There’s nothing like a stubborn stain to ruin your new shirt.
Sure, you can use a chemical cleaner like bleach and spray and wash, but these chemicals linger on your clothes and can cause rashes as they come into contact with your skin (1).
More alarmingly, stain-fighting laundry detergents are known to cause mouth, skin, and eye irritation in children and adults. Their strong fragrance –which is a key selling point for most brands- can even cause respiratory toxicity.
To avoid these harmful chemicals, make your own laundry detergent and get out the vinegar!
Here are 10 ways to use vinegar in your laundry routine.
1. Clean Grimy Clothes
If your kids have a tendency to play in the mud or if you’re caught in the midst of a messy renovation, add a cup of vinegar to a sink full of hot water and let your dirty clothes soak overnight. Wash the clothes in the morning and all the gunk will be gone!
2. Wash Your Delicates
To protect delicates like underwear and swimwear, add 6 tablespoons of vinegar into a bucket of warm water with your delicates. Soak for 30 minutes and hand wash as usual.
3. Fight Strong Smells
Clean sweaty gym clothes by adding half a cup of vinegar into your washing machine along with your detergent. Add a few drops of citrus essential oils for a nice non-toxic smell.
4. Banish Sweat Smells
5. Soften Fabrics
Pour 1/4-1/2 cup of vinegar in your washing machine’s fabric softener compartment to keep your linens soft.
6. Protect Your Colors
Pour ½ cup of vinegar over your clothes after placing them in your washing machine to get a deep clean while protecting your bright colors and darks.
7. Get Rid of Detergent Residue
Using vinegar regularly to wash your clothes will prevent soap residue and powder detergent build-up.
8. Fight the Fuss
To pull fuzz and animal hair from your clothes and linens, add a few spoonfuls of vinegar into your washing machine.
9. Clean Your Washing Machine
Use vinegar to clean and descale your washing machine. Pour ¼ cup of vinegar in your washing machine and run a shirt cycle using hot water. Let it run for a few minutes and turn off your machine. Let the water sit for an hour and run the longest cycle. Let your machine dry out before using again.
10. Eliminate Static
Ditch the dryer sheets and pour a bit of vinegar in your wash cycle to fight wintertime static. You can also use wool dryer balls in the dry cycle to boost this effect.