Laundry Stripping: The Gross-Yet-Satisfying Cleaning Trend

Photo by Dan Gold on Unsplash

Even if you use your washing machine regularly, it seems layers of filth are still lingering in our clothes.

But just recently, a washing technique circulating on social media got the internet obsessed with. It’s the so-called “laundry stripping”.

What is laundry stripping?

Laundry stripping is a method of washing clothes, sheets and towels that allows you to actually see all the dirt and grime that’s hanging out on your supposedly clean linens.
It’s kind of gross; but also totally gratifying when you’re done, knowing your laundry is probably the cleanest it has ever been.

How to strip your laundry?

You’ll need:
Washing soda (sodium carbonate)
Laundry detergent
Bathtub (or large bucket)

1. Start with just-washed laundry, either wet or dry.
You can strip wash the laundry either in a clean bathtub, a large bucket, or a top-loading washing machine.

2. Start by filling the tub with very hot water.
Then, add a mixture of borax, washing soda, and laundry detergent, following a 1 to 1 to 2 ratio, adjusting the amounts based on how much water you’re using.
For a full washing machine, try about 1/4 cup borax, 1/4 cup washing soda, and 1/2 cup detergent.

3. Once the mixture has dissolved, add your laundry.
Let soak until the water has cooled, about 4 hours, stirring occasionally.
(This is the fun part, where you’ll see the dirt and residue come off into the water.)

4. Follow up by washing the items once more in the washing machine, on a water-only cycle.
After that, enjoy your ultra-clean clothes, bed sheets and bath towels!

When you should (and should not!) use laundry stripping?

Laundry stripping is great for sheets and towels because those items are used frequently and can easily collect a buildup of body oils and detergents.
If your towels feel less absorbent than usual, and your sheets look a little dingy, it might be time to try your hand at laundry stripping.

Be careful with colourful linens, because laundry stripping can cause dyes to run.
You’ll also want to avoid delicate linens like lace or embroidered pieces.
Also, clothing isn’t really a great candidate for stripping.

Remember, laundry stripping requires hot water; so keep that in mind and check care label tags before you get started.

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