photo: Mike Mozart via Flickr

Short of having someone else do it for you, there is very little you can do to make laundry fun. You can, however, make the whole process a little less miserable with some laundry hacks. All you need is one simple item you probably have stashed at the back of your pantry from last year’s Easter egg dyeing: white vinegar. Check out the cleaning benefits you never knew existed:

Stain Remover
Like getting zero sleep and filling your iPhone up with kid pics, stains are an inevitable part of life as a parent. The last thing you want is stress over a stain that’ll be outgrown in five minutes anyway. Skip the store-bought sprays and just spritz fresh spots with some vinegar, then wash.

Smell Remover
Smells, like stains, are also a fact of life with kids.  To combat that gnarly odor wafting from those sweaty soccer socks, add one to two cups of distilled vinegar to your wash. For really bad odors, pre-soak items in vinegar before washing.

Fabric Softener
Skip the overpriced fabric softeners and dryer sheets (which can actually mess with your dryer) and just add one cup of white vinegar to your rinse compartment to keep clothes soft and static free.

Disinfectant
From germ-infested school uniforms, to those booger-covered bed sheets, kids’ laundry can get pretty gnarly. Instead of reaching for the bleach bottle, just add a cup of distilled white vinegar to your load. The vinegar acts as a natural disinfectant without the risk of bleach stains on that superhero cape your toddler insists on wearing daily.

Machine Cleaner
The only thing more annoying than having to do laundry is cleaning the washing machine. Just how does all that gunk get trapped in the rubber ring around the door? Save money on pricey washing machine cleaning products and simply run an empty wash cycle with five cups of vinegar.

Have you ever used vinegar as a cleaning product? Share your experience in the comments!