I get commissions for purchases made through links in this post. Learn more.

Can You Use Vinegar And Laundry Detergent Together? (Solved!)

Washing the laundry is among the house chores we frequently do. Clean clothes give a great first impression, which is why you have to do a perfect job when cleaning them.

However, laundry supplies have become expensive, and people are looking for alternative bleaching agents to help whiten their garments.

Can you use Vinegar and laundry detergent together?

This is a question that runs through the minds of people who are yet to try using Vinegar to wash clothes. Vinegar is one of these sought-after solutions that can replace bleach to whiten your clothes.

If you’ve been wondering if you can mix Vinegar with your laundry detergent to whiten your garments, you’re welcome to skim through this article for insight on how to clean your clothes with laundry detergent and Vinegar.

Can You Use Vinegar And Laundry Detergent Together?

While Vinegar is helpful in cleaning and disinfecting your clothes, adding it to your laundry detergent is a hopeless move. Add Vinegar to your load to make it effective.


Vinegar is an acidic solution that most people use in the kitchen. Aside from its effectiveness as a key ingredient in making your meat tender and tastier, you can use this solution to whiten your white clothes.

Acetic acid is the main component in this liquid that makes it an effective bleaching agent. A small quantity of Vinegar can work magic when it comes to removing stains that have been set on your clothes.

However, you have to use warm to hot water with this solution if you want to observe any significant changes in your laundry.

Laundry Detergent

Laundry detergent, on the other hand, is an alkaline product. The primary facilitator in the production of soap is sodium hydroxide, also commonly known as caustic potash.

Manufacturers add carrier oils, water, and scents to sodium hydroxide to produce these laundry detergents that make washing your laundry an easy task. Detergents, therefore, are like alkaline.


So, if you mix Vinegar and laundry detergent, you make both components obsolete. None of them will work, considering that a chemical reaction will occur, turning the two into a neutral solution and salt.

An acid mixed with an alkaline solution forms salt and water. In this case, NaOH + Vinegar works the same way.

Without its alkaline potency, soap loses its power to fight dirt and stubborn stains on your clothes. The same applies to Vinegar; when stripped off its acetic acid, you end up with water that cannot bleach your clothes.

Can Vinegar Replace Laundry Detergent?

Vinegar cannot be a substitute for laundry detergent in any way. It won’t remove all the stains on your clothes, especially if you do not use hot water while cleaning the laundry.

You can use Vinegar for a variety of purposes when cleaning your clothes. The solution is a mild acid that you can use to substitute laundry detergent, fabric softener, and disinfectant.

While it works perfectly for the last two purposes, you cannot rely on Vinegar to clean your laundry as well as a detergent.

As I mentioned above, the solution is a mild acid, which means that you have to use a significant amount of it in your clothes to observe any notable results. Even so, the results won’t be consistent.

Additionally, Vinegar is not an effective bleach when it comes to removing some stains such as blood, egg stains, and other stubborn stains that have already been set on the fabric.

And while this product is perfect for cleaning white clothes, it is regrettably not the ideal option when it comes to washing colored garments. All kinds of bleach use oxidation as a way of cleaning garments.

This process breaks down the bonds of color chromophores, which reflect no color or one outside the visible spectrum, which our eyes pick up as white.

You may argue that the acid in Vinegar is not strong enough to discolor the colored clothes. This statement is true and false at the same time because the acid in Vinegar won’t bleach the dyed clothes instantly but gradually.

And depending on the quality of dye used on your garments, some clothes may record changes instantly.

How Do I Add Vinegar To Laundry?

The time you add Vinegar to your laundry depends on what effect you want to achieve from using it. If you are looking to clear the stains from the fabric, you can add the solution to your load at the beginning of the wash.

You may have to stall, adding the laundry detergent for a few minutes to allow the bleach to work its magic on the clothes. Once the machine completes the first rinse, you can add the detergent and let the machine wash the load regularly.

Vinegar is also an excellent disinfectant and a fabric softener. So, if you want to kill the germs from your garments, wait until the second last rinse and add Vinegar to the load.

If you’d love to enjoy its fabric softening properties, use it in the final rinse.

Final Take

Can you use Vinegar and laundry detergent together? No, you cannot. However, you can use these two separately, allowing each cleaning agent to work its purpose. You can use Vinegar for multiple purposes around the house.

This acidic solution is both mild and gentle and is effective in removing some stains from your clothes. Thanks to its acidic nature, it can also be used to disinfect. Vinegar also doubles up as a fabric softener, so you can use it to soften your clothes.

However, you cannot substitute it for laundry detergent because it is not strong enough to fight stubborn stains and detergents. Remember that mixing vinegar and laundry detergent simultaneously makes both items obsolete.

The mixture turns into salt and water, which cannot clean your clothes. You can either use Vinegar as a bleach before cleaning your load or as a disinfectant and fabric softener after the detergent cleans the clothes.

It’s all about what comes first and the cleaning process you put your clothes through.

Queen of Chores