Question About Vinegar in FL Rinse

beanwabrDecember 3, 2008

I've read here about using white vinegar in your final rinse. I have a front loader and I tried using it in a load of towels today (put it in the softener dispenser). After drying in the dryer, they were kind of stiff and did have a scent of vinegar about them.

What am I doing wrong? Using too much, or not enough? I put about what a capful of liquid fabric softener would have been. I thought they shouldn't smell so strongly and that they would be softer than they were. Any advice please? I'd really like to make this happen...the price of bottled softener in the stores in getting outrageous. Thanks!

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they shouldn't smell at all anything like vinegar. try running it through an extra rinse and see how that goes. let us know!!

    Bookmark   December 4, 2008 at 12:00AM
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I usually use about 1/3 c. of vinegar - that's in a HUGE load of towels. Even if I smell it before I put them into the dryer, the smell has disappeared when they come out. Did you dry the towels? If so, can you still smell the vinegar?

    Bookmark   December 4, 2008 at 12:07AM
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How big a cap?

    Bookmark   December 4, 2008 at 10:15AM
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Thanks everyone! I did use the extra rinse feature (always do). Yes, I dried the towels in my dryer, but still smell vinegar on them when folding and then again as I'm drying off after my shower; plus they are on the rough side, compared to before I did this. The cap size, not sure the amount (it is on the small size), but I was using Snuggle liquid fabric softener 60 load, so whatever that size is would be the same as the amount of vinegar I put in...I didn't measure, but put in to the same spot to fill up dispenser as I would normally do.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2008 at 1:30PM
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I use up to 1 cup of vinegar in my LG washer F/S with no problems.

link: ReaderÂs Digest vinegar in the washing machine

    Bookmark   December 4, 2008 at 10:49PM
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I had the same results. Tried it once, and it made the towels really stiff. Took several washings to make them soft again. I use laundry soap, not detergent, and everything comes out nice and soft without fabric softener.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2008 at 12:49AM
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Put a little FS in the dispenser, then top it off with vinegar. You'll get the best of both worlds.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2008 at 7:35PM
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I'm still trying to work this out. Another question: should I still be using dryer sheets while drying when I'm using vinegar in my washer rinse cycle? Thanks for all the info and tips!

    Bookmark   December 8, 2008 at 4:46PM
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For years I've used about 1 TBSP fabric softener and filled up the dispenser cup with white vinegar, in both my old Kenmore TL and in the new Maytag FL I used for 4 months before moving. I always thought my towels were soft and fluffy in the old TL, but in the new FL they just got softer and fluffier every wash. I used Charlie's Soap and had soft water.

I'm now in an apartment while building. I do my laundry at the complex laundry room or go either daughters' house -- one has a TL and one a FL. Towels are okay, but not as nice as at home. I suspect it's the hard water. We'll see what happens when I get into the new house, have soft water again, and new W and D.

Years ago, when I switched from full recommended quantity of FS to the smaller amount plus vinegar, it took quite a while to notice a difference. Same thing when I went to the FL -- I think it takes a while for all the old FS and detergent to wash out.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2008 at 12:40AM
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I've always had an aversion to fabric softner; can't handle commercial scents. I also don't care for the build up of fabric softner in clothes. Using the vinegar should help prevent the build up. I'd never heard of using it for that purpose. I've used vinegar in the last rinse cycle when I use bleach or if I accidently over use detergent in a load. It cuts the bleach or soap and leaves the clothes fresh.

I only use MelaPower fresh scent liquid laundry detergent, an eco friendly product by Melaleuca Inc. My towels are lovely and soft, unless I line dry, then they are a bit stiff. We do have soft water. I also am cautious not to overuse detergent. Just a 1/2 oz. of my detergent does the job. MelaPower is a product you have to have a membership to order each month. It's well worth it, I couldn't be without many of their cleaning products. I also have used Shakley (sp?) laundry detergent and Amway. I know they have a stigma, but they really are better, in my mind. The clothes get very clean, have no commercial scent, more economical than "store bought", usually more eco friendly. I do love Melaleuca's fabric softner sheets and liquid fabric softner, just don't feel the need. Can't wait to try the vinegar spacifically as a softner. Bonnie

    Bookmark   December 10, 2008 at 2:52AM
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Try putting the vinegar into the bleach dispenser. This will allow it to do its thing in the first rinse. Then, it will be rinsed away in the second and final rinses.


