White vinegar is one of the most versatile natural substances you can use around your home.
It is cheap, natural and environmentally friendly and has a huge variety of uses. I have replaced 95% of my household cleaners with vinegar and have found that in the majority of cases, it is more effective in cleaning than the chemical cleaners I have previously used!
Many people want to know if vinegar really is natural. The white vinegar you buy to cook with is natural. It is primarily made from the alcohol derived from the fermentation of corn (but the finished product you buy in the shops does not have alcohol content!) This alcohol become acetic acid and is then diluted with distilled water.
Cleaning vinegar from the cleaning aisle of the supermarket is white vinegar with other additives and is usually much more expensive.
You can definitely use apple cider vinegar in the laundry instead of white vinegar, and it works quite well, but isn’t quite as cheap as white vinegar.
All tips in this article involve white vinegar which can be purchased in the food section of your supermarket.
So, lets go through all the great reasons we should have white vinegar in our laundry at all times!
1. Vinegar as a stain remover.
Vinegar can remove most stains in clothing – make a half/half solution of vinegar and either water or milk, soak the clothes in the solution for a few hours, then wash in your machine as normal and the stains should come right out.
2. Vinegar to kill odours.
White vinegar is also great to keep body odour smells in the laundry at bay. If you add a cup of white vinegar to every wash, body odour stains (particularly men’s underarm areas) won’t ‘set’ into the fabric. Once body odour stains have set, they are very hard to get out!
Sometimes you just forget about clothes in the washer, and if left too long, they can start to smell mouldy and gross. To kill the odour, pour in a cup of white vinegar and wash the clothes again on hot. They’ll smell just like new when you take them out.
3. Vinegar as a lint deterrent.
Most laundry lint comes from towels. Separate your towels and tea towels from the rest of the clothes, and clean out the lint trap from your washing machine regularly. Also, half a cup of white vinegar added to the washing water will keep the lint from sticking.
4. Vinegar as a fabric softener.
Vinegar is a terrific and cheap fabric softener, and much better for your washing machine too! To use as a fabric softener, add 1/2 cup white vinegar to the fabric softener dispenser of your machine.
5. Vinegar to whiten socks.
To get your socks or greying dish clothes white again, add a cup of vinegar to a large pot of water, bring to a boil then add your dirty white socks and dishcloths. Turn off the heat, soak overnight then wash in your machine. They’ll come up bright and white again!
6. Vinegar to clean your iron.
Clean your steam iron by adding half water/half vinegar to the water chamber. Sit it upright and let it steam for about 10 minutes, then empty the chamber. Rinse the chamber out with plain water and shake some of it through the vents on the iron plate. Wipe the iron plate over with straight vinegar to get rid of the burn marks and calcium deposits.
7. Vinegar to rid clothing of body odour.
I don’t know about you, but my husband’s shirts absolutely STINK. To stop that body odour smell from ‘setting’ into the clothing (making it near on impossible to get out), add a 1/2 cup of white vinegar to every single wash. It stops the odour from setting into the underarms on clothing. Makes them much fresher too.
8. Washing baby toys.
Babies suck their toys. To make them fresh again without using bleach, add a cup of white vinegar to a large bucket of water (4 litres) – pop in your babies toys and allow them to soak for an hour. Then rinse, allow to dry in the sun, and your toys are nice and clean enough to be sucked on again!
9. Make dark clothing, well, darker…
Sorting your whites from your darks is just good laundry practise. But after awhile, dark clothing builds up with soap scum, fabric softeners and cleaners, making them appear dull. To get rid of this build up, add 1/2 cup of white vinegar to the final rinse of your dark clothing wash. Your darks will be darker! Of course to keep them dark, don’t hang them up in the sun. hang them somewhere nice and shady!
10. Remove static during winter months.
Nylon and polyester quite often really become ‘charged’ during the winter months with static. And it’s not nice to wear. To stop this from happening, add 1/2 cup of white vinegar to the final rinse of your clothing. It stops the build of of static!