How vinegar can help clean your clothes and reduce residue

Washing clothes is a tricky business: you can make a lot of mistakes and finding the right laundry detergent can be like looking for a needle in a haystack. You only need a single common ingredient in every wash to save effort, money and nerves. Just pour a little white vinegar into your washing machine drum and soon enough you'll benefit from these 10 advantages.

Before you put a load in, pour about half a cup of vinegar on the clothes. This strengthens the effect of ordinary laundry detergent, prevents colors from fading and reduces the soapy residue that sometimes appears on clothing after a wash.

Flickr/Joel Penner

Pour a little vinegar in the designated compartment in the washing machine instead of fabric softener. Vinegar has the same effect, but is softer — and is even more environmentally-friendly.

Flickr/Iwan Gabovitch

The acid also removes sweat and deodorant stains on white clothing.

Sometimes unsightly residue remains on clothing after washing — especially with powder forms of laundry detergent. These can irritate sensitive skin. Adding half a cup of white vinegar into your wash cycle solves this problem.

Flickr/Emily May

Even if it sounds absurd, it's true: the liquid with the strong odor helps neutralize unpleasant smells like cigarette smoke.

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Clothing with very tough stains should be placed in a bucket of hot water mixed with half a cup of vinegar. Leave the clothing in the bucket overnight and then wash them as you normally would. You can also spray the stains with undiluted vinegar essence and try to rub them away.


It can be very difficult to get fuzz and animal hair out of some fabrics. Even in this case, vinegar can help during the wash cycle. After drying, the unwanted "souvenirs" don't stick to the clothing that well.

Some fabrics tend to create a static charge. Once again, the household acid can help you here.

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Add six tablespoons of vinegar to a hand wash and let it sink in for 30 minutes. Using this method, you can also clean delicates like underwear and swimwear. 


Last but not least, your washing machine can be cleaned and descaled — without the use of any chemicals.

Flickr/Celeste Lindell

You don't always have to use an expensive, environmentally-unfriendly chemical to get the perfect wash. Sometimes all you have to do is look into your kitchen cabinet. 


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