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Washing clothes with vinegar: What you need to know

Here you will find all the tips you need for using vinegar to get stains out of clothes and more.


vinegar bottle with other natural cleaning products

Key steps:

  • When using vinegar to remove stains and keep clothing fresh, be sure to only use white vinegar, as other vinegars may stain.
  • Pop white vinegar into your wash cycle using the fabric softener compartment to keep white laundry white.
  • Use white vinegar to treat a variety of stains from grass to coffee.

Whether you are looking for an easy way to make your white laundry brighter, your towels softer or help to remove some set-in stains in your favourite clothes, vinegar could be the product you need to use. Here you will find all the tips you need for using vinegar to get stains out of clothes and more.

It may surprise you to know that washing clothes with vinegar isn’t only great for making your white laundry whiter but also treating stains without leaving an odour after washing.

Has your lifestyle during the Covid-19 lockdown affected the type of stains you get on your clothes?

Can vinegar stain clothes?

Though it is always a good idea to do a spot test on any fabrics you intend to use white vinegar on, it is unlikely that it will stain your clothing. Quite to the contrary, you will find getting stains out of clothes with vinegar is super easy. However,  if you are considering trying vinegar in the wash, be careful as the following forms of vinegar can cause stains:

  • Red wine vinegar
  • Balsamic vinegar

These have dyes, additives and more which can cause stains. If you get these on your clothes, rinse or sponge the stain with cold water and blot at it until all the liquid is absorbed.


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Will vinegar get stains out of clothes?

There are a few simple steps that you can take towards understanding how to get stains out of clothes with vinegar, regardless of the cause of the stain:

  1. For coffee and tea stains, soak your clothes in 1/3 of a cup of vinegar mixed with 2/3 of a cup of water, wash as usual, then dry them in direct sunlight which is a natural stain remover. This method is also great for removing berry stains from your clothes.
  2. For sweat marks, pouring vinegar directly onto the stain, followed by rubbing salt over the mark before washing as usual will help to lift the stain from your clothing.
  3. For grass stains, soak your clothing in undiluted vinegar for half an hour before popping them into your normal wash cycle. If you have stubborn grass stains, make a vinegar and baking soda paste and coat the stain before washing as usual.

Safety Warning

Never mix vinegar with bleach, as this creates chlorine gas, which is toxic. 

How to keep clothes from fading:

Vinegar is not only great for removing stains, but also works to help keep white clothes white, freshen your laundry, and can soften fabrics such as towels. All you need to do is follow these steps:

  • Add between ½ a cup and 1 cup of distilled white vinegar inside your wash with your regular laundry detergent.
  • Wash as normal following the instructions on your clothing care labels.

From getting stains out to understanding how to keep clothes from fading, vinegar is your best friend. Now you have all the steps you need to use vinegar to keep you clothes fresh and ready to wear. 

Curious about what else you can clean with vinegar? Find out here.

Originally published