No, it's not a myth: Vinegar can truly improve your washing, making your clothes cleaner than ever before. But, you don't need it for everything.
"Most detergents are formulated at a specific pH to work best, and directly adding vinegar can interrupt the active ingredients and actually create more problems, like discoloration and poor cleaning," Tide senior scientist Sammy Wang told Marthastewart.com. "Vinegar has a low pH (typically three to five), so it can help dissolve away residues that bind body soils to fabrics."
From combating underarm odor to brightening white clothing, here are the top reasons to use vinegar in your laundry.
Mildew and underarm odor
According to The Spruce, the acetic acid found in distilled white vinegar is strong enough to dissolve residues left by soaps and detergents while remaining weak enough to damage fabrics. Adding half a cup of vinegar to the final rinse cycle of your laundry will lead to brighter, clearer colors. The vinegar also acts as a whitener for stained white socks, dirty dishcloths and delicates.
To remove underarm odor from clothes, keep a spray bottle full of undiluted white vinegar on hand. Spray the vinegar directly on the underarm fabric and let it rest for 10 minutes. Then toss the piece of clothing into the washing machine with the rest of your laundry.
Washing your clothes with half a cup of distilled white vinegar, instead of standard detergents, is a great hypoallergenic alternative, Healthline reported.
People with sensitive skin can sometimes be irritated by the harsh chemicals used in certain detergents. Utilizing vinegar in place of these more standard detergents can lead to less irritation while keeping your laundry clean.
A great fabric softener
Vinegar can be a great fabric softener alternative, according to SF Gate. To use vinegar as a fabric softener, pour half of a cup of distilled white vinegar into the detergent or fabric softener dispenser during the final rinse cycle. Adding a few drops of essential oils can give your clothes a wonderful fragrance as well.