Can You Put Vinegar In the Washing Machine

Can You Put Vinegar In the Washing Machine? Everything You Need To Know

Vinegar is well-known for its brightening characteristics, and being curious about using it in the washing machine is common. However, some say they are bad for your clothes and the washing machine, while others say it’s okay.

So can you put vinegar in the washing machine? Yes, you can put vinegar in your washing machine as long as it’s the right type of vinegar, such as white vinegar. Additionally, the correct amount needs to be used at the right time. However, there are specific washing machines where you need to avoid using vinegar.

Nevertheless, you need to know about these factors in depth to understand the proper usage of vinegar in a washing machine. We’ll discuss the things to consider before using vinegar in a washing machine and which washing machines you should never use vinegar in. So let’s get started.

Can You Put Vinegar In Washing Machine

Yes, you can add vinegar to the washing machine. But, you have to consider several things for it. For example, you have to consider the types, the amount, the right mixing portions, etc. 

Can You Put Vinegar In the Washing Machine

Vinegar is a natural cleaning agent that has been used for centuries to remove dirt, stains, and odors from clothing. Due to this reputation of vinegar, people have started using vinegar in their washing machines as well, which turned out to be a success.

However, as previously said, you cannot put vinegar in the washing machine without knowing the proper use of it beforehand. Here’s everything you need to know.

Type Of Vinegar

There are multiple types of vinegar available on the market, such as apple cider and red wine vinegar. However, not all of them are suitable for your washing machine as some will leave stains on your clothes.

The only safe options here are apple cider vinegar, white vinegar, and distilled white vinegar. They have a higher acidity level, making them an excellent choice for eliminating soap residue and mineral stains. On the other hand, they are also cheaper than others.

Let’s check out the best uses of each vinegar in a table;

Type of VinegarBest Use
Apple CiderSoftens fabric and removes odors
White VinegarSoftens fabric, removes odors, and brightens colors
White Distilled VinegarRemove stains and odors

Type Of Fabric

You need to know that vinegar shouldn’t be used for all types of fabric. As vinegar has a high acidity level, delicate fabrics such as silk or wool may be damaged. So, it is best to avoid vinegar in the washing machine when cleaning these delicate fabrics.

Proper Amount

While natural cleaning agents like vinegar can take your cleaning clothes to the next level, excessive amounts of it can damage it. Well, the amount of vinegar depends on the clothes you will put in the washing machine.

Nevertheless, the rule of thumb is that you put 1/2 to 1 cup (120-240 ml) of vinegar for a regular load of clothes. 

On the other hand, a heavy load may require more vinegar to be effective. Similarly, if the clothes are extremely odorous, then more vinegar is recommended. 

Right Time To Add Vinegar

Most of us think that you can add vinegar to a load of clothes anytime you want. That’s why some use vinegar before the clothes are loaded on the washing machine, while others use vinegar after the clothes are loaded. Well, the combinations are endless and affect the effectiveness of the cleaning. 

Well, the optimum time to add vinegar to your washing machine is during the rinse cycle. This enables the vinegar and water to combine and disperse equally throughout the load. Since adding it during the wash cycle can lessen its effectiveness, avoid doing so.

Mixing Vinegar With Other Chemicals

One of our common tendencies is that we want the best cleaning possible. As a result, we add vinegar with other cleaning agents, such as bleach, to get a better result. Well, this is the last thing you want to do.

Vinegar should never be combined with bleach or other chemicals because it is exceedingly unsafe to do so. Chemical mixes, such as vinegar and bleach, can produce toxic fumes, such as chlorine gas, that can be damaging or even fatal if inhaled.

Post Maintenance After Using Vinegar

We often forget about the post-maintenance you need to do after using vinegar in your washing machine. Using vinegar in your washing machine can aid in preventing the accumulation of soap suds and mineral deposits. However, there are some maintenance requirements you need to do.

To keep your machine in top shape, it’s still essential to carry out routine maintenance procedures. This includes emptying the detergent dispenser and conducting periodic cleaning cycles.

Here’s a video that will inform you how to maintain your washing machine;

Benefits of Using Vinegar in Washing Machine for Laundry

Benefits of Using Vinegar in Washing Machine for Laundry

There are numerous benefits you may get from using vinegar in a washing machine for laundry. They are;

  • Since vinegar has the power to eliminate scents, adding vinegar to your laundry can help remove unwanted aromas from the clothes you wash.
  • Vinegar is an excellent fabric softener and can help your clothes feel less rough.
  • Vinegar can help restore the brightness of colors by removing these residues and mineral deposits.
  • As vinegar is quite cheap, it can save you money on expensive fabric softeners and odor removers.
  • Since vinegar is biodegradable, it is an eco-friendly option to use on your clothes.

Can You Put Vinegar in a Washing Machine to Clean the Machine?

Can You Put Vinegar in a Washing Machine to Clean the Machine

In general, it is safe to use vinegar to clean the washing machine. Vinegar has acetic acid, which makes it effective in breaking down and dissolving mineral deposits. Furthermore, it eliminates soap scum that can accumulate in the drum of your washing machine over time.

As a result, vinegar has made its name among washing machine users to effectively remove dirt, grime, and odors. However, there are some washing machines that you can’t use vinegar to clean with. 

This is where the manual that comes with your washing machine comes in handy. The manufacturer’s manual may advise against using vinegar or other acidic substances in their machines. It’s because the vinegar can potentially damage certain components or rubber seals. 

Risk Factors: Washing Machines To Avoid Using Vinegar

Risk Factors Washing Machines To Avoid Using Vinegar

Some washing machines aren’t made to use vinegar within it. This is where the manufacturer-provided manual comes in handy. 

Manufacturers often include warnings or recommendations against using certain cleaning agents, including vinegar. This will only be seen in the manual if it’s an anti-vinegar washing machine.

On the other hand, vinegar shouldn’t be used in washing machines that have rubber gaskets or seals. Since vinegar is acidic, extended exposure to it can eventually cause rubber materials to degrade.

Top-Load Vs Front Load Washing Machines

There are two common types of washing machines: top-load and front-load. Generally, front-load machines are more susceptible to risks than front-load ones.

When vinegar is added to a front-load washing machine, it can leak into the drain pump and cause rubber gaskets and O-rings to wear out. It is mostly due to its horizontal drum and central agitator design, which causes leaks and other problems. 

Additionally, the front-load machine design produces a more humid atmosphere, which might promote mold and mildew growth on the clothing and inside the machine. Using vinegar in a front-loading machine could worsen the problem by providing an excellent habitat for mold and mildew to grow.

On the other hand, top-load washing machines have a more open design that allows the vinegar to disperse and leave more quickly. As a result, it lowers the chance of machine damage and mold growth.


Let’s check out some commonly asked questions regarding vinegar and its uses in the washing machine.

Can I use vinegar with hard water in a washing machine?

If you live in an area with hard water, using vinegar in your washing machine may not be the best option. Hard water contains high levels of minerals, which react heavily with acids and damage the washing machine’s performance in the long run.

What can I add with vinegar to boost its effectiveness?

You can add baking soda, lemon juice, and salt with vinegar to boost its effectiveness. Adding these will provide the vinegar to fight odor and stains more effectively.


We hope this has answered your question of whether you can put vinegar in the washing machine. Just ensure you are using the right type of vinegar, such as white vinegar, and using 1/2 to 1 cup for a regular load. Additionally, use vinegar during the rinse cycle.

On the other hand, do not make the mistake of mixing any cleaning agent with the vinegar. Also, don’t use vinegar in a washing machine with gaskets or rubber seals.

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