Distilled White Vinegar is probably one of the most versatile products most people have in their cabinets, yet overlook in favor of more expensive (heavily commercialized) products.
The original "multi-purpose" cleaner and remedy for so many household issues, we could literally list hundreds of uses for vinegar, but for this post we will stick to laundry solutions. Here are my top 10 uses for vinegar in laundry:
1. Make your own fabric softener using vinegar, or just add a cup to the rinse cycle. Trust me, your clothes will not come out smelling like vinegar! Your clothes will come out softer and static-free without smelling like perfume.
2. Set-in the bright colors on new clothing by running a rinse cycle with a cup of vinegar. This also helps to prevent color bleeding on to other items when washed in the future.
3. Clean the soapy residue out of your washing machine by pouring in 4 cups of vinegar and run a full cycle using hot water only (no soap or clothing). Sometimes I let it fill, then turn off the washer and let it sit for an hour, before completing the cycle.
4. Get rid of mineral deposits in your steam iron by filling the reservoir with white vinegar, and then turn it on the steam setting (iron sitting upright). After it has steamed for about 10 minutes, refill the reservoir with distilled water and steam for another 10 minutes or so. When done, refill and you should be good to go. Note: Distilled water is best for preventing mineral deposits.
5. Red wine stains, as well as mustard, ketchup, soda and blood stains can be removed from cotton and cotton blends by sponging the area with undiluted white vinegar, blot and repeat until the stain is lifted. Remember, time is of the essence and it works best if done within 24 hours.
6. Remove rust from cotton clothing by rubbing with undiluted vinegar and a little bit of salt before washing. This also works with scorch marks from your iron.
7. Remove deodorant stains from washable fabrics by rubbing with full-strength white vinegar before washing.
8. Get rid of ring-around-the-collar by scrubbing that shirt with a paste made from vinegar and baking soda. Let it sit for 20 to 30 minutes before washing.
9. Treat mildew stains on washable fabrics by soaking in full strength vinegar overnight before washing, and then dry in the sun.
10. Remove ink stains by soaking the area with distilled white vinegar and then rubbing in a paste made with vinegar and cornstarch. After the paste dries you can wash the item.