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If I told you that I had the perfect laundry routine you’d probably expect a laundry list (haha see what I did there) of expensive cleaning products and hours of work. Well, I am here to tell you that I am about to blow your mind with the easiest hack in the world.

Years ago, I went through a period of my life where I was between jobs and had to cut back on expenses big time. As someone who is a self-proclaimed neat freak, one of my concerns was cutting back too drastically on cleaning products and ending up with nasty clothes and a dirty house. It just wasn’t a compromise I wanted to make.

Thankfully, I did some investigating and found out that one of the best and most versatile cleaners in the world was right in my cabinet. And not only was it a wonderful cleaning solution, but it was also VERY cheap.

Wanna take one guess as to what it is? Vinegar!

When I told my husband, you should have seen the look on his face. “The house is going to smell like a pickle,” he explained. And to be honest, I was a bit worried too. But, I soon found out that as the vinegar dries, the smell evaporates, leaving behind a much cleaner and better-smelling surface than you could imagine. Not only that, but especially for laundry, vinegar stood well above the rest of any other products I had ever used.

Here are 6 reasons why vinegar stands above the rest when it comes to laundry:

1. It removes mildew from clothing.

Oftentimes, when pesky mildew gets on clothing, it can be so bad that you simply have to toss it out. Thankfully, vinegar does a wonderful job at removing not only the appearance of the mildew, but also that yucky smell. And it’s so simple to do.
Simply fill the washer with hot water and two cups of vinegar (white vinegar) and run a complete cycle.

2. It brightens and whitens.

Not only does it remove mildew, but vinegar also brightens and whitens your clothes and towels. To do this, add vinegar to your fabric softener dispenser or directly to clothes at the end of a rinse cycle.

3. It removes stains.

Forget OxyClean, vinegar is about to replace all of those expensive stain fighters. Simply pour 3 parts of vinegar into a spray bottle and add one part of water. Shake the solution up and spray directly on stains. For more persistent stains, use a soft toothbrush to brush in the solution.

4. It’s a natural fabric softener.

Because vinegar contains acetic acid, it’s wonderful for removing residue while remaining mild on fabrics. Simply add half a cup in your final rinse cycle for softer clothing!

5. It reduces lint and pet hair.

As a dog owner, I struggle with pet hair getting stuck to all of my clothing. And sometimes, I accidentally put in a pair of my favorite leggings with some towels. Talk about annoying. But, to remove those pieces of lint and pet hair, while also making your clothing more resistant to these things, add half a cup to your rinse cycle.

6. It preserves the color of your clothing.

If you are like me, and like to wear black or colorful clothing, but hate when the fabric begins to fade, vinegar is perfect for your laundry. Add half a cup to the final rinse cycle to remove residue or buildup on the fabric, and refresh the colors.