Vinegar in the laundry: Where to put vinegar in a washing machine: experts advise |

Where to put vinegar in a washing machine: experts advise |

We all know vinegar is great for both laundry and cleaning, but where exactly is it supposed to go?

It turns out that where you put white vinegar is different depending on whether you are doing laundry, or if you are looking to clean a washing machine – and getting it wrong could have adverse effects on your prized garments or even your top-performing washing machine’s mechanics. 

Here, laundry experts have explained where to put vinegar in a washing machine for cleaning and laundry so you can get the results you want every time and avoid irreparable damage. 

Cleaning with vinegar is extremely effective for a whole range of household cleaning tasks, but using it in the wrong places will often have little to no effect, or even do more harm than good, cleaning experts warn.  

Putting it in the wrong compartment means it may not be distributed properly and effectively, says Karina Toner, cleaning expert at Spekless Cleaning, meaning that, ultimately, it does not work as well for laundry or for cleaning the machine.

More worryingly, putting vinegar in the wrong compartment can damage your clothes when doing laundry, cautions Matthew Connelly, CEO and laundry expert at ihateironing dry cleaners in New York. ‘When you add vinegar to your fabric softener compartment, your machine will dilute it with water so that it isn’t too harsh or overpowering on your clothes. Skipping this step and adding vinegar straight onto clothes can cause discoloration, especially for delicate materials.’ 

Operations Manager at Spekless Cleaning

Karina is the Operations Manager at Spekless Cleaning, a trusted maid service based in Washington D.C. The team has over five years of experience providing top-quality cleaning services for both residential and commercial clients. Karina oversees every aspect of the business, ensuring that every client gets the same top-notch service and a spotless clean every time.

Where to put vinegar for laundry

(Image credit: Alex James)

How you use white vinegar for laundry will depend on the type of machine you have, continue Matthew Connelly, a laundry expert. Front-loading washers and top-loading washers have different compartments so require slightly different operating instructions. 

Front-load washer: Vinegar is usually used as a fabric-softener alternative when it comes to laundry, and for that reason should be put in the fabric softener compartment of your washing machine, Matthew says.

Top-loader washer: If you have a top-loader washing machine, Matthew recommends waiting until your clothes cycle reaches the ‘rinse’ step of the cycle. Open your machine and add half a cup of vinegar straight into the dispenser before allowing the machine to run through the full wash cycle. 

Where to put vinegar for cleaning washing machines

(Image credit: Paul Raeside)

When cleaning a washing machine, or cleaning washing machine seals to remove mold, putting the vinegar in the right spot will ensure you get a deep clean and deodorize your machine.

Karina Toner recommends putting one to two cups of white vinegar directly into the washing machine drum regardless of your washing machine type and running it on a hot cycle.

‘This will help to remove any soap, limescale build-up, or odors from your machine,’ she says.

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Can I use vinegar and laundry detergent together?

You should not mix laundry detergent and vinegar together when doing laundry. While it may sound like it will offer a better clean, the pH of the acidic vinegar will prevent the detergent from working correctly, leading to a worse clean than if you had used one product or the other independently. The same goes for using vinegar with fabric softener.  

Do you need to rinse after washing with vinegar?

If you have used vinegar in your washing machine to clean or to do laundry, then you do not need to run a rinse cycle afterward as a standard laundry cycle runs a plain water cycle towards the end anyway to remove any residue left behind.

Knowing where to put vinegar in a washing machine for different purposes is essential to getting the results you want, however knowing how much vinegar to clean a washing machine or whiten laundry is just as important. Laundry expert Matthew Connelly explains that excess vinegar can lead to corroded plastic and rubber parts, which creates long-term damage to your machine, he explains.

‘We recommend half a cup of vinegar for a full load of laundry, and one cup or so for cleaning, and to not use it too frequently to avoid corrosion to your appliance.’

How to Use Vinegar in Laundry: Top 10 Uses

By Katie Barton

Katie Barton Home Improvement Expert

Katie Barton is a home improvement freelance writer. For as long as she can remember, she’s had a passion for making homes beautiful. She specializes in cleaning, organizing, and home improvement projects.

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Learning how to use vinegar in the laundry can reduce fabric softener costs and leave you with stain-free and softer clothes.

Vinegar is well known for its natural deodorizing and cleaning properties. But in addition to using it to wipe down tables and mirrors, you can add it to your laundry.

