By Nancy Mattia, CTW Features
To be clear, laundry stripping doesn’t involve removing your clothes while using a washing machine. No, the only things removed while laundry stripping are detergent and fabric-softener residue, mineral buildup and dirt. It gets deep into the fibers of smelly exercise outfits and work uniforms that your body’s natural oils and sweat have saturated. If you feel like detergent alone isn’t doing a good enough job, you may want to try laundry stripping.
Though this process has been around for years, it’s gotten buzz lately. There are TikToks devoted to laundry stripping that show bathtubs filled with gross, dirty water, the end-product of a successful stripping. People are doing all sorts of things to make themselves feel more comfortable in these challenging times, so why not get clothes as clean as possible? Below, a few basic questions on how the process works and other important considerations:
Can you define “laundry stripping”?
Sure. Laundry stripping is the extra-thorough process of cleaning your already cleaned clothes that still seem dirty or odorous by soaking them in a container for a few hours then running the load through a washing machine.
Does it work on any type of material?
Just about any material can be stripped, as long as it can be washed in hot water; for that reason, you’ll want to hold back on anything made of wool, which hot water may ruin. You can also strip towels and rugs.
Where is the best place to do it?
You’ll need a container that’s large enough to fill with water and submerge all the clothes in. Consider a bath tub, extra-large plastic bin or bucket, or a top-loading washing machine.
What do you use as the cleaning agent?
Fortunately, you don’t need any fancy products—you probably already have most of what you need on hand like laundry detergent, baking soda, and borax. (For cleaning recipes and step-by-step instructions, check out cleaning blogs like bleachpraylove.com and cleanmama.com.)
What’s the proper way to strip?
First, separate your clothes, towels, or whatever you want to strip by color, and only wash same-colored pieces together. Clothes can be wet or dry but they must be clean. Add enough hot water to fill the container then add the cleaning solution. Soak clothes for about four hours. The last step is to wring out the clothes then run them through your washing machine with just water for a completed cycle. Dry your clothes however you normally would.