Why We Should All Try ‘Laundry Stripping’

Why We Should All Try ‘Laundry Stripping’

The old technique of ‘laundry stripping’ – thoroughly soaking your laundry to get rid of dirt and stains – is pretty popular right now thanks to a host of viral TikTok videos which have collectively racked up more than 12m views. To find out what it involves and why it’s worth a go, we spoke to cleaning expert Dean Davies from Fantastic Services.

What is laundry stripping?

Laundry stripping is the process of thoroughly soaking your clothes and linens to remove the build-up of dirt and bacteria – it removes detergent, softener, hard water, and dirt from textiles. While a washing machine can deal with some of the tough stains and grime our clothes collect, it can’t really compete with laundry stripping which essentially draws out all the nasties that have built up over time. One of the reasons for this is that laundry stripping helps eliminate odours completely off the fabric and restores it to its initial state – something a standard washing machine just can’t do. By utilising this classic cleaning method, you can remove all the hard water built up in your clothes and towels’ fabric, as well as the small layer of film that fabric softener leaves behind. While most instructions tell you to soak your laundry for five to six hours, you can laundry strip for up to three days for really tough stains. 

What are the benefits?

Doing regular laundry in the washing machine can lead to your clothes and towels becoming a bit grimy and even smelly over time. Regardless of how many times you re-wash them in the machine, these problems just won’t go away. However, with some good old-fashioned laundry stripping, you can give your dirty laundry a new lease of life. Although it’s become a recent TikTok sensation, people have been laundry stripping for years – soaking linens to remove stains isn’t anything new. 

So why has it gone viral now?

Like many other internet trends, it’s popular because it’s satisfying to watch. Seeing all the dirt and grime come out of the laundry and turn the water a murky brown colour is, in a way, extremely gratifying. It’s similar to other cleaning videos on YouTube and Instagram which also have millions of views – there’s a reason why cleaners are becoming social media influencers.

What products do you need to get started?

If you want to laundry strip, it won’t work with bog-standard washing detergent. To get out a serious build-up of dirt and grime, you’re going to need some specialist products, including the following: 

  • One load of freshly laundered clothes or towels (either dry or wet)

  • Enzyme laundry detergent

  • Borax

  • Washing soda 

  • Something to stir the laundry with – a long plastic mop handle or an old wooden spoon works well


Fill a plastic tub or a bathtub with hot water, add ½ a cup of laundry detergent, a ¼ cup of borax and a ¼ cup of washing soda. Stir until well mixed. 


Submerge all the fresh laundry into the tub and leave it until the water becomes cool, which can take three to five hours. Stir the laundry from time to time to help remove any dirt. 


Drain or remove all the murky water and run your laundry through the washing machine on a rinse-only cycle. 


Hang your washing out to dry as normal – your laundry will look and feel extra fresh.  

What items can you strip?

You can wash most fabrics using the laundry stripping method, aside from more delicate items that shouldn’t go anywhere near hot water – always check the care label first. Also, bear in mind that although you can wash coloured fabrics with this method, it’s not really recommended, as laundry stripping can cause the dyes to run – mixing coloured clothes with white bath towels or bed sheets is a serious no-no. Overall, it’s best to stick to towels, sheets and white t-shirts when it comes to laundry stripping.

Should we all be ‘stripping’ our laundry?

Yes, especially if you’ve never done it before and have only been using a washing machine. It’s a great cleaning method that everyone should try at least once or twice a year, in order to keep their clothes looking their best. Everyone can do it at home – if the results are to your satisfaction, it might even become a regular practice.

Ready to give it a try? Here are the products to use...

For more tips and cleaning services FantasticServices.com

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