Return to the Laundry Room Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
DON'T use vinegar in your washing machine

Posted by larsi (My Page) on
Tue, Feb 23, 10 at 17:42

Today we had a service call from our favourite Miele Senior technician. He said to NEVER use vinegar in the washing machine or the dishwasher Yes, it shines the stainless, but he said it totally eats and rots the rubber hoses and seals. He went on to say that they can always tell the machines that are used with vinegar. He says hoses and rubber seals and parts many times just crumble in his hands, when service is performed!

He said yes it is chemical free, but it is NOT good for the machines. Liquid fabric softener is 100% safe, when used as directed & with normal use...it does NOT build up or gunk the machine (especially if a regular clean machine cycle is done).


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: DON'T use vinegar in your washing machine

So these hoses and seals can stand up to 60C-95C hot water, highly alkaline detergents, stain-eating enzymes, oxygen bleach and even caustic chlorine bleach but can't handle less than a cup of vinegar diluted in a few gallons of rinse water??

I think he was trying to sell you some more fabric softener IMO....


 o
RE: DON'T use vinegar in your washing machine

Although diluted, vinegar IS an acid, so it's not inconceivable.


 o
RE: DON'T use vinegar in your washing machine

True, but vinegar is a very dilute, weak acid... you can eat it, after all! And Miele's own "washing machine cleaner" is, from what I understand, concentrated citric acid which would seem counter-intutitive if the hoses and seals are that acid sensitive.


 o
RE: DON'T use vinegar in your washing machine

For what it's worth, the maker of Senseo coffee machines says that vinegar can damage them, and recommends citric acid instead.

Here is a link that might be useful: http://www.senseo.us/Style Library/Senseo/Content/Appliances/Leaflets/Descaling.pdf


 o
RE: DON'T use vinegar in your washing machine

Mystery clock...The Miele tech was not trying to sell or push anything he's a Senior Technician for California! He specifically said it does not matter if one uses Downy, Snuggle, Miele Care Collection or German Vernel softener. ALL Miele units are factory tested with softener use!

He said the chemical makeup of vinegar is not suitable for the rubber, seals and some plastics! Any fabric softener is not only safe, but recommended by Miele & used by Miele! He said that vinegar is actually bad for all makes of dishwashers and washing machines....German, American or Korean.

It is up to you, if you do not want to believe him, or argue with him. May I ask, are you a factory trained Miele technician, with almost 20 years of Miele experience?


 o
RE: DON'T use vinegar in your washing machine

I've been using vinegar instead of fabric softener in my GE for about 3 years now. Absolutely no problems. I understand the idea behind it because vinegar is acidic but mystery clock has a point. Wouldn't bleach do just as much, if not more, damage?


 o
RE: DON'T use vinegar in your washing machine

Chemically, there is a difference between vinegar (acetic acid) and citric acid.

But it's not much. Both are weak acids.


 o
RE: DON'T use vinegar in your washing machine

We've been using 1/2 cup of vinegar in the F/S dispenser or our LG washer for years with no problems.

link: Readers Digest vinegar in the washing machine


 o
RE: DON'T use vinegar in your washing machine

Wow, thanks for the tip, larsi! I just got a new Miele washer and I put vinegar in it only twice. I suppose it would take many years to do the real damage. When you think about it, since vinegar is released in the final rinse cycle, some of it probably sits in the drain/pump/hoses etc. until the next load happens which could be days.

My question is, why doesn't the darn Owner's Manual tell us what not to use? (besides solvents and gasoline)

I'm confused about bleach as well...I've read in so many places not to use bleach in a front loader, yet, there is a bleach compartment, and the Miele manual says to use !/2 cup bleach for the "Clean" cycle.

What about Mule Team Borax? Is that safe? Anyone?

I wonder if she could handle a fifth of Vodka! :) (she might go walkin' off!)

Shoot I think I'll just stick to Persil,...


 o
RE: DON'T use vinegar in your washing machine

I have been using vinegar (1/4-1/3 c.) in the rinse in our F/P since we purchased it in 2001 and have never had any problems or repairs with our machine. In fact, vinegar in the rinse was recommended by the technician in order to remove hard water mineral deposits on some part on the machine.

