You’ve likely seen it on TikTok and Instagram. The laundry stripping hashtag has millions of views, and people all over the internet have been attempting to strip the dirt, grime, and residue from their bath towels, sheets, and clothes.
Yes, most of these people own washers and dryers. It seems like the biggest draw for this trend is to see the water turn brown to “show” how dirty the seemingly clean things may be. So, what’s the deal with laundry stripping? Is it necessary or just a viral trend that isn’t worth the trouble?
What Is Laundry Stripping?
Stripping laundry isn’t a new way to deep clean bedding or towels, it’s just in the mainstream at the moment. After several viral videos from cleaning queens like Vanesa Amaro and Mrs. Lauren Elms, viewers jumped at the new trend.
Start by adding warm water and a mixture of cleaning products to your bathtub. Recipes typically include Borax, powder laundry detergent like Tide, and OxyClean. Next, you’ll throw your laundry into the mixture and let them soak. Many let the laundry soak for five hours. For some heavily soiled or hard-to-clean items though, up to 24 hours of soaking is necessary.
TikTokers warn that when you strip colorful clothes you may not only stip the dirt from these items. Dark colors are especially prone to bleeding and might leave you with alarmingly dark-colored water. So, it’s best to strip light-colored and dark-colored laundry separately.
How To Strip Laundry
Recipes vary, but the constant theme is powder laundry detergent, OxyClean, and Borax.
- Step One: Add very hot water to the bathtub
- Step Two: Add 1/4 cup Borax, 1/4 cup OxyClean, and 1/2 cup powder laundry detergent
- Step Three: Stir mixture together
- Step Four: Add laundry and submerge into the water, stirring occasionally
- Step Five: Let laundry soak until water has cooled, about five hours
- Step Six: Put laundry into washing machine for a quick cycle
Laundry Items You Shouldn’t Strip
For delicate items, you should skip the laundry stripping process. These can go in the delicate cycle or might need a trip to the laundry mat. You should also skip the laundry stripping process for items that have natural fibers or other features that shouldn’t be submerged in hot water.
As with any trend, you may not get the desired results the first time. It is recommended, however, to only use this laundry hack sparingly. Firstly, it takes a lot of water to fill the bathtub, plus, even more water to clean the tub after the residue is left over. If you’re using your washing machine properly (i.e. not using too much laundry detergent) your laundry may not even need deep cleaning. But, you could always document your disgustingly satisfying laundry stripping journey on TikTok if you feel the need!