemicals from the manufacturing process.
  • Vinegar added to the final rinse of black fabrics will prevent them from appearing dull due to soap residue.
  • To flush out the bleach or fabric softener dispensers when you’re adding vinegar to the wash cycle add the vinegar to these dispensers.
  • When dying fabric add a cup of vinegar to the last rinse to set the color.
  • Periodically run the washing machine with just a cup of vinegar, nothing else, to clean the washer of soap scum.


  • To whiten white socks or dishcloths soak them overnight. You add 1 cup of vinegar to a large pot of water that has been brought to a boil. Drop in the articles and leave in overnight.
  • To get rid of ring-around-the-collar scrub on a paste of vinegar and baking soda before putting them in the washer.
  • Bring out the color of bright colors by adding ½ cup of vinegar to the rinse cycle.
  • To prevent bright colors from bleeding soak them in a solution of 1 cup vinegar to each gallon of water.
  • Vinegar can be used on mildewed garments. It’s especially helpful for those garments that can’t be bleached.


  • Remove grass stain with a solution of water, white vinegar and liquid soap.
  • Dab some vinegar on mustard stains before washing.
  • Pre-wash spaghetti, catsup or barbecue stains with a vinegar and water solution.
  • On cotton or cotton-blend fabrics, remove cola stains by sponging the area with undiluted vinegar and then washing immediately. This should be done as soon as possible after the stain happens.
  • Use undiluted vinegar to sponge away beer stains. Rinse and then wash as usual. Old beer stains will need to be soaked overnight in a weak vinegar and water solution.
  • Some stains on clothing and linens can be soaked out by soaking in a solution of equal parts vinegar and milk.

Special Care Laundry

  • To reduce suds in hand laundry add a little vinegar to the rinse water. Rinse a second time with plain water.
  • To make nylon stockings look smooth and last longer add a tablespoon of vinegar to the rinse water.
  • To loosen dried on glue soak a clean cloth in white vinegar and then saturating the spot until the glue softens. Launder as usual.
  • If you forget and leave laundry in the washer and it smells musty pour a couple cups of white vinegar in the machine and launder using the hottest water setting allowed. Next run the clothes through a normal cycle with detergent.
  • When washing plastic curtains or tablecloths rinse with water to which vinegar has been added. This will cut down on static electricity.
  • Spray undiluted vinegar on underarm and collar areas of clothing before washing to remove perspiration odor and stains.
  • To fluff up wool or acrylic sweaters and to get rid of the soap smell put ½ cup vinegar in the rinse water.
  • To fluff up cotton or wool blankets add 1 or 2 cups of vinegar to the rinse water.
  • To prevent table and bed linens from yellowing in storage use vinegar in the rinse water.
  • To neutralize urine in cloth diapers add a cup of vinegar to 2 gallons of water in the diaper pail. You can use a cup in the rinse water too and this will also help prevent diaper rash.
  • Add ¼ cup of vinegar in the rinse water of all baby clothes to whiten, brighten and break down uric acid. This will leave them soft and fresh.
  • Remove smoky odors from clothes by hanging them above a bathtub filled with very hot water and 1 cup vinegar. The steam will penetrate the fibers and remove the smell.
  • If you don’t have tomato juice on hand try 1 cup white vinegar in one gallon warm water to remove skunk smell. Soak the clothes for several hours. Repeat if necessary.


  • To remove musty smells from cotton clothing sprinkle them lightly with vinegar and then press them.
  • To sharpen the crease in a knitted garment sponge it with a cloth that has been dampened with a solution of 1/3 cup vinegar and 2/3 cup water. Place a brown bag with no printing on it over the crease and iron it.
  • To remove mineral deposits in steam irons to keep them clean and in good working order fill the iron with a solution of equal parts distilled water and vinegar. Set it in an upright position and let it steam for about 5 minutes. After the iron is cool rinse the tank with water, refill it and then shake out the water. Test the iron before using it to make sure there are no lose deposits remaining.
  • To remove brown residue from the bottom of your iron wipe the bottom with a cloth soaked in undiluted vinegar. Repeat as needed.
  • To get out light scorch marks out of fabric rub it gently with vinegar.
  • If you’ve lengthen a wool garment you can get the crease out left by the previous hem by sponging the line with undiluted vinegar.
  • To remove scorch marks left by an iron try rubbing with a warmed solution of equal parts salt and vinegar. If that doesn’t work try a cloth dampened with full-strength vinegar.
  • To get rid of the tiny holes left behind when you take out a hem of a garment moisten a cloth with vinegar, place it under the fabric and iron.


  • To get water and salt stains off of leather boots or shoes wipe them down with a solution of equal parts of water and white vinegar. Don’t wait too long to do this as salt can permanently damage leather.
  • To remove white water stains on leather sponge the stains with white vinegar.
  • To remove wax build-up on leather table tops wipe them with a solution of equal parts water and vinegar.
  • Any leather can be cleaned with a mixture of white vinegar and linseed oil. Polish with a soft cloth.
  • Make patent leather shoes, boots and purses a shine by wiping them with white vinegar.