-Grainlady


 o
LCB and Miele

Being curious about it, have done some research
I have had a dog and did his laundry with LCB flushed in the cooldown before main wash drain. The poor pet has passed, the 26 y.o. miele is still working (as 2nd washer, the daily driver is the 11 y.o.)

Miele Professional machines DO have a LCB compartement.
However the manual has a warning [sorry, haven't found any english version to download] :

(italian)
http://www.mieleprofessional.it/media/professional/VG_I/PW_6101-6131_IT.pdf

(german)
http://www1.miele.de/it/de/haushalt/service/sa/manuals.aspx?product_type=PW 6101

" Se si usano cloro o prodotti che lo
contengono, tenere presente che possono
dare origine a corrosioni e, in talune
circostanze, anche ad anomalie di funzionamento
di alcuni componenti."

meaning

" If chlorine or chlorine-based products are used, be aware they may cause corrosion and, on particular circumstances, they may also lead some parts to malfunctioning"

Monaw, the american W48XX and euro (horizontal drum) toploader mieles have a fiberglass outer tub, that's far less prone to LCB oxidation than stainless steel. I guess that's the very reason they confide in the LCB based clean cycle.

I'd also say that if you'll run a couple of loads on the very hot/sanitize temp twice a month with powdered detergent, you'll never need to run the clean tub thing.
Just leave the door close to the latch - not closed -

Today in Europe people rarely wash hotter than 140F and don't have mold problems at all ( and no "clean tub" things).

IMHO the "clean tub" is a (partial) recovery mean for "cold wash only" people disasters


 o
RE: DON'T use vinegar in your washing machine

hidroman, you said:
the american W48XX and euro (horizontal drum) toploader mieles have a fiberglass outer tub, that's far less prone to LCB oxidation than stainless steel. I guess that's the very reason they confide in the LCB based clean cycle.

can you tell me what the outer tub on the Miele W3033 is made of? stainless steel or fiberglass?

Thanks!


 o
RE: DON'T use vinegar in your washing machine

hidroman, my daughter speaks Italian. I'll have her translate the warning and I'll post it later today.

You're probably right about the Clean cycle...with all the stinky washers in the US that was pretty clever of Miele to include that feature for potential buyers, especially those coming from top loaders such as myself. With all of the horror stories online about mold problems, I almost skipped the front loader all together, especially knowing two gals that own them that happen to have very stinky laundry...

I guess I shouldn't have anything to worry about since I run our sheets through sanitize once a week then. (dogs in bed) :)

I wonder why Miele didn't make US washers with the steel outer drum?
I'll bet someone on this forum knows the answer to that one.


 o
RE: DON'T use vinegar in your washing machine

Guess it's SS. Apart of the key-only/ no-dial thing, it looks identical to the W3000 euro serie.

IIRC the only euro key-only models are in W4000 and W6000 series


 o
SS outer tub vs fiberglass outertub.

Hi Monaw,
I guess it has to do with production cost. Metals are getting even more expensive (go figure here in EU in latest years there are even copper wiring thieves on railways). Both the W48XX (that cost 150 USD less than the W3033) and euro toploaders are niche products = higher depreciation rate on each item. That said, fiberglass is also used in nautical production, so there aren't "guinea pig" issues.

Wait for your daughter feedback to check my english skills :)


 o
RE: DON'T use vinegar in your washing machine

I cant comment on if the vinager hurts a machine or not, Ive never used it. My tab water has a ph of 10ppm, so I dont think a little vinager would hurt it if I did use it. Yes fabric softener and detergent both do build up in your machine. If in doubt, fill your washer with warm or hot water and watch the clean water have soap in it when it washes. Even though I really try not to overuse soap and softener, I am not the only one in this house that washes clothers, and yes I found in my own machine, soap in a empty running wash and was not happy with it. Washing machine class 101 started after that! Most people use water the bottle of detergent says to use, not what is actually needed for a lod to be done.


 o
RE: DON'T use vinegar in your washing machine

O-Ring Materials Compatible with Vinegar

O-Ring Materials Compatible with Citric Acid

Just a glance tells you that citric acid is a safer bet, when dealing with seals made of an unknown material


 o
RE: DON'T use vinegar in your washing machine

I specifically asked Speed Queen in an email to them about using Vinegar with our washer and the response back was that it's fine and actually should help with water/soap build up.


 o
RE: DON'T use vinegar in your washing machine

Well if you're adding vinegar (an acid) into clothes saturated with detergent (a base), isn't it going to get neutralized as it reacts with the leftover detergent? That is sort of the whole point in adding it, after all.

