How to Remove Laundry Stains With Vinegar

Not much beats the stain-fighting power of vinegar. ​Learn how to treat 13 of your toughest laundry stains with distilled white vinegar and just a bit of elbow grease.

Tomato Stains

Young Boy Looking at Shirt's Food Stains
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Saturate the tomato stain with vinegar and allow it to soak in. Then, launder as usual. Check to make sure the stain is out ​before you run it through the dryer.

Mildew Stains

Mildew Stain
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If you forgot to move the wash over to the dryer, and it smells mildewy or has visible mildew stains, just mix equal parts vinegar and water with some salt, and soak the clothing in the solution. This should lift mildew stains from most fabrics. If you still see signs of staining after soaking, make a solution of undiluted vinegar and salt, and soak it again.

Coffee/Tea Stains

Coffee Stain
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To banish coffee or tea stains, soak the stained fabric in 1/3 cup vinegar mixed with 2/3 cup water. Hang the garment outside in the sun to dry, then launder as usual.

Mustard Stains

Mustard Stain
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Mustard stains require a bit of persistence. Start by applying undiluted vinegar to the stain. Then, allow it to soak in. If that doesn't do it, you may also need to treat the spot with laundry detergent. Just work it into the stain. Then, throw it in the wash. Check to make sure the stain is out before you dry the garment. Repeat the process, if necessary.

Sweat Stains

Armpit Stain
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To banish sweat stains, pour vinegar over the discolored area, and rub coarse salt into it. Table salt will work if it's all you have. Place the garment out in the sun to dry; then, wash it. 

Grass Stains

Grass Stains
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To lift grass stains, soak the garment in undiluted vinegar for 30 minutes; then launder it. If you can still see signs of the stain after washing, try making a paste of vinegar and baking soda. Use an old toothbrush to coat the stain; then launder it again.

Ink Stains

Ink Stain
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Defeat stubborn ink stains by spraying the stain with hair spray; then, dab vinegar on the hair spray to remove it -- and the ink. Nifty!

Blood Stains

Blood-Stained T-Shirt
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Fast action is the cure for bloodstains. Pour vinegar over the stain, and allow it to soak for 15 minutes. Then, rinse with cool water, and repeat if necessary. Wash immediately.

Set-in Stains

Laundry Stains
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Saturate set-in stains with vinegar. Then, rub the spot with a paste made from equal parts vinegar and baking soda. You can add a couple tablespoons each of vinegar and laundry detergent to a bucket of water and soak the garment overnight ​if the stain persists. Then, rinse and wash. 

Crayon Stains

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Rub vinegar into the crayon stain with a brush -- an old toothbrush works great. Then, toss the garment in the wash.

Vomit Stains

Woman using white vinegar to clean
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Rinse the garment in cool water to remove as much of the vomit as possible. Then, soak the stain in vinegar, and wash the garment. Repeat the process, if necessary.

Rust Stains

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To remove a rust stain, soak a cotton ball in vinegar, and use it to blot the stain. Cover the stain with a thin layer of salt, and rub it into the vinegar and the fabric. Lay the garment outside in direct sunlight until the stain has faded. Then, wash as usual.

Iron Scorch Marks

Iron Scorch Mark
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Accidentally leave the iron on your clothes for too long? Reverse the damage by soaking a cotton ball or rag in vinegar, and use it to dab at the scorched area. Blot the stain with a clean rag, and this should lift the stain. It may take more than one application to fully remove the scorch mark.

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