DIY Lavender Vinegar Rinse to Brighten, Deodorize, and Soften Clothes

A DIY lavender vinegar rinse is an easy and effective way to naturally brighten, deodorize, and soften your clothes. Making your own rinse at home using household ingredients like vinegar and lavender is inexpensive, non-toxic, and can help prolong the life of your clothes. Read on to learn why a lavender vinegar rinse works, how to make one, and how to use it for best results.

Why Use a Lavender Vinegar Rinse?

A DIY lavender vinegar rinse offers multiple benefits for your laundry:

Brightens Clothes

The acidic nature of vinegar helps to dissolve residue, soap scum, and minerals that dull the vibrancy of fabric over time. This leaves clothes looking bright and new. The lavender adds a fresh floral scent.

Deodorizes Clothes

Vinegar is a powerful deodorizer that helps remove odors trapped in fabric. Lavender also has natural antibacterial properties that help kill odor-causing bacteria. Together, they leave laundry smelling fresh and clean.

Softens Clothes

A vinegar rinse acts as a natural fabric softener by breaking down detergent residue and minerals in hard water that leave clothes feeling stiff and rough. The lavender further softens fibers.

Extends Life of Clothes

By removing residue, brightening, and softening, a lavender vinegar rinse helps textiles last longer so you don’t have to replace clothes as quickly. It’s an economical, eco-friendly choice.

Non-Toxic and Hypoallergenic

Conventional fabric softeners and brighteners often contain toxic chemicals, perfumes, and dyes that can irritate sensitive skin. A homemade lavender vinegar rinse avoids these harsh additives.

How to Make a DIY Lavender Vinegar Rinse

Making your own lavender vinegar rinse at home is quick and easy using just a few simple ingredients.


  • 2 cups white vinegar
  • 10-15 drops lavender essential oil
  • 5 cups water


  1. Fill a plastic spray bottle most of the way with white vinegar.
  2. Add 10-15 drops of lavender essential oil, depending on how strong you want the scent. Shake well to mix.
  3. Fill the remainder of the bottle with water, leaving a little room at the top.
  4. Shake again before each use to combine the ingredients.

That’s all you need to make a simple but effective homemade lavender vinegar rinse for your laundry!


  • Use high-quality lavender oil for the best scent.
  • Make sure to use white vinegar, not apple cider vinegar.
  • Use a plastic spray bottle instead of metal, as the acidity can react with metal over time.
  • Add more or less lavender oil to adjust the strength of the scent.
  • Make a batch and keep it on hand for convenience. Store in a cool, dark place.
  • Shake before each use as the oil and vinegar can separate.
  • Consider doubling or tripling the recipe and keeping some in a jug to refill spray bottles as needed.

How to Use a Lavender Vinegar Rinse on Laundry

Using a DIY lavender vinegar rinse on your clothes is simple. Just follow these steps:

  1. Wash laundry as usual with your regular detergent and desired water temperature.
  2. During the rinse cycle, spray clothes liberally all over with the lavender vinegar mixture. Focus especially on stains, underarms, and collars where odors collect.
  3. If your machine doesn’t have a designated rinse cycle, pause after the wash cycle empties and before the final spin. Spray clothes then restart.
  4. For a light scent, use vinegar rinse alone. For extra softening and scent, add 1⁄2 cup of hair conditioner to the vinegar spray.
  5. Run the full rinse and spin cycle as normal. The vinegar smell dissipates as clothes dry.
  6. For added brightness on whites, soak clothes for 30 minutes in vinegar rinse before washing.
  7. For heavy odor removal, soak smelly clothes in a vinegar solution for a few hours before washing.
  8. Use vinegar rinse on baby clothes, cloth diapers, towels, sheets, and gym clothes to thoroughly deodorize and sanitize them.

Repeat with each load of laundry for naturally refreshed clothes and linens. It’s safe for all washable fabrics and colors. With just a few minutes of extra effort, you’ll save money on chemical products and be KINDER to clothes and the environment.

FAQs About Using a Lavender Vinegar Rinse

Still have some questions about using a homemade lavender vinegar rinse for laundry? Here are answers to some frequently asked questions:

Is it safe for all fabric types and colors?

Yes, vinegar is safe for all washable fabrics including cotton, linen, polyester, spandex, wool, silk, and more. It won’t bleach or discolor clothes. Avoid using vinegar on leather, suede, or silk though as it could damage those delicate materials.

How much should I use in each load?

For a top-loading machine, use 1⁄4 to 1⁄2 cup of diluted vinegar rinse per load. For front-loading high efficiency (HE) washers, 1⁄4 cup max is recommended so it doesn’t get oversaturated and leak through seals.

Does it completely replace fabric softener?

Yes! The vinegar works as a natural softener so you can ditch traditional liquid or sheet fabric softeners, which often contain toxic chemicals. For extra softness, add some hair conditioner too.

What kind of vinegar should I use?

It’s best to use white distilled vinegar. Apple cider vinegar has more potential to stain light fabrics. White vinegar has the most cleansing and brightening power.

How does it work compared to dryer sheets?

Vinegar rinses and dryer sheets serve different purposes. Vinegar removes odors, softens, and brightens. Dryer sheets mainly mask odors. You can use both for a one-two punch if clothes are heavily soiled.

Will my clothes smell like vinegar after?

You may notice a faint vinegar scent straight out of the wash, but it will disappear as clothes dry. Vinegar odor dissipates as it dries. Lavender oil leaves a light floral aroma.

Can I add it to a bleach or OxiClean cycle?

It’s best to avoid using vinegar during bleach or OxiClean cycles as it can react negatively with them. Use it during a regular or heavy wash cycle and rinse cycle only.

How long does a batch last?

A batch should last 1-2 months with regular use. Store your lavender vinegar rinse in a cool, dark place and shake before each use. If the scent fades over time, add a few more drops of lavender oil.

The Benefits of Using DIY Lavender Vinegar for Laundry Are Clear

After learning about the many advantages of a homemade lavender vinegar rinse, it’s easy to see why so many people are switching to this safe, economical, and effective natural alternative for their laundry needs.

Brightening dingy clothes, eliminating odors, softening fabrics, extending the life of textiles, and avoiding harsh chemicals are just a few of the reasons to give DIY lavender vinegar a try. Making a simple rinse at home using ingredients from your pantry is easy and affordable.

Keep your clothes looking, feeling, and smelling their absolute best with the cleaning power of vinegar boosted by the fresh scent of lavender. Your nose, skin, and wallet will thank you!


A DIY lavender vinegar rinse is a smart, eco-friendly way to naturally care for your laundry. The brightening and deodorizing powers of vinegar plus the antibacterial and softening abilities of lavender make it a winning combo. Make your own rinse at home in minutes with just a few simple ingredients. Use it as a fabric softener and odor eliminator to revitalize clothes with each wash. Enjoy the light floral scent and smoother, brighter fabrics. Your clothes and conscience will be clean as can be!