Once that occurs, I don't think it could hurt anything since it is no longer acidic, by definition, right?


 o
RE: DON'T use vinegar in your washing machine

I've used it for 5 years in my Duet and had no problems.


 o
RE: DON'T use vinegar in your washing machine

Well it cleaned the mess out of mine today, as I made a post about it on here and everything I have read on it on the interet says you can use it is a washer, FL or TL.


 o
On the subject of vinegar in the dishwasher

This was taken from the British G2833 (LaPerla) dishwasher manual:

Rinse Aid

[...]

Alternatively, it is possible to use
Household vinegar with a max. 5%
acid content
or
Liquid citric acid up to 10% acid
content. The resulting rinsing and
drying quality will not, however, be
as good as when rinse aid is used.

Do not use vinegar with a higher
acid content (e.g. vinegar essence
25% acid). This would damage the
dishwasher.

So I guess it's alright to use vinegar in the washer.

Alex

Here is a link that might be useful: scroll to page 22


 o
RE: DON'T use vinegar in your washing machine

...maybe they just use junkier O rings!


 o
RE: DON'T use vinegar in your washing machine

Interesting posts. I use vinegar in rinse for sanitation purposes. I wash aunt's clothes and she is in a nursing home. Has some accidents. She also has sensitive skin so can't use fabric softeners.
Any other suggestions for sanitation?


 o
RE: DON'T use vinegar in your washing machine

I don't believe vinegar should be used for sanitation - it has no anti-microbial action. If you want to sanitize, use high temperatures and bleach. Vinegar will do nothing for sanitization.


 o
RE: DON'T use vinegar in your washing machine

Is it true that vinegar in a front load will show how much soap the top load actually left?


 o
RE: DON'T use vinegar in your washing machine

Are you referring to the "residue myth" as I like to call it? The first time I heard of such a thing was when I read my Asko user manual. I washed all of my clothes without detergent expecting some sort of suds explosion, but nothing happened. Not one bubble, and the water was clear. I can't imagine how much detergent someone must be using, and how poorly their machine must rinse, in order to have enough residue built up in their clothing to show suds when they are washed in a front loader. Some people say they've seen it, but I just don't buy into it.

Similarly, I don't buy into the claim that Charlie's Soap will clean your clothes (and washer) of residue from previous detergents. If we had that much residue in our clothes, don't you think they would feel stiff and scratchy? It's nice to claim things when you can't actually observe the claim to verify its accuracy. It's kind of like believing in God - it takes an enormous leap of faith to believe something that you can't see, observe, or measure, yet people still believe.

Use the minimum amount of detergent required to clean your clothes, rinse sufficiently, and the rest will work itself out. If there is any "residue" in your clothes, why would you need another detergent to clean it out? Wouldn't a simple rinse suffice? Common sense prevails here.


 o
RE: DON'T use vinegar in your washing machine

sshrivastava, from what I've read vinegar can kill mold/germs/etc. but has not been "certified" as such because who would want to buy a food product that carried a label like Lysol on it! That being said, it was ~undiluted~ vinegar that was suggested for this use, so I agree that as a rinse agent diluted in gallons of water it probably wouldn't do much other than neutralize some of the soap.

If you feel you really need to sanitize, bleach or Lysol concentrate (in the little brown bottle -- *not* the all-in-one cleaner kind) is your best friend. Unless your washer can do a real euro-style "boilwash" @ 95C I wouldn't trust temperature alone.

Then again, the physical action of washing (wet clothes rubbing together) coupled with alkaline detergent is a relatively inhospitable environment for many germs, and should be good enough for all but the most extreme cases.

CA-MRSA is removed by "normal laundry procedures" according to the CDC (see below)

Here is a link that might be useful: CDC CA-MRSA guidelines


 o
RE: DON'T use vinegar in your washing machine

All I know is that I'm taking the gallon of vinegar out of my laundry room.

