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Homeowner shares how common laundry product can lead to gross buildup in washing machine: 'It is so hard to get off'

"All the washing machine technicians and a lot of laundromat owners recommend vinegar."

"All the washing machine technicians and a lot of laundromat owners recommend vinegar."

Photo Credit: TikTok

A home cleaning expert is showing why a pricey laundry product is costing consumers more than just money. Thankfully, she shares a natural solution that won't lead to a gross buildup.

The scoop 

TikToker Clean With Beth (@cleanswithbeth) posted a short clip detailing how using fabric softener created a time-consuming cleanup job. 

@cleanswithbeth Immediately put down the fabric softener, white vingear is not only CHEAPER its actually waaaay better ✨ #vinegar #laundryhacks #washingmachine #cleantok ♬ original sound - Clean With Beth

"Fabric softener is a scam," she says. "If you are using fabric softener and you are finding issues with your washing machine, that is more than likely the cause as to why." 

She then removes the machine's agitator and points out the "gunk" coating the device. 

"That is old softener, and I'm telling you, it is rock hard. It is so hard to get off," she says, noting that it took "bloody ages" to get everything sparkling clean again. 

In order to remove the gunk, Beth removes the "bits and pieces" from the washing machine and soaks them in water and dish soap. She then scrubs the buildup off with a brush. 

The long ordeal ultimately had the TikToker rethinking her laundry practices. 

"I recently made the transition to using white vinegar," she says. "I promise you your clothes will not smell vinegary. … Make the transition to white vinegar. You won't regret it." 

How it's helping

Using white vinegar as a fabric softener doesn't just prevent a tedious cleaning session. It's much cheaper and healthier. 

While prices vary, many brands sell 64-ounce containers of distilled white vinegar for only a few dollars. Since each load of laundry only needs a couple of tablespoons, that vinegar will give you a lot of bang for your buck. 

Meanwhile, many liquid fabric softeners and dryer sheets contain toxic chemicals and fragrances that may exacerbate respiratory issues or cause skin irritation. 

Fabric softener also coats your clothes in chemicals, making them less absorbent, and some types are made from petroleum, a dirty fuel that contributes to the overheating of our planet. Considering all of this, making the switch to white vinegar seems like a no-brainer. 

This versatile pantry staple can also be used as a natural cleaning product all around your house, including in your shower and on faucets. Other affordable chemical-free cleaners include baking soda and lemons.   

What everyone's saying 

TikTokers were all about the money-saving hack, and some shared their own tips.

"I use white vinegar. Fabric softener makes my skin break out," one person said. "I put a few drops of lavender oil with the vinegar, leaves the clothes smelling so good."

"I use white vinegar and put tea tree oil in the bottle," someone else wrote. 

"All the washing machine technicians and a lot of laundromat owners recommend vinegar as well," a third user affirmed. 

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