Updated: Dec 4, 2021
Aside from the day I bought myself a brand new washer + dryer, laundry stripping has been the greatest discovery for my clothing care needs. Not only is it a simple set and forget style of functioning, but it has allowed me to keep many of my linens, socks, and pillows for much longer than I ever intended.
I can't handle when kitchen or bathroom rags develop a stench after a day or two of use. I realize that stink comes from the rags because they are constantly wet, but it also comes from them never getting properly cleaned in the first place. Think about it. Every time we wash our hands, we dry it with a cloth that takes off the last bits of grease and that grease stays in the material until its washed.
If we aren't washing it properly, it never returns to a clean state and now we have stinky rags on our hands. Quite literally.
Thankfully, there is a solution. We don't have to hate our aging hand towels. Instead, we just need to give them a little tender love and care.
First, we draw up a hot bath. Fill it with however much water you'd like for the desired load. Once the bath is ready, toss in your dirty and stinky linens. I recommend separating your towels and linens from your clothing and delicates. You won't want to wash them together, so don't strip them together.
Next, you toss in a scoop or 1/2 cup of Oxi Clean and/or Borax into the water. Mix it up. Then pour 1/2 cup of baking soda. Then squirt in dawn dish soap if you'd like (this is totally optional, but a good choice if you have particularly greasy items. Perhaps someone in the family is a mechanic!) Then, you leave this hot tub of stuff to sit and soak for 12-24 hours. You can be the judge of how long you'd like to let it sit for, but I'd say the minimum is 6 hours for good results. Stir the bath every couple of hours to provide some agitation to the pile. This keeps the dirt from re-settling in places that we don't want it anymore.
Once your tub of stuff has sat and soaked, drain the tub. This is where you'll want to say OUUU and EWWW because of how much filth will be leaving the tub in front of your eyes. People are always in shock the very first time they do this.
Once drained, begin ringing out the wet items and tossing them into your washing machine. Don't overfill it! Set your wash cycle to normal, add some vinegar instead of softener, and please please please do not over-use the laundry detergent.
Wash the items, then dry them up and voila, your linens should feel like new.
No stink left.
- hot water
- 1/2 cup OxiClean powder and/or Borax
- 1/2 cup baking soda
- dish soap of your choice for the greaser items
Disclaimer: This post has no affiliation to any products recommended. This is a personal opinion based on experience.