Friday, May 8, 2009

Frugal Tip Friday

I want to share a frugal tip that I ACTUALLY use in my home with you guys each Friday & I am calling it "Frugal Tip Friday", hope you enjoy!

Today's topic is White Vinegar instead of Fabric Softener:

I love, love, love white vinegar!!! Why?? Easy - It's cheap, green and has tons of uses. My favorite use for vinegar is in the wash. I got started using vinegar when my oldest son was born (isn't that how we all get started with something new, we try it for our baby) and I was washing his clothes in Dreft (PS - don't waste your money use ALL Free & Clear) but then running Downy through them which is full of fragrance - isn't that why I was using Dreft??? Totally confused I went to the master Jedi (my Mom) for info. Mom is all in to being green and had just seen on one of her green shows to use vinegar in the wash. "Yuck, MOM! My clothes will stink!!" "Ok, Hollie. Then don't try it." I love my Mom! So I caved & bought a gallon at Wal-Mart for under 2 bucks - it's not like a huge investment to give it a try I thought. Poured it in the little softener cap on my washer and the rest is history! As time went on I learned more about using vinegar in the wash and found that since my family has sensitive skin I was already a step ahead of the game in that department since vinegar is non-allergenic. It is green since you are not polluting the water supply with the chemicals that are in typical softener. It helps keep your colors bright, prevents lint, aids in odor removal & fights stains - what more could you want?? I have read that once you dry your clothes the smell disappears and I find that untrue, I never smell vinegar when they are wet and I hang dry lots of stuff.

How to use:
Simply add approximately 3/4 cup to the final rinse cycle or if you have a liquid-fabric-softener dispenser feature on your washer, you can add it there. You can also use a refillable fabric-softener/laundry ball and add vinegar instead of retail fabric softener. I don't measure how much I put in my dispenser feature I just fill it to the line, let's not make this hard.

Where to buy:
I buy my vinegar at Sam's in a double 1-gallon pack for around $3 but I have also gotten it at Wal-Mart for $1.75 or so. I buy the cheapest I can find - no need to be a brand whore, it's vinegar.

What to buy:
I use white distilled vinegar reduced with water to 5% acidity.

Also lifting a full gallon of vinegar then trying to pour it into the dispenser can be difficult so I reused a VOSS water bottle. Works like a charm! One thing that is a major no-no when you use vinegar is to combine it with bleach, if you use bleach in a load wait for the bleach cycle to finish before you add the vinegar.

Ready to give it a try?? Already use vinegar in the wash??? Leave me a comment & let me know what you think, really I do care!


  1. Hey Hollie! Great tip!! I use vinegar in the wash for all of my workout clothes. In fact, after a workout outdoors on a really hot day, I will let my shirt soak in a water/vinegar solution overnight and then wash. It removes all sweat smells and makes the clothes fresh again...lovely!

  2. Very Interesting!! I will definitely have to try it. I've never thought about using it as a fabric softener. We always have the big jugs of vinegar though because my husband swears by it and will only use vinegar to mop our kitchen floor. Thank you!!

  3. I haven't used fabric softener for 15 years, because my son & I both have sensitive skin. Most dryer sheets would make us break out & liquid softener is hard on a washer. I hated that I couldn't hang clothes on the line because they'd get so stiff. Several years ago, someone suggested white vinegar in place of fabric softener, so I tried it. I love it. Plus I could hang jeans on the line & they didn't get down & walk in when dry. AND the vinegar stripped the soap residue off my towels & made them SO soft. Now I will NEVER EVER use anything but vinegar again!

  4. I am excited to try this tip. I hear all the time how vinegar has about a million uses but the smell of vinegar is awful. I'm glad to hear first hand that your can't smell the vinegar on your clothes when your done. Great post Hollie!

  5. Know those stinky rags that have been sitting by the sink for a couple days? Or bath towels that didn't dry out and start to smell like mold? Throw them into a load of laundry with the hottest water possible. Pour in 2 cups of white vinegar and run the load. When it's done, run the same load with normal temp water and your laundry detergent. Those smells are gone! Works every time!

  6. Can't wait to try it. I love using vinegar to mop my floors and I also put a splash in the bottom of the dishwasher before I run it. It keeps our glasses sparkling clean and is so cheap. Thanks for the tip!!

  7. I used cloth diapers with both of my kids, and I always put white vinegar in the fabric softener dispenser so that it would remove any soap scum from the diapers. They were always so soft and smelled so nice. White vinegar is the best!