One night during quarantine, I was mindlessly scrolling through Instagram when I saw my friend post a photo of a bunch of her workout clothes in a bathtub. I didn’t think much of it and kept on scrolling. A few hours later, she posted again, but this time the water in the bathtub was really dirty. Gross, I thought.
The next day, this same friend uploaded a bathtub photo again, this time filled with towels. She had also done a whole story on how brand new her workout clothes from the day before felt. Because this happened during quarantine and there was nothing else better to do, I decided to check out what she was doing.
My mind was blown. I had never heard of laundry stripping.
I am sure this is not a newly invented thing, but here it was right in front of my eyes going viral on Instagram. Summed up, laundry stripping is taking (usually clean) items and placing them in a mixture of laundry soaps and stripping them of hard water buildup, residue from laundry detergent, as well as any other general dirt or bacteria.
So, off to the store I went to get my stripping materials. Here’s what you’ll need:
1 generous scoop of Tide powdered laundry detergent (yes, has to be powder)
1/4 cup borax
1/4 cup of washing soda
Next, you’ll fill your bathtub with extremely hot water. While the tub is filling up, you can add all your soaps. If you want to be super official, you can film yourself doing a boomerang of this on Instagram. (I didn’t save mine — judge me.)
Once your tub is full and you have mixed your soaps around, add whatever it is you’re stripping. Keep all your colors the same — even I know this about laundry. So, you’ll want to do all your dark workout clothes or all your similar colored towels, etc. I even did my sheets and my husband’s favorite (nasty) pillow! The first thing I started with though were some of my husband’s hats. These needed to be thrown away, so I figured this would be a good first thing for me to start with. PS: your husbands will be very excited to hear you are stripping — make sure they know it’s LAUNDRY!
This pic was after an hour or so of soaking. (EW!) The process takes 4-6 hours and if you are able, you’ll want to mix everything around in the tub once an hour or so. We went to the pool while these soaked, so I mixed them up before we left and when we got back, but if you are home during the process, you can go check on them every hour to see how gross you are. (Just kidding!)
After the items are done soaking, you put them in the washing machine and run a normal cycle. Once I washed these hats, I just put them in the sun to dry. I really wish I had a before photo.
My husband was so impressed and I instantly felt like a trophy wife for saving his beloved hats. Let me just say though: this is like a gateway drug; it’s addicting. I have since done almost everything in my house, down to my tennis shoes! It really brings everything back to life. I did some larger pillows that I had to leave out in the sun for a couple days to dry, but they survived! My sheets and towels were so soft afterwards I could hardly believe it. I had friends messaging me, so invested in this from my stories on Instagram. My sister and one of my friends even came over to get some “to go” baggies of the soap mixture — ha!
Be warned though; this is a new trend on Instagram thanks to @gocleanco. Give her a follow if you want to truly become domesticated and learn how dirty you are because you never thought to clean some of the stuff she has. She is seriously cleaning goals. Also, if you find powdered Tide, get it quickly because it is selling out fast everywhere. I never knew how much you could clean with it and how GOOD it smells. *There are substitutes you can use if you are allergic to Tide, just make sure it has all the same active ingredients and it has to be powder.