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2022-09-24 04:58:40 By : Ms. Lisa Kong

Indisputable visual proof is just the best thing ever, which is why most people are so bowled over by great before-and-after comparison pics. One of the more recent things to fall into this category is laundry stripping, which has been all the rage on TikTok in recent years. However, although it's become something of a social media sensation, this deep-cleaning laundry practice has actually been way longer than TikTok.

Dubbed an "aggressive cleaning method" by the experts at Maytag, the laundry stripping process is designed to remove any "extras" that otherwise clean laundry is holding on to, such as hard water minerals, body oils, excess detergent or fabric softener. When all of these things build up, they can make white or light-colored laundry look dull and dingy.

After a good laundry-stripping soak, the water is often visibly dirty, which is a shocking, yet satisfying visual to people who thought their textiles were already clean!

Laundry stripping shouldn't be done very often, maybe a few times per year. That's because over-stripping can cause fabrics to break down. Key signs to look for that signal you should do some laundry stripping are if your towels are no longer absorbent or soft, or if any fabrics feel sticky to the touch. Also, stale odors or yellowing/brownish colors are dead giveaways that buildup is getting out of control.

Always wear gloves when stripping laundry, as some of the ingredients can be harsh and irritating on your skin. Some experts even recommend wearing a mask to avoid inhaling any caustic chemicals.

Anyone who doesn't want to go to all of this effort can also just do strip laundry in the washing machine. The only downside is that you won't be able to see the dirty water at the end, but it's a lot less messy and time-consuming than the bathtub method.

To strip laundry in your machine, select the "deep soak-and-spin" option (if it's a top-loading machine), or the "rinse-and-spin cycle" (if it's a front loader) and follow the same steps as above. It'll produce the same quality clean, but without all the dirty water and cleanup.

As we've already pointed out, laundry stripping is a much harsher cleaning method than most fabrics are accustomed to. That means it's not ideal for any delicates or high-end clothing items. So, skip the laundry stripping process on lingerie or any other piece of clothing that lists "gentle" or "hand-wash only" instructions on the tag.

And it goes without saying that any "dry-clean only" pieces should never be subjected to the laundry stripping process. Additionally, wool, workout clothes and anything that should only be washed in cold water should never be stripped.

For other clothing items, make sure to separate lights and darks when laundry stripping just like you would during regular machine washing. Dark colors stripped with lighter ones will almost definitely wind up color-contaminating the batch. However, laundry stripping is really intended for textiles like light-colored sheets and towels that are showing their age a bit prematurely.

Most experts say that laundry stripping isn't really necessary as long as you're doing your laundry correctly in the first place, meaning to avoid buildup. Here are some tips:

These simple steps are usually all that's necessary to prevent dingy build up. However, if laundry stripping still appeals to you, it's easy enough to do.

TikTok has gifted society with some pretty great laundry hacks, but they aren't always winners. One woman tried a hack that involved using sponges soaked in fabric softener and water, rather than standard dryer sheets. Scarily, her dryer actually caught fire while running! Fortunately, no one was hurt.

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