Give Laundry Stripping a Try for National Laundry Day — Your Clothes & Towels are Dirtier Than You’d Think!
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This easy 3 ingredient laundry stripping solution and washing method is more powerful than bleach.
Today, April 15th, is National Laundry Day! Celebrate with my BEST cleaning trick.
Ever heard of laundry stripping? I really hadn’t either until I started seeing murky water videos and pics trending on TikTok and Instagram back in 2020. People were soaking their towels in bathtubs filled with hot water and a laundry stripping solution, and then showing how the water would turn dark. It’s sort of gross yet satisfying at the same time! 😂
The more I researched laundry stripping, I actually started to see lots of savvy cleaning sites have content surrounding the concept. So it isn’t a new topic, but I had never tried it myself and wanted to give it a shot!
Honestly, laundry is NOT one of my favorite chores. In fact, it may just be my least favorite household activity, but seeing intriguing videos of laundry stripping suddenly perked my interest and motivated me to try it!
Are you a visual learner? I was so excited to give this a try that I even created a video showing the laundry stripping process:
What is laundry stripping?
It’s all about getting the stink and funk out of fabric! The idea is to soak and deep-clean workout clothes, sheets, and/or towels in water for a long time using a powerful mix of Borax, washing soda, and powdered laundry detergent. Bacteria, body oils, dirt, and fabric softener build-up, get released along with the hard-to-remove stinky smells.
It’s crazy how even CLEAN white sheets and towels can have such a build-up and create dark water when soaked!
Below is a photo of my clean towels after 5 hours of soaking! Eww! 🙈
How do you strip laundry?
The process involves filling a bathtub or a top-loading washer with hot water and then adding in the Borax, washing soda, and powdered detergent mixture. Then you can add in your sheets, towels, or workout clothing and let everything soak for 4-6 hours. Lastly, wash and dry like normal.
According to DailyMail.com, this 3 ingredient soaking system is more powerful than using bleach!
For laundry stripping, you’ll need 1/4 cup Borax + 1/4 cup washing soda + 1/2 cup powdered detergent:
- Borax is a popular laundry booster for lifting acidic stains, making fabrics whiter, and dissolves great for this soaking technique.
- Washing soda or sodium carbonate is also great for soaking hard-to-remove stains due to its high alkalinity and helps to remove hard water build-up in the laundry. In case you have a hard time finding it, I found my Arm & Hammer washing soda at Walmart, and it seems readily available there.
- It’s recommended to pick a powdered laundry detergent as it will dissolve easier than a concentrated liquid one. I am using powdered Tide, and if you need an allergy-friendly option then consider Tide Free & Gentle (or your favorite brand) instead.
Hip Tip: Mixing hot water and a small amount of powdered laundry detergent is actually another popular hack for cleaning up carpet and upholstery stains. As always, you’ll want to test a small area first.
Laundry Stripping SolutionPrint
Here are a few tips to consider when laundry stripping:
- This is a pretty powerful deep-cleaning method that shouldn’t be used on delicates or anything needed to be washed gently. Reserve this for ultra-stinky gym clothes, sports shirts, towels, and sheets. Also, if you do this on colored items, keep like colors together to avoid bleeding. That said, depending on your tub, this solution could stain the surface. This treat is better reserved for whites and light colors.
- Reserve this method of stripping laundry every few months so it won’t damage your fabrics. This isn’t meant as an everyday laundry routine. Also keep in mind that I have affordable white towels from Costco, so if you have some expensive fancy ones, proceed at your own risk.
- I did use this method to strip my husband’s often stinky white undershirts with success. They aren’t perfectly white, but do smell and feel clean now!
- You don’t have to use a bathtub! I used mine because I don’t have a top-loading washing machine. You could also use a large bucket or do this in a sink using the same ratio but smaller amounts of the recommended cleaning powders.
Now I’m searching for more things to wash with this laundry stripping method!
This is going to be helpful as I’d like to tackle some of my son’s funky-smelling football and baseball clothes next. My sister-in-law recently told me she used this same method in the sink to soak some of her husband’s hats that had a funky smell, which I think sounds smart, too!
Share with us in the comments if you’ve tried laundry stripping!