Wednesday, February 18, 2009

WFMW: Vinegar in Smelly Laundry

I've decided to take part in a weekly blog theme called "Works For Me Wednesdays," abbreviated as WFMW. Basically, it’s just any blogger who wants to participate posts a blog on Wednesdays sharing some tip, idea, trick, product, or whatever else “works for them.” Hence the name. Then we post links to them all in one place. (This week that will be, but the host site will be changing next week… Stay tuned!) But I’ve been discovering a lot of neat tips and tricks that make my life easier, and so I thought it would be fun and maybe helpful to some else for me to share them.

So my first WFMW tip is putting vinegar in my laundry. Let me explain. When I was pregnant with Elias, I did research about laundry detergent and fabric softeners, and we made the decision to start using detergent that was fragrance- and dye-free and to stop using softener altogether. (We use All Free & Clear because it’s the cheapest of the free detergents.) That is better not only for us, but also for the environment and for our budget. However, this means that we don’t have anything perfumed to cover up unwanted odors in our laundry.

I have a son who is a heavy-wetter, which means he OFTEN has clothes that get leaked upon. They obviously don’t smell so great, and just the normal wash wasn’t enough to get the smell completely out. I also have a husband who has to wear a shirt and tie to teach every day, which means that sometimes he sweats and his shirts don’t always smell like daisies either. So I had to find a way to get the odors out of our laundry without just covering them up with perfumes. So I did some online searching and found that adding vinegar to your laundry in place of fabric softener will actually neutralize the odors, not just cover them up.

I figured it couldn’t hurt to try, and unbelievably, it works! Just add about a cup of vinegar (more for super-stinky loads, less for not-so-stinky) to your rinse cycle the way you would with softener. I actually use the machine’s dispenser so I don’t have to go back during the rinse cycle. (I mean, who has time for that?!) But it does leave my washing machine smelling like vinegar, so if you don’t want that, then you may consider a different method of dispensation. It neutralizes the bad smells, but it doesn’t leave your clothes smelling like vinegar – they just smell CLEAN!

So vinegar definitely Works For Me.


Anonymous said...

I just tried this not too long ago. Put some vinegar in this morning's load! Great tip.

Mollie said...

Good to know! And if you'd like something that won't leave your washer smelling like vinegar, you could try Tea Tree Oil. All you need is a few drops and it neautralizes the odors and even though you can smell it while you're washing, the clothes don't smell like it afterwards! It's good for the sinuses too!

Ashlee said...

I've been meaning to come back & reread this post b/c I decided to try using vinegar but I wasn't sure how much so I just guessed. I've been only using about a 1/4 cup of it and then I fill the rest of the dispenser up with water (I always topped it off with water when I used Fabric softener too- I think I just have to have it full for some reason). My clothes have been smelling fresh and clean and my washer doesn't smell like vinegar either. But I'm guessing you researched how much to use so now I am wondering if I should use more. Any advice?