Archive for Downsizer For an ethical approach to consumption
 


       Downsizer Forum Index -> Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Nicky Colour it green

vinegar instead of fabric conditioner

Who uses vinegar instead of fabric conditioner? Do you infuse your vinegar with any scents? does your laundry smell of pickles? which vinegar do you use? Has the washing machine coped with the vinegar treatment over time ok?
gz

I'll put some white vinegar in with a rinse...neutralizes the alkali if you use washing powder, apparently. Anyhow it brightens up the clothes because you're cleaning off the detergent/soap residue.

No vinegar smell afterwards and a cleaner washing machine as well
Slim

I've used white vinegar to get stinkiness out of synthetic long underwear used for nordic skiing. No vinegar smell afterwards, and significantly less B.O. Laughing
sean

I've never bothered with fabric conditioner.
Nicky Colour it green

I've never bothered with fabric conditioner.
do you line dry everything? FDo you mostly wear natural fibres?
don't you find the towels are very crispy without fabric softener?
sean

Yes, yes, no.
We have very soft water here, maybe that makes a difference.
Nicky Colour it green

Yes, yes, no.
We have very soft water here, maybe that makes a difference.


we have very soft water here too. Maybe it's a matter of being used to how clothes feel if you do or don't use fc. There is definitely a difference.

I shall have to try different things depending on what is in the load of washing.
Slim

I never use fabric softener either.

Towels are a bit crisp for that very first use after line-drying, but not in an unpleasant way (unless perhaps you dwell upon the thought as a negative?) By second use they don't seem much different than a tumble dried towel.

All other articles of laundry I prefer coming in off the line - nice crisp clean smelling bed sheets, etc....
NorthernMonkeyGirl

I found vinegar to leave a strong smell. However, I could only find distilled/brewed white vinegar as opposed to plain acetic acid. Perhaps that makes a difference? I think brewed white vinegar still has the malt vinegar smell. NorthernMonkeyGirl

I found vinegar to leave a strong smell. However, I could only find distilled/brewed white vinegar as opposed to plain acetic acid. Perhaps that makes a difference? I think brewed white vinegar still has the malt vinegar smell. wellington womble

I never bother with fabric softener either. Vinegar didn’t smell, but did t make any other noticeable difference. I wear jeans, cotton tops and wool hand knits. Jenna wears school uniform or cotton jersey stuff almost exclusively. Towels can be a bit stiff, although i usually line dry them. Or just bung them in the dryer for a few minutes to soften them up. Mostly I just put up with it. They dry better without fabric softener anyway. Nicky Colour it green

I found vinegar to leave a strong smell. However, I could only find distilled/brewed white vinegar as opposed to plain acetic acid. Perhaps that makes a difference? I think brewed white vinegar still has the malt vinegar smell.

yes, that's the only white vinegar readily available to me too - I thihk it is actually stronger.. ie more acidic.. I could be wrong about that though
frewen

We are in a hard water area. I'm just used to it I suppose. I'm going to sloosh some vinegar through my next wash. You've got me intrigued now! Nick

Much of the dirt on clothes is acidic (skin mantle) so having a basic pH in your laundry is a good thing. dpack

hence stale urine is a pretty good laundry liquid

you might want to line dry Wink

vinegar is quite good at washing machine maintenance as it helps reduce limescale, soap and grot build up which in turn reduces the residues on fabrics
Nicky Colour it green

Much of the dirt on clothes is acidic (skin mantle) so having a basic pH in your laundry is a good thing.

er so ...I am assuming laundry powder s generally basic ph, .... and vinegar is acidic... does that make it not a good thing?
Nick

Much of the dirt on clothes is acidic (skin mantle) so having a basic pH in your laundry is a good thing.

er so ...I am assuming laundry powder s generally basic ph, .... and vinegar is acidic... does that make it not a good thing?

Honestly, I don't know. Smile The more I think about it, the more I'm unsure, and the literature isn't massively helpful.
Nicky Colour it green

Much of the dirt on clothes is acidic (skin mantle) so having a basic pH in your laundry is a good thing.

er so ...I am assuming laundry powder s generally basic ph, .... and vinegar is acidic... does that make it not a good thing?

