Vinegar in HE Washers?

Updated on March 07, 2012
C.R. asks from Prescott Valley, AZ
9 answers

Hello, I've recently been finding a lot of recipes for homemade laundry detergent and fabric softener. I would love to give them a try but I'm concerned about what, if anything, it might do to my high efficiency washer. It's top loading and haven't found much information specific to using vinegar in that kind of washer, but have read sporatic comments from people suggesting the vinegar may damage washer/parts. Does anyone have any experience using vinegar (it would be dilluted as a detergent/fabric softener) in their high efficiency washer/dryer? Thank you in advance for any info!

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answers from Columbia on

I too am a recent vinegar convert. I use it in a front loading HE washer every load.

Can't imagine front loading vs. top loading would have any difference in vinegar use.

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answers from Tucson on

I have an LG top loader and have been using vinegar in a Downy ball for about a month. I fill up the Downy ball to about 3/4 full (not diluted). It's worked really well, and it has also kept the washer smelling clean / not smelling yucky. I tried it for two reasons: 1. We ran out of softener and we are currently on a financial austerity plan that rivals that of Greece :) 2. I found it ridiculous that now I need to buy yet ANOTHER product (a washing machine cleaner!) to clean my washer.

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answers from Cleveland on

I have a front loader and I have used vinegar as a fabric softener for as long as I have had the washer (4 years) without any problems. I pour it into the fabric softener compartment (I don't dilute it).

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answers from Chicago on mother who is very careful with her appliances...uses vinegar as a replacement for fabric softener in her HE front loading washing machine. A appliance repairman told her that normal fabric softeners and fabric softener sheets are bad for your washer and dryer. I quess the vinegar works well for static too. Good Luck!!!

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answers from San Diego on

I use vinegar in every single load in my front loading HE machine and have no problems at all with it. I put it in the fabric softner dispenser.
I can't use all those highly chemical things due to allergies. I even avoid bleach as the smell sets off my asthma something fierce.

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answers from Washington DC on

I have a top loading HE and would not use Vinegar in it the booklet I have says to use the refresh or bleach for cleaning and nothing else.

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answers from Jacksonville on

Vinegar is totally safe in a washing machine. Bleach over time, can hurt the washing machine, not to mention it isn't good for the enviroment either. I use it as fabric softener in my bath towels so they don't get over loaded with regular softener and start to smell funny. And it doesn't need to be diulted or anything either, I used about 1/4 a cup for towels and you hardly smell it in the clothes/towels after they are dry either. (And I also use Borax with my whites too as a in wash booster.) It also is great in the washer as a declassified for hard water and mineral build up which makes it a great cleaner. Great to dump some in your dishwasher on an empty load for that or some people use it instead of jet dry!!

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answers from Washington DC on

I've used it on and off in my front loader with no problems. HOWEVER, top loaders might be different. You can always call the manufacturer and see what they suggest about the use of vinegar.

The only reason I can think of that it might be a problem would be because it's an acid. But if you're not putting a whole gallon or anything in the washer I don't think it should be a problem to use a little.

As one other poster said be careful to be sure that whatever detergent you use is low sudsing and/or the right amount for the size of the load (my kids have used too much when doing a small load).

Good luck :)

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answers from Portland on

This site says that one can use vinegar in he machines. Other sites reached when I googled that topic had people saying that they use vinegar and borax without any damage to washer.

As to home made laundry detergent, it has to be low sudsing. That is the main difference between regular detergent and detergent made for he machines. I did not use he detergent in a machine and it broke down after just 2-3 years. The tech said it was because of the detergent.

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