Hi, my name is Renae and I'm an appliance repair tech. A lot of people ask me whether or not vinegar is safe to use in your washing machine because apparently there are a lot of rumors going around that vinegar is going to eat away at the rubber gaskets and seals within your machine. Now, I don't have a 100% perfect answer to this question, but I do have the answer to a few others.
Have I personally ever seen vinegar eat away at any seals or rubber inside a washing machine? No. Have any of my coworkers ever seen this happen, including my coworkers who have 30 plus years more experience than I do? No. I'm also a manufacturer-trained technician, which means that a couple of times a year, I receive training from trainers who are directly employed by those manufacturers. And not once in those last five years have any of those trainers told me that vinegar used in a washing machine is problematic. And generally, if something is that bad for an appliance, they'll tell us. Granted, I don't work on every single brand of washing machine, but I do work on a lot.
I've also asked other appliance repair technicians throughout the United States, and none of them have ever seen vinegar being a problem used in washing machines either. In fact, I've had employees of these manufacturers tell me that white vinegar can be used not only as a fabric softener but also to get rid of excessive suds if somebody has a detergent buildup. So while I can't tell you that it's a hundred percent safe for every single machine on the market, I can tell you that between me, my coworkers, other professionals in my field, and manufacturers, none of us have ever seen white vinegar cause an issue. So take that for what it's worth.