Honestly, I don't know. Smile The more I think about it, the more I'm unsure, and the literature isn't massively helpful.

fair enough
dpack

if it helps

most detergents are sulphonated aliphatic mineral oils and could be considered mildly acidic

soaps are usually complex fats/oils with extra hydroxyls stuck on and could be considered mildly alkaline

the oily/fatty bit of the laundry product loosely bonds with the "greasy" part of muck and the charged bit grabs the water taking said muck with it

the muck in a washing machine is a very complex mix of stuff .
Nick

if it helps

most detergents are sulphonated aliphatic mineral oils and could be considered mildly acidic

soaps are usually complex fats/oils with extra hydroxyls stuck on and could be considered mildly alkaline

the oily/fatty bit of the laundry product loosely bonds with the "greasy" part of muck and the charged bit grabs the water taking said muck with it

the muck in a washing machine is a very complex mix of stuff .

It is, and it's relatively easy to make good ones for here. I was discussing a high throughput analysis system for washing detergent formulation design with the guys at Unilever. Making a decent one here is easy. Making one that works in the various water conditions in the developing world is much more fun.

The thought you can improve on them by throwing a random amount of acid in with a wash doesn't hold (or release) much water, tbh, but I know people love to use vinegar to solve almost all global and local problems.
dpack

brackish water can be quite a challenge, iirc quite a few places have plenty of it but potable water is too expensive for laundry
in some places laundry water would go on the garden which has another set of criteria
designing a laundry detergent which is good at cleaning as well as being hand friendly and reasonably non polluting at an affordable price might be a bit easier if water quality was a constant but at a considered guess there is a lot of variation even from one water source to the next even if the launderers all use the same shop
etc etc

i begin to see why doing it at an affordable price could be rather tricky

giving a river detergent a strong but river friendly and localised crocodile repellent activity as a bonus would be rather nice. iirc many crocodile issues involve laundry and doing your smalls without being eaten could be rather good for repeat sales
Mistress Rose

I used to use vinegar as a hair conditioner in the days before they were readily available, and it worked well. A bit if vinegar in the last but one rinse when I used to wash hair in the sink as no shower head, then a final rinse in clean water. As we had hard water, I think the shampoo may have been at least part detergent, but the vinegar worked well at getting rid of the shampoo remains. frewen

if it helps

most detergents are sulphonated aliphatic mineral oils and could be considered mildly acidic

soaps are usually complex fats/oils with extra hydroxyls stuck on and could be considered mildly alkaline

the oily/fatty bit of the laundry product loosely bonds with the "greasy" part of muck and the charged bit grabs the water taking said muck with it

the muck in a washing machine is a very complex mix of stuff .
I love all of this

It is, and it's relatively easy to make good ones for here. I was discussing a high throughput analysis system for washing detergent formulation design with the guys at Unilever. Making a decent one here is easy. Making one that works in the various water conditions in the developing world is much more fun.

The thought you can improve on them by throwing a random amount of acid in with a wash doesn't hold (or release) much water, tbh, but I know people love to use vinegar to solve almost all global and local problems. Cool Nicky Colour it green



The thought you can improve on them by throwing a random amount of acid in with a wash doesn't hold (or release) much water, tbh, but I know people love to use vinegar to solve almost all global and local problems.

Laughing it does seem to come up as the answer to everything.....
wellington womble

Don’t be silly. Baking soda is the answer to everything. Slim

I'm always amazed at the number of uses that people advocate a combination of the two.

I understand how dumping them down a clogged drain and covering the top can build pressure that will possibly clear the clog, but I've seen the combo proposed for all sorts of surface cleaning applications... I guess people think fizz means effectiveness.

(Though I think the abrasion of the baking soda, or the acidity of the vinegar will do more if they're used separately....)
Nicky Colour it green

Don’t be silly. Baking soda is the answer to everything.

how silly of me. and I googled it.. and yes, people to advocate putting baking soda in your washing machine.. because.. just like vinegar, makes your whites white and softens the water.....

I give up Laughing
I only asked about the vinegar instead of fabric softener because many moons ago people here said they did.. they are now either absent or quiet.....
Slim

Are you now the only one here who uses fabric softener of any sort, or are there lurkers afraid to admit to it? Laughing buzzy

So where is the thread that advocates putting fabric softener on your chips instead of vinegar, or have I got the wrong idea? Wink

Henry
sean

So where is the thread that advocates putting fabric softener on your chips instead of vinegar, or have I got the wrong idea? Wink

Henry

It certainly stops other people from pinching your chips.
buzzy

So where is the thread that advocates putting fabric softener on your chips instead of vinegar, or have I got the wrong idea? Wink

Henry

It certainly stops other people from pinching your chips.

So does vinegar as far as I am concerned!