Hopefully I won't have nightmares.


 o
RE: DON'T use vinegar in your washing machine

I remember reading about people who went from a TL to a FL and were told that the first few times you may not have to add detergent, due to residual soap left behind. I can beleive this some cases. I know a couple with 4 kids, so they have to wash daily. They have a conventional top loader, the wife uses one full cap of 3x detergent, 1 full cap of Clorax 2 (to the top of the cap lid) and a half of cup of oxyclean per full load in a GE TL...and wonders why her clothes dont feel soft and clean. Her husband does laundry too, he told me one day that his wife uses too much soap and when he does clothes, he either uses little detergent or non at all LOL. He ask me to watch what she puts in there because I didnt beleive him


 o
RE: DON'T use vinegar in your washing machine

I remember reading about people who went from a TL to a FL and were told that the first few times you may not have to add detergent, due to residual soap left behind.
Yes, that's what I was trying to remember.
LOL, that's the point isn't it, even the finest products are miss used!


 o
RE: DON'T use vinegar in your washing machine

Wow...glad this thread is here. I have used vinegar for years in machines. Hmmmmm...may rethink.


 o
RE: DON'T use vinegar in your washing machine

I did find that my first load of clothes with Charlie's Soap was a bit stiff, though the stiffness disappeared with a 2nd wash of the same clothes. I don't think there was much buildup in the machine itself, but there definitely was in the clothes, even though I hadn't used fabric softener in years. Some ingredients in conventional detergents are designed to be left in the clothes to keep them soft. It may take 2 launderings to totally remove these. When those special ingredients are only halfway washed out, they do leave clothes a bit stiff.


 o
RE: DON'T use vinegar in your washing machine

According to The Wall Street Journal:

Seventh Generation's co-founder, Jeffrey Hollender, wonders why more people haven't stumbled upon laundry's big, dirty secret: "You don't even need soap to wash most loads," he says. The agitation of washing machines often does the job on its own.

Here is a link that might be useful: Seventh Generation says


 o
RE: DON'T use vinegar in your washing machine

Water chemistry, greasy soils, and other such factors disagree with his statement. Coat your hands with grease, cooking oil, or ordinary dirt, then try washing them under running water without soap/detergent vs. with soap/detergent and make note of the difference in results.


 o
RE: DON'T use vinegar in your washing machine

What's interesting is that the statement was made by one of Seventh Generation's co-founders of all people. It's such an anti-establishment statement by a detergent manufacturer to say, essentially, that you don't really need our product. I give him props for that.

If you rubbed your hands under running water long enough, I suspect you will remove the majority of the grease or dirt. Soap accelerates the process. With enough mechanical action, hot water, and time you probably would never need detergent. But because we don't want to shower for an hour and rub our skin red to clean ourselves, we use soap. Also, detergents contain ingredients to keep our machines clean.

If someone were to only use water for laundry and nothing else, I wonder what the inside of that machine would look like after 6 months. Yikes!


 o
RE: DON'T use vinegar in your washing machine

and smell?


 o
RE: DON'T use vinegar in your washing machine

One of my dogs just let one go as I was reading that. Nice.


 o
RE: DON'T use vinegar in your washing machine

sshrivastava said:
< ... With enough mechanical action, hot water, and time ...

ahh... but most now use cold water for washing (I use warm)

Ever try to wash your hands with soap and cold water ?


 o
RE: DON'T use vinegar in your washing machine

sshrivastava, I'm not sure what belief in God has to do with this thread, or forum, for that matter. But since you brought it up, I would point out the fact that man is not only a physical creature; he also has a mind, will, emotions, and spirit. Many people do report experiencing God on a spiritual level. Others cannot disprove their experience.

Back to the forum and thread: The Reader's Digest article linked by Suburbanmd reports that vinegar does kill bacteria; I have also read that info elsewhere. Since that article was linked by a doctor, I would think he most likely agrees with it. If not, he can let us know.


 o
RE: DON'T use vinegar in your washing machine

Umm, the "md" in my name is my state, not my degree :-) And I didn't link that particular article.


 o
RE: DON'T use vinegar in your washing machine


 o
RE: DON'T use vinegar in your washing machine

Thanks for the correction, suburbanmd. It was regus_patoff who posted the link to the Reader's Digest article about the uses of vinegar.


 o
RE: DON'T use vinegar in your washing machine

>He said yes it is chemical free,

No, it isn't. What, exactly, does he think that "chemical" means?

sshrivastava, you just get a kick out of being a complete a-hole? Or does being an atheist mean to you that you don't have to treat others with a shred of decency or respect?


