Vinegar is a Fabric Softener

by Charlotte Wood
(last updated November 2, 2015)

Fabric softener is definitely one of those products that make your laundry fun. Who doesn't want soft laundry? Fabric softener is now considered a mandatory laundry supply item and is used all over to make your clothes, linens, and anything else you wash in the washing machine soft. However, you may not have known that vinegar can actually be used as a natural fabric softener. This means you don't need to really go out and buy another cleaning product—you can just use the vinegar within your own home!

As a natural fabric softener, vinegar is used like any other fabric softener. When you usually pour in the nice smelling, store-bought fabric softener, replace a slightly diluted solution of water and vinegar. The vinegar will act as any other fabric softener and won't affect the way your washer runs or the way your laundry turns out. You don't want to put in too much, but enough so it gets the job done.

The one drawback to using vinegar, however, is that it will make your clothes smell a bit funky. You will also find that clothes will rinse better if a cup of white vinegar is added to the last rinse water. The acid in the vinegar is too mild to harm fabrics but strong enough to dissolve the alkalis in soaps and detergents. Also remember to try this on a less-loved piece of clothing to make sure all goes correctly.

The thing to remember with the vinegar approach is that using vinegar isn't the only way to go about things. You can accomplish the same things with the generic and name brands you find at the store and honestly, the specific fabric softeners will probably yield better results than the vinegar, but for all intents and purposes, vinegar works and is excellent for a cheap, functional alternative.

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