The secret of whiter whites? A dash of vinegar in your wash
HOW to keep your whites whiter than white has been a washday headache for generations.
And many households spend a small fortune on liquids and powders in the hope of banishing the dreaded grey effect.
But now researchers have discovered that a dash of vinegar – the white variety not the stuff you put on your chips – may be all you need to bring your garments back to their best.
London’s Good Housekeeping Institute has put to the test the theory that vinegar may be just the thing for grimy socks, grubby bras and sad shirts – an old housewives’ trick dating to Victorian times. In their tests, two loads were put through a washing machine, both with half a cup of vinegar added, as well as detergent. In the first load at 60C, socks that previously remained brown when washed just using detergent came out white. And even a second, similar load washed at only 40C was successful.
Emily Shuttleworth, junior tester at the Institute, said: ‘I tried it on a few of my own clothes – white gym socks that had turned a delightful shade of brown and a cream jumper that had gone grey after I accidentally washed it with coloureds. I was very doubtful the vinegar would work but they all came out whiter, cleaner and fresher. I will now use it at home.’
A pint bottle of the distilled white malt vinegar costs as little as 39p and the Institute advises: ‘Vinegar is definitely a versatile item worth keeping round the house. Besides being effective, vinegar is cheap and widely available.
‘It is non-toxic and is much safer to have against your skin than bleach, ammonia or other toxic cleaning products.’