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Why Laundry Strip? The Inside Scoop on Strip Cleaning Your Clothes

woman cleaning clothes in bathroom with borax

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Laundry stripping is more than a TikTok trend with hundreds of millions of views. Strip cleaning offers a more thorough clean than a typical wash cycle, and the simple solution of 20 Mule Team Borax™️, washing soda, and laundry detergent make it even more appealing.  

What Does Laundry Stripping Do?

Strip-cleaning laundry helps remove things like buildup, so while it may seem gentle because it involves soaking your clothes in a DIY laundry stripping solution of just a few ingredients, laundry stripping can be aggressive and damage fabrics.

Like always, it’s important to first consider the fabric and type of item, and to consult the care label. We suggest trying laundry stripping on things that are sturdier, like towels and sheets, and focusing on lighter colors to minimize the chance of the colors running or fading. You’ll want to avoid strip washing things like gym clothes made of spandex, wool, as well as any items that suggest washing on cold water only.   

Does Laundry Stripping Actually Work?

The short answer is yes. 

What’s nice about laundry stripping is that it’s not something you need to practice often, because the result – and the answer to, “does it work?” – relies on removing buildup which occurs over time. The DIY laundry stripping solution can help break down residue and buildup from detergent, softener, and other additives that may cling to fabric fibers over time. 

How long it takes to properly strip clean isn’t a perfect science – and the recommend times for soaking your clothes varies by tutorial. While some suggest leaving your clothes to soak overnight, we recommend a 4-5 hour soak, stirring every hour

Strip Cleaning Call-Outs

  • Laundry stripping isn’t intended to target stain removal. It’s best to still follow stain treatment protocols based on fabric and stain type that targets the spot(s) in question.

  • Strip cleaning requires hot water, which means that if you do choose to wash colored fabrics, sorting will be key to avoid colors running and accidentally dyeing items. 

  • Properly measuring and dosing your detergent and fabric softener can help minimize the likelihood of buildup and residue, as will properly loading your washer 

  • Consider adding an extra rinse cycle when using your washing machine to help remove any leftover product from your garments