    Bookmark   December 10, 2008 at 8:00AM
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Although I've never had a problem with residual vinegar odor, I'm trying a load that way. One thing I noticed immediately was that the maximum bleach "dose" is a lot larger than the maximum fabric softener dose. I did my best to pour the usual amount of vinegar.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2008 at 4:01PM
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A suggestion for softening towels: Put at least 1/2 c. baking soda directly in the tub of the washer before loading the towels. Baking soda definitely softens water. Since I've been doing this, my towels are softer than ever.

(I do also use 1/3 c. vinegar in the rinse.)

I'm sorry I didn't think to post this earlier. HTH

    Bookmark   December 14, 2008 at 6:07AM
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Vinegar in the bleach dispenser will put vinegar into the wash cycle.

I have noticed that vinegar removes the caked on fabric softener from my dispenser and the washing machine lid.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2008 at 8:59PM
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Back to your initial question. I am surprised that you smell the vinegar. You must have a much more sensitive nose than I do...although I'm not opposed to the scent of vinegar, I guess if you are sensitive to it, you might be.

I have been adding 1/4 cup of vinegar to my rinse, since just before I changed to a front loader. I had already switched to Charlie's Soap for my top loader and using vinegar in the rinse. I had been using vinegar to 'set' color in my wash for several years before. I don't recall ever smelling it though.

Have you tried an extended rinse?

    Bookmark   December 15, 2008 at 1:37AM
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I have a frigidaire affinity. My bleach dispenser dispenses at intervals during the first few rinse cycles. On the occasions I add vinegar for a rinse, I fill my bleach dispenser to max and then add some to my softener dispencer to min. That way enough vinegar can gradually get into the water to help get anything off and not too much in the final rinse to make everything stink.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2008 at 11:03AM
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Happymom, I think you are mistaken about how the bleach dispenser works on a washing machine. It dispenses bleach shortly after the start of the wash cycle, after the machine has filled and all of the clothes are saturated with soapy water. Adding vinegar (a sour) to the wash cycle will counteract the detergent. Detergents are alkaline, and need this alkaline environment to clean properly. A sour is acidic and is added to the rinse cycle to help rinse out soaps, and counteract any lingering chlorine bleach.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2008 at 4:10PM
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In my LG the bleach is dispensed long after the wash cycle has been running. Actually it's in the last 4-5 minutes of the wash cycle. Clothing doesn't need to be subjected to a long bleaching, that will only weaken the fibers and cause rotting of some materials.

Vinegar will help with some problems when used in the wash cycle as well as being used in the final rinse.
Click the link below.

Here is a link that might be useful: Vinegar Uses

    Bookmark   December 16, 2008 at 9:45PM
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I think you may be mistaken, phillygrl, as all washing machines do not necessarily work the same way. Our Duet's owner's manual says (on page 13) that "bleach will be automatically diluted and dispensed at the best time during the first rinse after the wash cycle". It also says "fabric softener is dispensed in the rinse cycle, and if an extra rinse is selected, the fabric softener will be dispensed during the extra rinse". Clear? I have no disagreements with your chemistry lesson.

Here is a link that might be useful: Duet's Owner's Manual

    Bookmark   December 16, 2008 at 9:46PM
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In regards to bleach dispensing, different machines dispense at different times. One must be familiar with one's own machine to know its timing.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2008 at 10:23PM
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I did not know there was such a variation on when bleach was added to the wash on these new machines. If the Duet is adding it during the first rinse, I would add vinegar to the softener dispenser to help rinse out the bleach.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2008 at 11:06PM
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In which compartment would you recommend putting the vinegar if one isn't using bleach?

    Bookmark   December 17, 2008 at 11:31PM
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