Why You Should Be Adding Vinegar When Hand-Washing Summer Clothes

Summer wardrobes are all about lightweight fabrics like cotton and linen. These fabrics are comfortable and airy, which is exactly what you need for warm weather dressing. But they can come with a downside: Because cotton and linen are delicate, there's a fine line between caring for them and destroying them. And anyone who has been shopping recently knows that a linen button-down shirt is pretty costly, so you don't want to make any laundry mistakes that will ruin your nice summer clothing.

So, if your closet is full of summer-weight clothes, here is a clever laundry tip you should keep in your back pocket: add vinegar to your hand-washing routine. While cotton and linen pieces can go into a washing machine for a delicate, cold-wash cycle, hand-washing is the best way to ensure delicate clothing's longevity. You could risk shrinking cotton clothes or damaging the texture of linen if you don't follow the proper care steps. Hand-washing these delicates is a safe way to keep your clothing clean without being harsh on the fabrics. 

However, anyone who has tried hand-washing has seen that these gentler steps can be too gentle on stains. Plus, it takes a long time under the faucet to remove all traces of soap or detergent. This is where vinegar comes in. Add a splash of white vinegar when hand-washing to give your laundry its best clean. Just take care not to overuse this trick to avoid causing long-term damage to delicate clothing.

How to wash your clothing with vinegar

Many people know that you can use vinegar to keep your house clean, and the same principles apply to laundry. Vinegar removes stains and odors, plus it can act as a natural fabric softener. That makes it a perfect ingredient to add to your summer laundry recipe.

Next time you hand-wash your summer clothes, try mixing a small amount of vinegar into the water of the final rinse to neutralize odors and remove any lingering soap from the fabric. The all-purpose ingredient is tough on stains while gentle on fabrics, so you can use it as a pre-wash soak to loosen stains, especially when caring for white clothing. Vinegar is particularly useful when dealing with tougher stains like oil-based foods, coffee, and grass, so this pre-wash soak can also save you time that you would have otherwise spent scrubbing with a premade stain remover. Plus, despite vinegar's pungent smell, it actually does remove odors, making it a great option for sweaty clothing. 

Do note that this trick is not an alternative to soap or detergent. Rather, it is an additional step that can be added to hand-washing your laundry in order to keep your clothes as clean as a machine can, without putting your clothes through a potentially damaging spin cycle. Thus, when used in your laundry process, vinegar can keep clothes looking clean, feeling fresh, and smelling good.