The organic profile of vinegar makes it a powerful cleaning solution. It dissolves dirt, mineral deposits, grime, grease, and mildew. Therefore, many of you use vinegar for cleaning your home appliances, including washing machines.

The vinegar might help you clean dirt and stubborn hard water accumulations, but is vinegar safe for washing machine, or should you avoid it?

Let’s discover everything!

Is Vinegar Safe for Washing Machine

Is Vinegar Safe for Washing Machine?

Vinegar is generally safe for the washing machine because it is an organic solution that might help us clean a lot of mess around the house. However, you should consider the amount of vinegar and how often you use it for cleaning the washing machine.

Even though vinegar is generally a safe and effective cleanser, you should be careful what type of vinegar you use for washing machines. Not all of them are safe!

Check the washer’s warnings and recommendations before pouring any vinegar inside the washer’s tub or drawer.

Some manufacturers do not recommend cleaning the washing machine with anything else except specially designed cleaning products. Some rubber parts of the machine might react with the vinegar and easily get damaged.

Which Vinegar Is Good for Washing Machines?

You may see many types of vinegar on the selling shelves, but not all of them have exact acidic compositions. The best and safest vinegar for washing machine use is distilled (or regular) white vinegar.

White vinegar contains 5% acetic acid, which can remove some dirt, stains, bacteria, etc. If the acidic content is higher, it might damage some rubber and plastic surfaces.

So, you should consider buying 5% white vinegar – not wine vinegar, not apple cider vinegar!

How to Use White Vinegar in Washing Machine

The dirt inside your machine should not be the only reason for you to clean the washing machine tub. You can do it routinely.

If you want to keep your washer clean and free of bacteria, it is good to clean it routinely with white vinegar several times a year.

Also, you can pour a cup of white (distilled) vinegar instead of fabric softener and protect your clothes and their color. There are so many purposes of white vinegar. Let’s take a look at some of them.

Read more: Do Washing Machines Use A Lot Of Electricity?

How to Use White Vinegar in Washing Machine

Routinely cleaning

The washing machine is constantly exposed to moisture and humidity. That creates perfect conditions for bacteria and mildew or mold, which you do not want to see inside the machine.

Due to that, it might be best to run a cycle on an empty tub at the highest temperature to clean the machine’s tub and other parts.

Instead of detergents, you just pour 2 cups of white vinegar into the drawer and let the machine clean itself.

Mildew cleaning

If you see mildew stains on the rubber seal, it might be best to clean them with white vinegar and baking soda paste.

In a cup of white vinegar, pour 2 tablespoons (or more if needed) of baking soda. Ensure the mixture looks like a paste.

Put some of the paste on the rubber seal and let it stay for over 10 hours or overnight. Wipe it the next morning with a damp towel and run the machine on the hottest cycle to rinse the excess vinegar.

Hard water cleaning

White vinegar might also help you clean stains from hard water mineral accumulation. Simply pour 1-2 cups of white vinegar into the detergent drawer or inside the tub (if having a top-load machine).

Choose the longest cycle and set the highest temperature. This is often the whites program at 194 °F (90 °C).

As fabric softener

You can also replace the fabric softener with white vinegar.

White vinegar is not only safe for your washing machine but also for your clothes. Pour a cup of distilled or regular white vinegar into the fabric softener dispenser and run the cycle.

Your clothes will be as soft as when you use fabric softener.

Also read: Can You Use PEX For Washing Machine?


Is vinegar safe for washing machine? The answer is yes, but not all types of vinegar. White vinegar is the one you need for safe washing machine cleaning.

Overall, I hope this guide has helped you find the answer that brought you here!