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Everything You Want and Need to Know About Laundry Stripping

If you pay attention to social media trends, you may know that Summer 2020 has been the season of laundry stripping – particularly across platforms like TikTok. TikTok stars and amateurs alike have taken to the video-sharing channel to show off the deep cleaning technique and the murky water that the process usually produces. As a result, the trend has made its way through the mainstream, encouraging many of us at home to wonder what difference laundry stripping will make to our own belongings.

Want to try the trend for yourself? Here are a few things to know about the laundry stripping trend, and whether it’s something you should try at home.

What is laundry stripping?

At its core, laundry stripping is the practice of stripping your belongings of detergent, embedded dirt, and other residue accumulated and left behind by fabric softener, water minerals, and body oils. The process involves using a few deep-cleaning products and soaking your items in hot water for an extended amount of time. When completed, you’ll likely see a tub or wash bin full of murky brown water – that's how you know the laundry stripping worked!

How should you strip your laundry?

To successfully strip your laundry, you’ll need a few basic cleaning items: detergent, borax, and sodium carbonate. First, wash your laundry as you normally would. Then, fill a bathtub, large bucket, or open-top washing machine with hot water and a mixture of your three cleaning products. Allow the products to dissolve in the water before adding your laundry (wet or dry) and allowing the items to soak for up to four hours. When time is up, run the load through a rinse cycle in a washing machine.

What items should be stripped?

We get it – you might be tempted to strip every article of clothing, bed linen, and/or towel you own. However, laundry stripping isn’t recommended for everything. For example, brightly colored clothing can run if submitted to laundry stripping. Play it safe by stripping only linens and towels, or items that are very colorfast.

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