Henry
dpack

Laughing Mistress Rose

I do use fabric conditioner when I am doing hand washing, and sometimes in summer when I am using the washing machine. In winter I tend to use the tumble dryer with those little knobbly balls in, so no need for conditioner.

Vinegar is very useful for limescale, and sodium bicarb, for keeping the fridge nice smelling. A past of it is supposed to make it easy to clean the oven too, but most ovens these days don't need it. I do find that bicarb, vinegar or combination of both, and washing up liquid, do most of the household cleaning I want. Wet newspaper is also very good for cleaning windows and fire glass.
gz

I use a paste of bicarb on a fairly hot/warm oven...does the trick nicely and no worries about caustic splashes Confused NorthernMonkeyGirl

I use a small dose of fabric softener to eliminate static, for some reason I'm very prone to being zapped. Slim

I do find that bicarb, vinegar or combination of both, and washing up liquid, do most of the household cleaning I want.

MR can you tell me why you use a combination of the two? Is it just the combo of acid and abrasive?
Mistress Rose

If you have some muck that is permeable or rough and can get the bicarb into it, putting acid on will make it fizz and lift the muck. Otherwise, I find one or the other copes with a lot of things. We have hard water, so vinegar is good for shifting water marks and limescale, but bicarb is good for things like tea stains as they are going to be more acid. I find washing up liquid about the best for removing grease as it is quite strong; a lot stronger than most of the other household cleaners. I am always rather worried about using anything very much stronger than bicarb or vinegar as it might attack what I am trying to clean. Nicky Colour it green

I use a small dose of fabric softener to eliminate static, for some reason I'm very prone to being zapped.
yes me too
Mistress Rose

Some people do build up static more, but it is also to do with the clothes you wear and how dry the air is. I remember one day when I was a child that the hair brush I had been using seemed to be having a very mini thunderstorm to itself where it was discharging.

Best way to minimise static, apart from conditioner, is to wear cotton, linen or wool clothes and not to have the house too dry.
NorthernMonkeyGirl

not to have the house too dry.

No fear of that! Laughing
Nicky Colour it green

not to have the house too dry.

No fear of that! Laughing

nor here!

beginning to think back along when lots of people were saying they use vinegar it was just in the vinegar cures all phase... which was after the tea tree oil cures all phase, but before the kale smoothies cures all phase...

I am in the process of experimenting (but no plans to put kale smoothies in the washing machine) . Given we have very soft water here, I'm not sure how useful vinegar is.. not like we have any limescale anyway, but still there is a very noticeable difference when just skipping the fabric conditioner.

The village shop now sells FC and other household stuff that you fill your own bottle, so I shall be getting that when I need it.. at least it saves on the plastic... which is why I started this thread in the first place.
dpack

the placebo effect in the laundry would be an interesting study Laughing Mistress Rose

Fabric conditioner does react with the remaining detergent in the clothes I think. After using the washing machine rinse there is quite a lot of stuff left in the wash. If you rinse anything out in clean water you will see it. Slim

Isn't that primarily the case if you're using more detergent than you need for the dirt/grease/etc in that load? Nicky Colour it green

the placebo effect in the laundry would be an interesting study Laughing

I'm inclined to think people who say it makes no difference haven't actually tried it in a long while. it's different. You might prefer one feel to another.. or not care. but it is still different.

But this thread wasn't about whether I was making up if FC works or not.. I was asking how people got on using vinegar. Because, people here previously said they did.
Nicky Colour it green

Fabric conditioner does react with the remaining detergent in the clothes I think. After using the washing machine rinse there is quite a lot of stuff left in the wash. If you rinse anything out in clean water you will see it.

Isn't that primarily the case if you're using more detergent than you need for the dirt/grease/etc in that load?

I'd have thought so.... never had any issues with leftover washing powder in the clothes, whether I use fc or not..
Nick

Fabric conditioner does react with the remaining detergent in the clothes I think. After using the washing machine rinse there is quite a lot of stuff left in the wash. If you rinse anything out in clean water you will see it.

The last thing your washing machine ought to do before spinning is rinse with fresh water. If you’re getting detergent left over start wondering if your machine is working, or clean, or if you’re over adding detergent.
Jamanda

I use a fraction of what the detergent bottle says. We are in a very soft water area so I expect others might need a bit more, but I can't adide conditioner - it makes the towels non-absorbant, and everything smell of artificial perfumes.

