Wondering how to get fabulously clean laundry every time without spending big bucks? One simple ingredient can give stains a smackdown, soften hardened towels, and nix odors. What’s it, you say?

Oh, it smells bad but the laundry gods have done us right by giving us vinegar. It can make most laundering problems disappear if used properly. It works well with others, is environmentally-friendly, is cheap, and is easily adaptable for homemade cleaning recipes of all sorts.

If white vinegar is not a part of your regularly scheduled laundry programming, now is the time to change that. Jump below to see all the ways you can use distilled white vinegar for your dirty loads. After reading, you’ll want to make it a mainstay in your washroom.

  1. Odor Destroyer

    Without the use of synthetic perfumes that can mask odors or cause skin irritation, vinegar gets rid of odors. Mildew? Armpit sweat? General funk? Covered. Vinegar kills bacteria that keeps the stinky alive.

    To remove mildew smells from towels, add 2 cups of distilled vinegar to a washer filled with hot water. Add your towels and run the normal cycle. You can follow up with an additional cycle if you want.

    For clothing, add ½ to 1 cup of vinegar to the rinse cycle to get rid of reek. Your other option is to presoak extra reeky items in 1 cup of it and cold water. Let the item(s) sit for about 20 minutes before washing.

  2. Stain Go-Getter

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    We don’t need to know the specifics of the types of stains you encounter, but white vinegar can address many. Spray uncut vinegar onto a stain and let it sit for 10-15 minutes before washing. Mild stains can also be soaked in a mixture of 1 cup vinegar + 2 cups of warm water.

    For harsher stains, make a paste using 1 tablespoon of baking soda and vinegar. Add just enough vinegar to form a pasty texture and apply it to the stain.

  3. Preserve Dark Clothing

    Repeated washes can lighten black jeans and other dark clothing items. To prevent soapy residue from clinging to their fibers, put ½ to 1 cup of vinegar in the final rinse cycle.

  4. Lint and Static Fighter

    White vinegar helps to repel static, lint, and pet hair from laundry. Drop ½ cup of vinegar into your washer’s rinse cycle.

  5. Soften Your Loads

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    A natural fabric softener, vinegar breaks down detergent residue, leaving your laundry soft – especially towels! You can either pour ½ cup into the fabric softener dispenser on your machine or add it before the final rinse.

  6. Reverse Bleeding

    Wash dye-damaged goods with 1 cup of distilled vinegar during a normal wash cycle using your regular detergent.

  7. Gentle Whitener

    Vinegar brightens and whitens without harsh chemicals. You can use it on normal loads or to remove stubborn stains from whites by adding 1 ½ cups of vinegar to the wash cycle.

    If you’re not afraid of hot water, conquer discoloration like underarm stains by soaking white items in ½ gallon of hot water and 2 cups of vinegar overnight. Wash as directed.

Any worries you have about a lingering distilled vinegar scent can be put to rest – the smell goes away after drying. With so many benefits in the laundry room, it’s a good idea to take advantage of this distilled gift. Stock up on this staple and watch some of your laundry annoyances go down.

Are you already reaping the benefits of white vinegar for your laundry? Would you try any of these tricks?