How to Use Vinegar in Laundry

White distilled vinegar has many laundry uses. But even with all its cleaning power, mixing laundry detergent with vinegar can weaken the detergent and affect its PH level. So it’s best to use these products separately. 

For example, you can treat your stains with vinegar and then wash the items with detergent. Or, wash with detergent and add vinegar to your washing machine’s rinse cycle.

Also, never mix vinegar with bleach. Doing so creates toxic chlorine gas.

Use Vinegar as a Fabric Softener

Looking for a non-toxic fabric softener? All you need is white distilled vinegar.

  • Top-load washers – Run your washing machine as usual. When it gets to the rinse cycle, open the lid and add ½ cup vinegar.
  • Front-load washers – Add ½ cup vinegar to the fabric softener dispenser.

Eliminate Sweat Stains

If you’re prone to sweat stains in your favorite shirts, vinegar will aid in removing the discoloration and odors. 

Fill a spray bottle with vinegar and spray the armpits of the affected items. The vinegar will break down deodorant and sweat, helping to prevent and eliminate stains. Allow the shirt to sit for ten minutes before placing it in the washing machine and cleaning it as usual.

Get Rid of Mildew Odors in Towels

When your towels smell like mildew, add two cups of white distilled vinegar to the washing machine and run on the regular cycle. Once finished, rewash the towels in your normal detergent.

Rinse Soap out of Dark Clothes

Soap residue is one reason your dark clothes don’t leave the washer looking bright. To rinse off the soap and get more saturated colors, add ½ cup of vinegar to the washer’s rinse cycle.

(If you have a front-load washing machine, you’ll need to add the vinegar to the fabric softener dispenser.)

Eliminate Ketchup, Mustard, and Grass Stains

The acetic acid in the vinegar helps break down certain types of stains, including those caused by ketchup, mustard, and grass. For the most success, treat the stains as soon as possible.

  • Spray the stain with undiluted white vinegar until saturated
  • Scrub with a soft-bristled brush
  • Allow the stain to soak in vinegar for 10-15 minutes before washing

Clean a Musty Front Load Washer with Vinegar

Front-load washers are notorious for musty smells. You can eliminate these odors by cleaning your washer with vinegar once per month. 

After cleaning any mold off the rubber gasket, add ¼ cup of baking soda to the empty drum, add 2 cups of white distilled vinegar to the detergent dispenser, and run the machine using hot water. Once finished, towel-dry the drum and gasket. 

Brighten Your Whites without Bleach

If you’re not a fan of bleach, add ½ cup of white distilled vinegar to the rinse cycle when washing your whites. The vinegar will help remove soap residue and aid in breaking down stains.

Remove Bad Odors with a Vinegar Soak

Whether you’ve picked up second-hand clothes or can’t get a smoke smell out of your favorite jeans, you can use a vinegar soak to remove bad odors.

Fill a sink or bathtub with warm water and add 1 cup vinegar. Soak the clothes for 30 minutes and then launder as usual.

Remove Mold from Clothes

Removing mold from clothing can be a challenge. But if the mold stains are fresh, you may be able to remove them with vinegar. Vinegar is one of the top substances for killing mold spores, outperforming bleach.

To treat mold on clothing, spray it with undiluted white distilled vinegar. Then, scrub the area with a soft-bristled brush. Keep the stain saturated with vinegar for 30 minutes and then launder as normal.

Create a Fabric Refresher Spray

If you want to refresh your clothing without putting it through the washing machine, create a fabric refresher spray by placing a tablespoon of white distilled vinegar and two cups of water in a spray bottle. Shake the bottle and mist your clothes.

The vinegar smell will dissipate in a few minutes, and the mix will help deodorize clothing.

Tips for Using Vinegar in the Washing Machine

Vinegar contains acetic acid, which can break down rubber gaskets if you use it for a prolonged period and at a high concentration. However, when adding ½ cup of vinegar to the rinse cycle, the vinegar becomes so diluted that it won’t cause harm to your washing machine. 

Here are some other helpful tips for getting the most out of vinegar:

  • Use plain white distilled vinegar in the laundry – not apple cider vinegar or cleaning vinegar.
  • You can remove urine odor from clothes by adding ½ cup of vinegar during the rinse cycle. Another option is to treat the urine with an enzymatic stain remover.
  • Using vinegar in the laundry won’t kill bed bugs – the vinegar gets diluted with water in a washing machine, so the acidity is not high enough.
  • Don’t mix vinegar with your laundry detergent.
  • Vinegar is unlikely to kill germs in the washing machine since the water dilutes it.