I Love the smell of washing that's dried on the line. Smile
dpack

even in a hardish water area i use a lot less than the recommended Laughing amount apart from 90 degree kitchen towel washes which get plenty

as a slight distraction from the directions this theme has taken i wonder what is known effects vinegar has on a variety of textile fibres?

second distraction, if vinegar does have effects is it the ethanoic bit, the acidity or the trace stuff? or a combo Rolling Eyes
Mistress Rose

Our washing machine is pretty old and the amount of muck it gets in it I wouldn't expect it to be very clean. I use no more than the recommended amount on very dirty washing and less on ordinary.

We live in a hard water area, so not sure what effect the vinegar has, whether it is on the water or the soap/detergent, but it used to make my hair rather better than not using it. And for those not following closely, I did have another rinse afterwards.
Nicky Colour it green

I use a fraction of what the detergent bottle says. We are in a very soft water area so I expect others might need a bit more, but I can't adide conditioner - it makes the towels non-absorbant, and everything smell of artificial perfumes.

I Love the smell of washing that's dried on the line. Smile

I started to buy washing powder that comes in wrapped tablets of powder - it comes in a cardboard box, but there is wrapping on each dose. But it works well for my son who could be a bit heavy handed with the pouring in of powder, even with a marked measure, and at least it isn't in a plastic bottle.

I also can't stand the pongy fabric conditioners - and buy the 'pure' ones, which seem no more scented than the washing powder.

experiments with no fabric conditioner and with vinegar followed by line drying towels have resulted in some very absorbent and very scratchy crispy towels Smile

Next experiments will be with my cycling gear which is largely man made materials - could be that they come up cleaner without FC as suggested.
dpack

another small aside, i have had quite a few down stuffed garments and sleeping bags over the decades, the only good way to wash them is with the specialist "for down" stuff from climbing shops .
at a guess it has a buffer, a detergent or soap and an oily component.

perfect for down , fluffy but waterproof towels might be not so good Laughing

it seems quite likely that the muck that sticks to linen is different to that that sticks to lycra which implies they need different formulations for best results.
that the fibres are different is also a good reason, perhaps the best one, to tailor the washsplosh to the cloth
Slim

There must be some other tricks for line-dried towels.

It seems a little percussive maintenance before first use post-drying might do the trick. What would a few turns through a dry mangle do?

I imagine just running the towel back and forth with some tension over a bar would loosen things up a bit.
dpack

the mechanical factor is probably important.

i will enquire Wink
Mistress Rose

I gave up with washing liquids because they just weren't getting the clothes clean and have gone back to powder. I use Co-op own brand and that seems to have the desired effect without too much smell and at a reasonable price.

That is one advantage of the balls in the tumble drier. They soften the fabric without the conditioner, but of course line drying doesn't have that. I suppose 5 mins in the tumble drier without heat might work.
Nicky Colour it green

I gave up with washing liquids because they just weren't getting the clothes clean and have gone back to powder. I use Co-op own brand and that seems to have the desired effect without too much smell and at a reasonable price.


yep i use co-op - the tablets that are compressed powder. if it was just me I would use powder. I kind of feel that buying the liquid is sort of buying water.... but the main reason to avoid is the plastic bottles. Seems to me folk are fretting about straws and cotton buds, when there are much bigger uses of throw away plastic being over looked.
Slim

Maybe you UK downsizers could use a meetup weekend where you pool funds for bulk quantities of borax, sodium bicarb, a detergent of choice, and large reusable storage containers and make as much laundry powder/liquid as you'll need for the next six months?

Could be a fun excuse to sip something together.

Edit: there's a bazillion recipes out there, and I'm sure you can all argue about the specifics. Grated soap, or a form of detergent?

Here's someone's recipe for 5 gallons: https://www.onehundreddollarsamonth.com/diy-how-to-make-your-own-laundry-detergent/
Slim

In some further reading, I'm seeing plenty of reasons not to use soap, and very few recipes that actually use a detergent, so perhaps the above idea is not a good one!

I don't think I'd use a recipe like I posted above if I already had soft water and was concerned about buildup in my washer.

Commercially available detergent is probably cheaper than replacing a washer earlier than necessary!
Mistress Rose

As you say, probably not the best recipe in hard water areas, and also it contains borax, which I don't think we can get in the UK now as it is a problem. We have to use borax substitute instead, but can't remember exactly what it is without looking it up. Nick

You can buy it through your business, no problem.

https://mistralni.co.uk/products/borax-sodium-tetraborate-decahydrate
Mistress Rose

Probably, but if it is not used because of pollution problems I wouldn't anyway. Thanks for the link though.
       Downsizer Forum Index -> Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Page 1 of 1
Home Home Home Home Home