 o
RE: DON'T use vinegar in your washing machine

reyesuela said:

sshrivastava, you just get a kick out of being a complete a-hole? Or does being an atheist mean to you that you don't have to treat others with a shred of decency or respect

What the hell are you talking about?


 o
RE: DON'T use vinegar in your washing machine

regus_patoff,

You could get your hands clean but you'd be rubbing all day long. Detergent accelerates the process. Cleaning, assuming a supply of water, would be largely a function of detergent, mechanical action, and water temperature. Reduce any one of those factors and you have to compensate by increasing one or more of the others.


 o
RE: DON'T use vinegar in your washing machine

larsi, I have to disagree with the tech's comments about how "bad" vinegar is for the washers.


 o
RE: DON'T use vinegar in your washing machine

I've used vinegar in my Duet for over 8 years. My husband put a new motor in about a year ago, and he just recently replaced the bearings and rebuilt the pump while he was at it. It's as good as new now. the vinegar has not ruined my hoses, or any other part on that washer. It's a better washer now than the new Duets. Hoses are supposed to be replaced periodically anyway because they deteriorate with age.


 o
vinegar

Whew!


 o
RE: DON'T use vinegar in your washing machine

I, too, don't find anything wrong with using vinegar. Vinegar, right out of the bottle, is a pretty mild acid. A small amount of that mild acid is then dissolved in your machine with several gallons of water. It's truly harmless.


 o
RE: DON'T use vinegar in your washing machine

Duet is now almost 7.5 yrs old. I've used vinegar in the rinse all this time, although I do not see how you could possibly use 1/2 cup, even if you fill the Fab softener dispenser AND bleach dispenser with vinegar, I don't think that would amount to 1/2 cup. At any rate, I'm not exactly sure how much vinegar I'm using. I do know that on colored and lights I dilute 1/2 vinegar and 1/2 fab softener in the fab softener dispenser, and then fill the bleach dispenser with vinegar. On whites, I do not use fabric softener and just fill the fab softener dispenser with vinegar, and the bleach dispenser with bleach.


 o
RE: DON'T use vinegar in your washing machine

Ok ... I'm going to go all chem-geek here. Citric acid is way stronger than acetic acid, as far as acting "acidly" goes:

It has 3 protons in its structure; therefore it has 3 ionization constants. The first ionization constant
K(c) = 7.4 x 10^-4.

Acetic acid is a monoprotic acid, which has only one carboxylic group and its ionization constant
K(a) = 1.75 x 10^-5.

Now, the ratio of K(c) and K(a) shows you:

K(c) / K(a) = (7.4 x 10^-4) / (1.75 x 10^-5) = 42

Conclusion: Citric acid is 42 stronger than acetic acid.

============
If the Miele guy cares to show how a stronger acid won't do what a weaker acid supposedly does, I'd like to see it.

It would depend on the amount of their cleaner, and how much of each acid is available for reacting with the fittings.


 o
RE: DON'T use vinegar in your washing machine

And, looking at the table of what material o-rings need to be to be safe for vinegar versus citric acid solutions, I note that ALL the common materials (Butyl rubber, silicon, teflon) are rated as OK for both.

The one flop - polyacrylate - is a stellar material to use with solvents. It will never show up in your clothes washers


 o
RE: DON'T use vinegar in your washing machine

lazy, you didn't mention neoprene.


 o
RE: DON'T use vinegar in your washing machine

Read most of these posts and for the most part a vital element has been missed. Having a sparkly clean washing machine means almost nothing. The top loading washing machine has two important elements. A large circular basket that holds the clothes. It has a bunch of holes in it. The second part is a large tank that the basket sits in. It is this tank that gets filthy from soap scum. If you were to remove the basket (the one you can see with the holes in it) you would see the interior of the larger tank. If you machine has any mileage on it at all you can scrape the soap scum off this tank with a putty knife. It is the soap scum that you want to remove and why hot water and soaking are important. Nothing but water is in this tank so nothing can scrub this soap scum off other than some kind of solvent and soaking - Unless, of course, you remove the basket - this would mean finding out how to raise the framing on the top of the washer, removing the agitator, and then removing a rather large bolt and removing the basket - this is a fairly labor intensive job and why it is important to use some kind of cleaner that will remove this scum - and why it is also important to use the minimum amount of detergent. I do NOT have the answer for what to use to get this job done. I am sure there is something that will dissolve this soap scum - but I don't know the definitive answer. - but I can assure you of one thing - have a sparkly clean washing machine on the visible surfaces is nothing but eye candy and has no relation whatever to a clean machine where it counts.