Discover more ways to clean with vinegar: 18 Household Items You Can Clean with Vinegar

Washing with vinegar – why it should be added to water and how to do it – UNIAN

Few housewives know that ordinary vinegar can be a great alternative to expensive laundry detergents. About how to use it correctly, and what effect it will give – later in the material.

Washing with vinegar in the washing machine / photo

In the era of washing machines, washing has long ceased to be something complicated and routine. If our mothers and grandmothers once boiled linen in huge boils in order to achieve at least some whiteness, then in our time everything is much simpler and more prosaic. And given the huge selection of all kinds of laundry detergents, it seems that we already know everything about how to wash properly.

However, few people are aware that ordinary vinegar can become an indispensable assistant when washing some things.

  • Why add vinegar to your laundry
  • Washing with vinegar – how to determine the correct proportions
  • How to remove the smell with vinegar
  • Can you wash kitchen towels with vinegar
  • Can you use vinegar when washing black clothes
  • 9 0009 Vinegar for disinfection – how to do it right

Earlier we told you how to wash white curtains.

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Why add vinegar to the wash

The main function of vinegar in the wash is to dissolve grease and remove stains. In case of point contamination, it is enough to moisten a cotton swab with a solution of vinegar and water in a ratio of 1: 1 and leave for 15 minutes, after which the thing can be washed in the machine in the usual way.

If we talk about how vinegar affects clothes, then in this case, acetic acid reacts with alkali. In simple terms, vinegar breaks down the soapy layer that builds up on your clothes over several washes. This layer is completely invisible to the eye, but it contributes to the fact that things begin to get dirty much faster. If you notice that even after washing your outfit does not feel the same as usual, but is slightly slippery, as if an invisible film has appeared on it, it’s time to use vinegar.

There is also an opinion that washing with vinegar in the washing machine helps to remove scale.

Washing with vinegar – how to determine the correct proportions

Regardless of whether you are washing with vinegar in the washing machine or in the basin – try not to use pure vinegar. Firstly, it can discolor the fabric, and secondly, the vinegar itself has a rather strong smell, which will then be difficult to remove.

Experienced housewives advise using 50-70 ml of vinegar per 5 liters of cold water when soaking. Dosage when washing in a typewriter – no more than 100 ml. to the process. However, in this case, it is desirable to turn on the double rinse mode.

How to remove the smell with vinegar

Washing with vinegar from the smell is not a new invention, our mothers and grandmothers came to this when there was not such an abundance of laundry detergents in stores, and no one had heard of air conditioners at all.

To remove unpleasant odors from fabrics, just add 100 ml of vinegar to the washing machine along with detergent.

Washing with vinegar is completely safe for almost all types of fabrics. However, keep in mind that vinegar is an acid, and using too much of it can ruin both your washing machine and your wardrobe.

How to disinfect things with vinegar / photo

Is it possible to wash kitchen towels with vinegar

Yes, you can, but housewives disagree on how to add vinegar when washing towels. Some argue that the surest way is to soak kitchen towels in a 1:1 solution of vinegar diluted with water. Others insist that you do not need to add water, but rather soak the towel in pure vinegar for 30 minutes, after which it will be enough to wash it by hand or with a typewriter.

Another option for washing towels is to soak them in vinegar with baking soda. This method is especially popular with those who are trying to wash off white things or want to return them to their original whiteness.

Is it possible to use vinegar when washing black clothes? Don’t forget that vinegar is an acid. Excessive use of it will make the colors on the fabric less bright, so if you do not know how to wash black clothes with vinegar, do not overdo it. Never soak a black item in pure vinegar or pour vinegar on the stain.

In this case, the vinegar can act as a bleach and ruin the item. Add 2-3 tablespoons of vinegar to a bowl of cold water and soak the black item for an hour, then wash it either by hand or in the machine.

See also:

Disinfection vinegar – how to do it right

There is no consensus on whether vinegar really disinfects things, and in some cases, doctors advise using a hot iron for disinfection, not vinegar. For example, if we are talking about baby diapers, pediatricians advise washing them with baby detergents, and after drying, be sure to iron them. There can be no talk of any vinegar in this case.

But if it’s not about diapers or rompers, but about less delicate things and you don’t know how to disinfect things with vinegar, just soak them in a solution of vinegar and cold water, then rinse thoroughly.

