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This or that: Vinegar vs. Fabric Softener

Figgy and Co natural vinegar bulk brewed food grade nontoxic eco green cleaners DIY


Make your laundry routine non-toxic with strong white vinegar

Unless you have sensitive skin, you may not have thought about just how many harsh and toxic chemicals can be lurking in our laundry routine. Every time you wash your clothing you can be adding residues that end up directly on your skin – the largest organ in your body. Ditching toxins for natural alternatives doesn’t need to be difficult – often its about getting back to basics. Let’s look at vinegar vs fabric softener. Did you know that using white vinegar as your laundry softener is an effective and natural alternative? This simple switch out can significantly reduce a whole host of chemicals you’re better off without. Vinegar primarily softens fabrics by breaking down soap residues and dissolving mineral build up. In contrast, fabric softeners work by coating the fabric with electrically charged chemicals, making the threads stand up, which results in a softer and fluffier feel.

Vinegar Vs fabric softener

The difference between Figgy and Co Strong White Vinegar and Fabric Softener

Why Vinegar is the clear winner

It doesn’t take much research to figure out why vinegar is so great. The benefits of using vinegar as your laundry softener are far-reaching, so we’ve done our best to condense this information for you below.

Chemicals and Health Risks

Fabric softeners are packed with chemicals that can be harmful to your health. These include quaternary ammonium compounds and artificial fragrances, which are known to trigger skin irritation, allergies, and respiratory issues. If you or your family members have sensitive skin, asthma, or other respiratory problems, fabric softeners can make these conditions worse.

Environmental Impact

Beyond our health, fabric softeners also pose a significant threat to the environment. The chemicals in these products can contaminate water supplies and harm aquatic life. Many fabric softeners are not biodegradable, meaning they persist in the environment long after they’ve been washed down the drain.

Effect on Fabrics

While fabric softeners promise to keep your clothes soft and fresh, they can actually do more harm than good. Fabric softeners work by coating fabric fibres. Over time residues left by these products will build up on your fabrics, making them less absorbent and a fire risk. This is problematic for towels and activewear, which need to be absorbent and breathable. However, should you be caught in a housefire, be sitting too close to a heater or dry laundry in a conventional heating dryer – the effects could be devastating.

The Benefits of Using Vinegar

Natural and Non-Toxic

Vinegar is a fantastic natural alternative to fabric softeners. It’s non-toxic and 100% free from harsh chemicals, this makes it safe for even the most sensitive skin. There are no concerns about allergic reactions or respiratory issues with vinegar, so you can make the switch with confidence if you have asthma or other respiratory issues.

Effective in Softening Clothes

Despite its simplicity, vinegar is incredibly effective at softening clothes. It helps to remove the residues from when soap mixes with water minerals during the wash. Vinegar breaks this down, leaving your fabrics soft and fresh without the sticky build-up that fabric softeners can leave behind. Plus, vinegar is great at removing stubborn odours as it has antimicrobial properties, giving your laundry an extra boost of cleanliness.

Environmental Benefits

Vinegar is not only good for your clothes and health, but it’s also kind to the environment. It’s completely biodegradable and doesn’t contribute to water pollution. By switching to vinegar, you’re making a small but impactful choice for a greener planet. Figgy & Co. is traditionally brewed, as natural vinegar has been made for 1000’s of years.

Naturally fragrance free

Vinegar is wonderful at removing odours from clothes. It is naturally fragrance free, leaving your clothes and bedding clean and fresh. While washing that is still wet may initially have a hint of vinegar, rest assured, once your washing dries the smell of vinegar will dissipate entirely.

What is Figgy’s strong white vinegar?Figgy and Co Strong White Vinegar

Figgy strong white vinegar comes from Canterbury, New Zealand, where it is naturally distilled from milk. It has a 9.9% acetic acid content— which is about double the strength of regular white vinegar. Unlike many commercially available vinegars that are synthesised in labs and derived from petroleum products, our vinegar is completely natural. The benefit of our strong white vinegar is you can use it neat, or dilute to achieve a “regular strength” white vinegar. This saves you on both postage and plastic, and gives you the convenience for when a stronger brew is necessary.

How to Use Figgy Vinegar in your laundry

FIggy and Co's Strong White Vinegar and Laundry Powder

1. Add vinegar to the fabric softener dispenser:

Simply add 1/4 cup of strong white vinegar to the fabric softener dispenser in your washing machine. This makes sure the vinegar is release during the final rinse cycle. Because Figgy & Co. strong white vinegar is stronger than regular vinegar, you don’t need as much.

2. Boost with Essential oils:

If desired, add 3-6 drops of essential oil to the vinegar for a pleasant scent. As your clothing dries can be added to the vinegar for scent (3-6 drops). As your clothing dries, the vinegar smell will dissipate.

3. Run the wash cycle:

Wash your clothes as normal. At the end of the first spin, the vinegar will be added to the wash to soften your clothes naturally and help remove any lingering odours.

Using vinegar as a natural cleaner

Vinegar isn’t just great in the laundry, Figgy strong white vinegar is also great as the rinse aid in your dishwasher, as a glass & mirror cleaner, with a mop will shine up wooden floors and is a natural disinfectant making it a great spray cleaner. Check out our blog here for 10 non-tox swaps for cleaning vinegar

Get natural cleaning tips from our blog!

We want you to have everything you need to clean your home healthier while avoiding unwanted chemicals – and looking out for the planet too! Take a browse through our blog and learn more about natural cleaning, safe ingredients and so much more!