 o
RE: DON'T use vinegar in your washing machine

jgrimes227, one site I looked at claims that vinegar and baking soda in a hot cycle will remove soap scum. I have NO idea if that really works. just mentioning it and let you all decide if that works or not.


 o
RE: DON'T use vinegar in your washing machine

The difference between using bleach and vinegar in a washing machine boils down to basic chemistry. Vinegar is acidic and bleach is a base, ergo, each will interact differently with the rubber hoses, plastic parts and coating on the inside of the drum of your washing machine. Vulcanized rubber & most plastics are designed to stand up to basic solutions, but not acidic ones. A stronger acidic solution will accelerate the process of plastic & rubber degredation.


 o
RE: DON'T use vinegar in your washing machine

Much will depend on the washing machine you have and whether it is older or one of the newer machines.

My washing machine is an older Maytag 20+ years old and is still working like a charm. Been using vinegar in the rinse water for many, many years and have no problems.


 o
RE: DON'T use vinegar in your washing machine

I'm with you krissie, my Maytag washing machine is from 1973 (we bought it brand new for our mother, it was her first new appliance) and we've used vinegar for years through the rinse cup without catastrophic problems. Also have a Kitchenaid dishwasher from the same era and I use vinegar to get rid of any lime build up.


 o
RE: DON'T use vinegar in your washing machine

I add vinegar to my dishwasher with every load. A repairman came to do a recall--I guess that is what you call it--& he said adding vinegar was great to do & would help my dishwasher last longer.


 o
RE: DON'T use vinegar in your washing machine

Basic knowledge of chemistry should lead one to believe that combining vinegar and baking soda will not only lead to a fizzy reaction, but the vinegar and baking soda will neutralize each other. There is no benefit for using this neutralized solution in your laundry. You may as well use water.


 o
RE: DON'T use vinegar in your washing machine

Which causes soap scum to form on the outside drum, powdered or liquid laundry detergent?


 o
RE: DON'T use vinegar in your washing machine

@patann - A lot of people believe the liquids are more likely to form scum. I don't know if that's true, but it's what I have read.

There are many liquid users, however, who say they have no problems.

I mostly use powder; I'm not taking any chances.


 o
RE: DON'T use vinegar in your washing machine

I just spoke with Miele customer service last week and the man I spoke with recommended periodically cleaning the dw with white vinegar. He said that once the empty dw has started and there is water in the basin, put some vinegar in the bottom and run a relatively short cycle.


 o
RE: DON'T use vinegar in your washing machine

The manual for my DW says to periodically, on normal load, run an empty dishwasher with two cups of vinegar (sitting in a container on the racks). This will clean out the inside of the dishwasher and make it sparkle.

I used vinegar instead of a rinse aid in my old DW (GE) and it eventually leaked from the seals on the bottom. Will not do that in the new dishwasher.

This post was edited by grandmaof3 on Fri, Sep 20, 13 at 15:57


 o
RE: DON'T use vinegar in your washing machine

people afraid to use a little vinegar once in a while are likely the same ones (like my nutty neighbor) who thinks radon is going to kill her. sheesh.


 o
RE: DON'T use vinegar in your washing machine

I think one of the vinegar/tubing issues might be using it in the rinse cycle, after which, as one poster mentioned, it might sit in the machine for some time. I use it instead of detergent sometimes, in the wash cycle, and it gets rinsed out of the machine, so wouldn't sit.

Years ago, I used washing soda in some loads and noticed a remarkable difference in the result, leading me to conclude that there was some sort of residue in the laundry, beforehand. I began to experiment with using minimal soap and even none at times (with loads of normal, not dirty stuff, like shirts I'd worn but not gotten dirty, and had minimal body oils and so on) and did notice that there was a soap residue that lasted for up to three washes, despite having used minimal, environmentally clean, detergents, in both my front and top loaders. I haven't tried to determine which machine might be worse at rinsing than the other, however. The clothes felt and smelled clean, both when washed with only water and with vinegar as the alternative "detergent". Again, these were clothes that didn't show any dirt, have any odor, and had been washed recently in detergent. I alternate as long as my clothes feel and smell clean, I know I'm doing a good job. Think about camping. How many times could one rinse a shirt out in a river and hang it in a tree then wear it again before it seemed dirty? Surely, more than twice, unless it were stinky to begin with. I always used detergent on my workout wear.

