Most people think that a whirl in the washing machine will thoroughly clean their clothes and linens — but it turns out that some fabrics may be retaining a horrifying buildup of dirt.
‘Stripping’ laundry is the special trick that gets everything super clean, removing the grime that washing machines won’t.
The technique involves soaking laundry in a tub of hot water, baking soda, Borax, and detergent.
Get stripping! Most people think that the washing machine will thoroughly clean their clothes and linens — but it turns out that some fabrics may be retaining a horrifying buildup of dirt
Clean: ‘Stripping’ laundry is the special trick that gets everything super clean, removing the grime that washing machines won’t
Mix it up: The technique involves soaking laundry in a tub of hot water, baking soda, Borax, and detergent
Yuck! After soaking the laundry in the solution, it may leave behind water that looks like this
The technique for stripping laundry has been around for ages, but is reaching a new generation after going viral on TikTok.
Nurse Lauren Elms shared several walk-throughs on the app, first stripping her workout clothes on April 22 and then doing her towels on April 24.
The video of her stripping her towels was viewed 6 million times.
First, she fill sup a tub with water. According to Little Things, the water should be very hot — and can also simply fill up a large container.
She then adds a quarter cup of baking soda, a quarter cup of Borax, and a generous scoop of powder detergent.
She then adds her laundry to the tub, and advises to ‘stir those suckers up.’
Clean up: When done, launder the clothes as usual. You may also need to clean the tub
Squeaky: Nurse Lauren Elms shared several walk-throughs on TikTok, stripping her towels and her gym clothes (pictured)
A good soak: She soaked the laundry for hours, stirring occasionally as it sat
Yikes! Though the laundry was ‘clean’ going in, it left behind this water
Lauren says to continue stirring every couple of hours, but shows that just ten minutes in, the water is already dirty.
After seven hours, the water is positively filthy, a dark brown color.
She points out that her clothes and towels were actually ‘clean’ when they went in the tub, so this was all buildup.
Finally, she tells viewers to finish up by re-washing their laundry as they normally would in a machine.
She also shows that the bottom of her drained tub is dirtied with a surprising residue from the soak.
Lauren’s video has set off a trend, and several others have mimicked her with their own clips.
Testing it out: Lauren’s video has set off a trend, and several others have mimicked her with their own clips
It works! Some just shared shocked and horrified reactions, while others replicated the experiment with their own clothes
Some just shared shocked and horrified reactions, while others replicated the experiment with their own clothes.
According to The Spruce, ‘body soil and bacteria’ can get stuck in fabrics, especially terry cloth towels.
That’s why some older towels and gym clothes may smell clean immediately after coming out of the wash, but will start to smell as soon as they get damp.
When laundry is thrown in the wash, the soap is doing a lot of the work to clean it — but it’s still circulating in dirty water, which gets reabsorbed into the fabric.
Stripping can get rid of some of the dirt and bacteria, while smells can be killed by adding vinegar to a wash.
However some people were not entirely convinced by the hack.
A few suggested that the residue left in the bathtub is actually dye from the items, noting that the intensive cleaning technique could well be draining the color from the fabric.