Quarantine Activities:: Laundry Stripping

A few weeks into quarantine, I stumbled upon the Mecca of IG profiles: @gocleanco. I’ve always considered myself a fairly clean person and I love order, but this woman takes it to a whole new level! She knows how to clean anything and everything and opened my eyes to how much filth we’re all living in. One day, I was particularly intrigued by her step-by-step walk through of how to strip your laundry. You see, even with regularly washing, your laundry builds up dirt and bacteria. I knew about this process from my days of cloth diapering my first baby, but until this one random day scrolling through IG stories, I never thought about it with other things like workout clothes, linens and towels. Why?! So, I enjoyed her stories but pushed it to the back of my mind for a while. 

As quarantine continued, I started to see some of my friends also try out the process of laundry stripping. The results were absolutely atrocious but so satisfying at the same time. After seeing the fifth or sixth friend do it, I decided to try it myself. 

Y’all! It started with me experimenting with a load of workout clothes and ended with a week-long project of me stripping all my workout clothes, towels, and sheets, and chronicling all the disgusting progress on my IG stories. I mean, is it even 2020 if you don’t get way too personal on social media during a pandemic? The answer is no!

Quarantine Activities:: Laundry Stripping

Now for the details. In order to complete laundry stripping, you need the following products and 4 to 6 hours to make the magic happen::

  1. 1/4c Borax
  2. 1/4c Arm and Hammer Washing Soda
  3. 1 heaping scoop of powdered Tide {yes, specifically Tide}

Once you’ve picked up all your ingredients, decide what you’re going to strip. Things that build up bacteria and dirt like workout clothes, towels, and sheets are good candidates; just make sure they’re like colors. Fill up a tub {or a top loading laundry} with extremely hot water. Then dump in your Borax, Arm and Hammer and Tide and give it a good stir. Now, add in your clothes and also give it a good stir! For the next six hours, you’ll let these clothes sit, giving them a good stir every hour or so and watch the magic happen! The pictures below are how the water changed as I stripped my sheets.  I’m going to spare you the gory and gross details of how my workout clothes turned out on the worldwide web BUT, if you’re really curious, you can head to the”Laundry Stripping” highlights on my Instagram for all the dirty deets {see what I did there?}. 

Quarantine Activities:: Laundry Stripping

Once the six hours of laundry stripping is completed, transfer the clothes to your washer and wash them, without any detergent {they have plenty from soaking in the bathtub}, on extra hot water! Then dry them as normal and tada! You’re done and your clothes should feel softer and if they’re lighter, they’ll most likely look cleaner and whiter. 

The previous pictures are very mild for my little adventure. When I did this with my workout clothes, the water was almost black, and no, it wasn’t from color bleeding, that’s just how much dirt and bacteria is building up in our clothes.  YUCK! So, attempt laundry stripping at your own risk, and enjoy. 

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Ashley is originally from Dallas, Texas. She recently moved back to Texas and became a Houston resident with family after spending the last five years in New Orleans where she learned that Mardi Gras truly is the most magical time of the year. Ashley and her husband have two children (2017 and 2019) and will welcome a third in Fall 2021. She first dabbled into blogging back in 2014 while in graduate school as she documented her experiences of exercising every day for a year. Ashley currently works full-time as a project manager in managed care. During her free time, you can find her spending time outside with her husband and kids, attempting a new fitness challenge, or finding a new dessert – it’s all about balance - which she shares about over on her blog www.tennisshoesandtiaras.com


  1. Have you or anyone you know used free and gentle ride to do this? Would it still work? I’m considering the sensitive skin family members.

  2. I use Free and Gentle Tide, along with Borax and Arm and Hammer Washing Soda together with every laundry load. I also add a scoop of Arm and Hammer Baking Soda because it softens the water so the detergent works better. Additionally, I use scented vinegar in the rinse cycle to cut the detergent and leave my laundry free of residue. And, in the dryer I use wool dryer balls…6 in every load, with drops of essential oil. This, also leaves no residue and you will probably NEVER need to strip your laundry again.

  3. We don’t use tide. We use gain. My husband has a skin allergy to tide. We also put Calgon water softener in it. Works just as good if not better than the original recipe.


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