An aside: I researched how to sanitize natural fibers without harming them, because I had purchased some wool roving at an artist's sale, later to find mouse poo in it. The CDC article I found which finally convinced me it couldn't be done stated that disinfection via chlorine took soaking in a strong solution for 20 minutes, and via heat required boiling for a long time. So, really, none of the laundry solutions or hot washes sanitize fabric. A hot drier might, depending on how long the fabric is left in. But, really, how important is perfectly sanitized laundry? Diapers, sure...t-shirts? There is a difference between clean and sanitized. Once we place a sanitized item of, say, white clothing, on our body and sit on our unsanitized furniture, it's germy again.

A note regarding the above mention of urine soaked laundry: urine is sterile when it leaves the body. It will grow germs if left in an unwashed pile of laundry long enough; but, if peed on material is washed in a timely way, sanitizing it should not be of any unusual concern.

I've also researched how to remove pet odors, and have found that most products are mostly vinegar, and that live enzymes, despite manufacturer claims, can't be stabilized for storage and transport in liquid (a summary of research came up and I'm sure I stored it, but can't find it, so no citation, sorry). So, I've been spraying 50% vinegar on my floor (polished concrete which is porous) and rugs for a year and have no bad smells, despite having an incontinent dog.

This all makes me think that vinegar is strong enough to dissolve dirty, smelly stuff, and mild enough not to harm a washer, if rinsed out properly, and that alternating washing solutions is sufficient for getting clean laundry. If i have to use a strong spot cleaner, I'll also forego additional detergent, and the lingering scent of the spot cleaner in the clean load makes me feel that it was distributed throughout.


 o
RE: DON'T use vinegar in your washing machine

brin, you wrote,"I think one of the vinegar/tubing issues might be using it in the rinse cycle, after which, as one poster mentioned, it might sit in the machine for some time."

I can't agree with that statement at all. if you are going to use vinegar, you are supposed to put in the bleach compartment. The vinegar will be rinsed out by the following rinse cycle(s).


 o
RE: DON'T use vinegar in your washing machine

I thought they were using vinegar in the place of fabric softener and adding it to the fabric softener dispenser-some even using part softener part vinegar mixed together?


 o
RE: DON'T use vinegar in your washing machine

Hello, hello? Where did everybody go? This is a very good topic. Don't stop now.
Pat


 o
RE: DON'T use vinegar in your washing machine

Detergent is alkaline, vinegar is acidic. It would take a lot of vinegar, assuming you are using the basic 5%, commonly available variety. It would require a lot more than a 1/4 cup of vinegar to neutralize the alkalinity of your detergent, dishwasher or laundry, let alone to end up with acidic rinse water. Dave using it in place of bleach has the most worry free process if it is a concern. Detergents are basically surfactant, alkalinity builders and water conditioners with other things mixed in for other benefits. It does not remove surfactants any more than water does. Vinegar in sufficient quantities would neutralize the alkalinity. I am very skeptical that anyone is using enough vinegar to accomplish that.
Disinfectant - If used at full strength. It disinfects by PH , Enough vinegar to disinfect your laundry would be damaging to your skin.


 o
RE: DON'T use vinegar in your washing machine

I own a Kenmore front loader and spoke to a tech at sears and they told me that it is ok to use White vinegar in my washing machine.


 o
RE: DON'T use vinegar in your washing machine

I own a Kenmore front loader and just spoke to a Sears Tech and was told it is ok to use white vinegar in it.


 o
RE: DON'T use vinegar in your washing machine

I own a Kenmore front loader and just spoke to a sears tech and was told it is ok to use white vinegar in it.


 o
RE: DON'T use vinegar in your washing machine

I own a Kenmore front loader, and just spoke to a Kenmore tech and was told it is ok to use white vinegar in it.


 o
RE: DON'T use vinegar in your washing machine

I own a Kenmore front loader, and just spoke to a Kenmore tech and was told it is ok to use white vinegar in it.


 o
RE: DON'T use vinegar in your washing machine

Cole-Parmer compatibility charts, although not perfect, would indicate the following:

Epdm, the primary rubber used in hoses in laundry machines rates excellent to acetic acid

Buna-N, the primary radial lip seal material in washing machines rates fair to acetic acid, with some long term degradation noted.