You may also be interested in the news:

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Washing with vinegar in a washing machine automatic

Entrepreneurial housewives often use some products not quite for their intended purpose and at the same time quite successfully. So, for example, there is a version that adding vinegar to a washing machine is very profitable, since the consumption is minimal, and the quality of washing is excellent. But whether washing with vinegar is really safe remains to be seen.

How bad is vinegar for appliances?

When it comes to the dangers of this or that remedy, then everything depends on the proportion. Of course, if you pour a liter of acetic acid into the machine, it will be of little use. But if you know exactly how much vinegar to pour, and follow the dosage, do not part and use vinegar in necessary situations, then there will be no harm to the machine. On the contrary, the property of vinegar to soften water, with regular use of the solution, will save you from problems with the formation of scale and limescale on the internal parts of the machine. Therefore, you need to add vinegar to the washing machine!

Attention! Thus, periodically vinegar is not only harmless to the machine, but even useful. It can also be used for washing and cleaning the contents of the machine, and not just for washing. To do this, you need to pour vinegar into the powder container and run the run program without laundry.

Undoubtedly, any acid is quite a strong remedy. But vinegar in any case is much less aggressive than dry powders, bleaches and other factory detergents. This is evidenced by the frequent use by housewives of washing with vinegar precisely delicate fabrics. But finding a suitable gentle remedy for them is sometimes not so easy.

The only negative is the smell. It remains on things after washing, and inside the machine, and spreads around the apartment after opening the hatch cover. However, acetic acid is very volatile and the smell dissipates quickly. If, for some reason, things continue to smell unpleasant, after the first wash with ordinary powder, the “aroma” will disappear.

Laundry benefits of vinegar

As mentioned above, one of the main advantages of a 9% vinegar solution is the ability to soften water. But there are also other, lesser known, but no less important abilities:

  • Air conditioner replacement. After washing with vinegar, things become soft.
  • Antistatic properties.
  • The ability to remove stubborn sweat or perfume odors.
  • Whitening properties without damage.
  • Antibacterial properties.

In addition, with time and experience, many housewives have discovered the abilities of vinegar solution that are absolutely indispensable in everyday life: fixing bright colors on clothes and removing greasy stains. So, for example, washing a new multi-colored thing with vinegar, you will save it from the risk of shedding for a long time. And if you put a greasy stain on your clothes, don’t panic. Just pour vinegar over the dirt and then wash: the oil stain is gone!


It is very important to know how to use vinegar depending on what properties you want to see in action. After all, the final result depends on proper operation, and this is extremely important!

  1. Air conditioner. It is better to wash newly purchased items in this way in order to give them antistatic properties and get rid of factory impregnation. Add a glass of vinegar to the conditioner compartment and wash the laundry as usual.
  2. Whitening. To bleach fabrics that have yellowed over time, vinegar should be added directly to the drum. Even if the machine is completely filled, one glass is enough for an excellent result.
  3. Disinfection. To carry out an antibacterial treatment, pour two glasses of solution into the conventional detergent compartment and start the “Rinse clothes” mode. Proceed in the same way if you want to disinfect machine parts.
  4. Stain removal. Just soak them in vinegar and wait a few minutes. If not completely removed, repeat the procedure.
  5. Care SM. It is enough to use acetic acid for such purposes once a month. Your machine will be in perfect condition, you can be sure. Pour five cups of vinegar into the main powder compartment and carry out a normal wash without laundry. Such a measure is good not only for the prevention of the formation of pollution, but also for their complete elimination. Even the most neglected case can be “treated” with vinegar, and this is really amazing.
  6. If there are no specific goals, a complex care solution can be used. It is enough just to add vinegar in small quantities to the main powder. Then it will perform both the functions of conditioning when rinsing clothes, and the functions of a bleach, and even a disinfectant. Isn’t it a miracle?

It is important to strictly observe the dosage of the product, otherwise things can be ruined.

As you can see, it is not for nothing that many of the properties of vinegar remain undisclosed, because it is not profitable for detergent manufacturers to have such a much cheaper and much more effective competitor. But it’s worth saying that you don’t need to completely abandon conventional laundry detergents, after all, you can’t go anywhere without them.

Effective and hypoallergenic

Good news for new mothers! Unlike most powders and detergents, which contain some amount of chemical allergens, vinegar is completely safe for children.