The ‘Clothes Cleaning’ Recipe You Need to Have Clean Clothes

When you run something through the washing machine, you expect it to be clean when the spin cycle is done. But your clothes aren’t always as clean as you think, which is why “stripping clothes” is doing the rounds on social media as the best way to get your dirty clothes the cleanest they’ve been in years.

While washing machines generally work pretty well at shaking dirt and grime out of clothes and rinsing them, it’s hard to get it all out. That’s where stripping clothes comes into play. “Stripping clothes is a process to remove buildup: residue from fabric softeners, soap, hard water, and minerals, as well as dirt, oil, and bacteria,” says home cleaning expert Diane Regalbuto, owner of Betty. He likes to clean. “Dirt and debris should be released into the water, offering a gross but satisfying image.”

Removing clothes is also easy. Simply fill your bathtub with hot water and let your clothes soak in a mixture of baking soda, borax, and laundry detergent. It works great for towels, sheets, and other linens, but you can also use the method for clothes if you’re careful. If you want your clothes to be cleaner in years, here’s how Regalbuto recommends cleaning clothes at home.

Clothes Stripping Recipe

1/4 cup borax
1/4 cup baking soda
1/2 cup detergent

1. Fill a bathtub or sink ($42) with hot water.
2. Completely submerge your clean clothes in the water. It can be freshly washed wet or dry clothes.
3. Add borax, baking soda, and detergent to hot water. You can also add a little white vinegar for an added touch.
4. Let your clothes soak. Stir, mix, and squeeze regularly over a four-hour period, or until the water has cooled completely. Dirt and debris should be released into the water, turning it a cloudy gray.
5. Drain the water and wring out the excess liquid from the items. Then give them a final rinse in the washing machine using a water-only cycle.
6. Rinse out the bathtub, bucket, or whatever you’ve soaked your clothes in because there will be dirt or residue.

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