Assuming very diluted concentrations, it should be OK to run occasional vinegar in your laundry products without issue. Daily use would add risk, primarily for your tub seal at any shaft locations.

Polypropylene, the most common plastic for balance rings, tub covers, soap dispensers, and other internal washer components should be unaffected by vinegar, and diluted bleach as well.

As for exterior parts, many polycarbonates, such as decals, light assemblies, control hoods, plastic see-through windows, etc can be adversely affected by citrus based cleaners. It can cause then to crack in severe cases. Avoid contact with these types of cleaners.

Laundryvet


 o
RE: DON'T use vinegar in your washing machine

I've been using white vinegar in my LG front load for over six months now. LG actually recommends it if you're trying to go green. It's better for our septic system than bleach and it's a great fabric softener.

Can't imagine why its safe in an LG and not a Miele.

Here is a link that might be useful: Keeping Your Laundry Green


 o
RE: DON'T use vinegar in your washing machine

I have always put at least 1 cup vinegar in my rinse cycle of my washing machine. My first washing machine lasted 19 years with not one single repair and 3-4 loads a week until I finally sold it and upgraded. My present machine is 13 years old and never has needed repair so far. This person is missing something in their analysis. If anything it prolongs the life of a washing machine !


 o
RE: DON'T use vinegar in your washing machine

I only use vinegar in the towels instead of fabric softener. I don't like softener in the towels as it makes them too soft and not nearly as absorbent. I've been doing this with the last 3 washing machines that I've owned and had no problems with hoses or seals. Maybe I was just lucky.


 o
RE: DON'T use vinegar in your washing machine

I don't care for using vinegar. It stinks. I don't notice that it cleans or softens anything either. I had some cleaning people helping me while my knee surgery was healing and they INSISTED on using nothing but vinegar and water on everything. I could hardly tell they were even here after they left. The house did not smell clean, look clean or feel clean. I was glad when I could tell them I was able to get back to the vacuuming again and would no longer be needing them, thank you very much : ) I like the smell of Downy and other laundry products and it gives someone a job if I purchase it. I guess I will be put on a list of bad people and the softener police will visit me to "persuade" me to change my ways. I'm not a wasteful or arrogant person but until it becomes illegal, I will use my Downy softening solution.


 o
RE: DON'T use vinegar in your washing machine

Ok people I'm here to dispel some myths:
1. Vinegar is completely safe for washing machines, it's a weak acid. Usually it's made up of 5% acetic acid and 95% water.
2. Bleach is more harmful to your clothes and washing machine, the main ingredient is sodium hypoclorate which is a powerful alkaline and corrosive.
3. Both vinegar and bleach are good disinfectants but you should NEVER mix them together, it's just as bad as mixing ammonia and bleach.
4. Chlorine(in the water) eats away at rubber hoses and washers(not to mention your clothes), this is one reason manufacturers tell you to replace your supply hoses every five years.
5. Vinegar is safe to use on all fabrics and colors.
6. The single worst thing you can use in the washing machine is fabric softener, the wax clogs up everything including polyester and flame retardant clothing. In fact ditch the liquid fabric softeners and just use the dryer sheets.

This post was edited by moviegeek on Wed, Sep 17, 14 at 16:11


 o
RE: DON'T use vinegar in your washing machine

Dryer sheets are waxy same as liquid softener. The wax melts slightly in the heat and tumbling distributes it through the clothes.


 o
RE: DON'T use vinegar in your washing machine

My dishwasher manual said not to use it. If I had a problem before the warranty was up, they would not fix it for me if they saw signs of vinegar use. It does make your dishes sparkle so when I notice a problem with my dishes, usually once a year I fill my sink with water and vinegar and soak my dishes a bit and they shine like new.

So many people think vinegar is so good, but it can cause a lot of damage. It will kill the tops of grass, it can lead to congestive heart failure if they drink it in the water. Full strength it will wash the color out of your clothes, it did one of my towels.


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Laundry Room Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here