Laundry Stripping Recipe (That Gets Crazy Amounts of Nastiness Out of Your Clothes & Linens!) (2024)

Late last year I tried laundry stripping for the first time and after seeing the nastiness it got out of our sheets & towels, I was hooked! It’s really simple to do (and honestly kind of addictive 🙈) so today I’m sharing the laundry stripping recipe and the step by step for getting the job done! (post includes affiliate links; full disclosure statement available {here})

What is Laundry Stripping?

While you might not be able to see it, over time your clothes and linens develop a build-up of residue from body oils, laundry detergent, and fabric softener. Laundry stripping is the deep cleaning process of stripping all of that residue away. The amount of nastiness that you can get out of your “clean” laundry through the laundry stripping process is both amazing and horrifying all at the same time 😂! It’s as simple as soaking your laundry for several hours and then throwing it in your washer and dryer – I’ll share the laundry stripping recipe along with the step by step of the laundry stripping process.

Laundry Stripping Recipe

The laundry strip recipe or formula is pretty simple. It’s a 1:1:2 ratio of Borax, washing soda, and powdered laundry detergent. For a standard bathtub that’s filled about ½ full with hot water, add:

¼ cup Borax Detergent Booster (available {here})

¼ cup Washing Soda (available {here})

½ cup powdered laundry detergent – I use Tide (available {here})

Optional – ¼ cup Calgon (available {here})

Laundry Stripping Recipe (That Gets Crazy Amounts of Nastiness Out of Your Clothes & Linens!) (1)

The Calgon (which is a water softener) is something you should consider adding if you have hard water. For some reason it’s been out of stock pretty much everywhere for a while now plus our water isn’t that hard so I haven’t used when I’ve done laundry stripping. But if you have hard water and can get your hands on some, definitely throw it into the mix!

How to Strip your Laundry Step by Step

1. Gather the Items You Want to Strip

Gather up the items that you want to strip – towels, sheets, and workout clothes are some of the most common items to strip but anything that’s machine washable in hot water is fair game! If it’s something that you’ve sweated in a lot or just worn or used the heck out of, chances are there’s a good bit of detergent build-up along with the build-up of oils and other human nastiness. You do laundry stripping on clean clothes (which makes it all the more crazy how much yuck you’ll see come out of them!).

I’m going to strip a set of sheets, some older towels that my sensitive nose thinks have a slight smell to them when wet, and my daughter’s duvet cover:

Laundry Stripping Recipe (That Gets Crazy Amounts of Nastiness Out of Your Clothes & Linens!) (2)

The duvet cover is a real test because my daughter is always kicking her top sheet off and using only her duvet. Over time it’s gotten discolored in spots and even bleach hasn’t been able to restore it to a whiter white.

Use common sense by sorting the laundry you’re stripping by color just like you would when using the washing machine. Since we’re using hot water, you obviously don’t want to put a red t-shirt in with your white sheets and you only want to strip non-delicate items that are ok to put in hot water.

2. Fill Your Tub

Fill your bathtub about ½ full (or only as full as you need to in order to fully submerge the items you’re stripping – I fill my large soaking tub about ⅓ full) with HOT water. If you have a large sink, you can also use that as long as you don’t have too many items (but beware that your sink will be out of commission for several hours!). You can also use a top-loading washing machine.

Laundry Stripping Recipe (That Gets Crazy Amounts of Nastiness Out of Your Clothes & Linens!) (3)

3. Add the Ingredients From the Laundry Stripping Recipe

Sprinkle the Borax, washing soda, and powdered detergent (plus the Calgon if you’re using it) into the tub using the laundry stripping recipe above. Stir the water to dissolve the powders and mix them together. Use gloves throughout the laundry stripping process for safety.

Laundry Stripping Recipe (That Gets Crazy Amounts of Nastiness Out of Your Clothes & Linens!) (4)

4. Submerge Your Laundry and Stir

Submerge your items in the water and stir them around the tub a bit. From this point out, you’ll want to come back every hour or so to stir (and become horrified at how gross the water is getting), allowing your items to soak for 5-6 hours. This is what my previously clean blue water looked like after an hour of soaking:

Laundry Stripping Recipe (That Gets Crazy Amounts of Nastiness Out of Your Clothes & Linens!) (5)

This is after three hours:

Laundry Stripping Recipe (That Gets Crazy Amounts of Nastiness Out of Your Clothes & Linens!) (6)

And this was at the end after 5 hours (I pulled the clothes back so you could see the nastiness in its full glory) – so gross!! And remember, this was CLEAN laundry!

Laundry Stripping Recipe (That Gets Crazy Amounts of Nastiness Out of Your Clothes & Linens!) (7)

5. Remove Laundry & Wash

The last step is to drain your tub, squeeze excess water out of your laundry, and then run it through a wash cycle in your washing machine (don’t add any detergent). I then do an extra rinse cycle to make sure all of the gross stuff that was in the tub water is totally rinsed out of it.

Laundry Stripping Recipe (That Gets Crazy Amounts of Nastiness Out of Your Clothes & Linens!) (8)

Then throw everything in the dryer as usual and marvel at your super clean and white laundry!

Laundry Stripping Recipe (That Gets Crazy Amounts of Nastiness Out of Your Clothes & Linens!) (9)

So how did my batch of laundry look and smell after I stripped it? Everything definitely looked whiter – I could tell a noticeable difference especially with the set of sheets I washed. When my daughter comes home from college to visit, she’ll have a cleaner than clean bed to hop into:

Laundry Stripping Recipe (That Gets Crazy Amounts of Nastiness Out of Your Clothes & Linens!) (10) Bedroom Sources: Pendant light | Bench | Duvet cover | Bed skirt | Blue fringe end pillows | White tassel pillows | Lumbar stripe pillow | Lamp | Grasscloth wallpaper (Powder Blue) | Headboard, nightstand, & art prints are no longer available

And my towels that had a funk to them passed my sensitive nose sniff test when wet. As far as my daughter’s duvet, it didn’t restore all of the discolored areas to the original super white white but it definitely whitened them up quite a bit which was a job even bleach hadn’t been able to do so I was happy with the results! If you guys try laundry stripping, let me know how it works out for you!

For any of you that are new around here, if you’re looking for more details or sources for anything in our bathroom, you can find those {here} in my master bathroom reveal post:

Laundry Stripping Recipe (That Gets Crazy Amounts of Nastiness Out of Your Clothes & Linens!) (11)

and you can get the details on our laundry room {here}:

Laundry Stripping Recipe (That Gets Crazy Amounts of Nastiness Out of Your Clothes & Linens!) (12)

And be sure to check out some of my other favorite cleaning posts:

How to Clean Your Washing Machine {here}

The Best Way to Clean Stainless Steel Appliances {here}

Shark vs. Dyson Cordless Vacuum Face-Off {here}

XO,

Laundry Stripping Recipe (That Gets Crazy Amounts of Nastiness Out of Your Clothes & Linens!) (13)

Laundry Stripping Recipe (That Gets Crazy Amounts of Nastiness Out of Your Clothes & Linens!) (2024)

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