What Is Laundry Stripping, and Does It Work? A Cleaning Expert Explains the Viral Soaking Method – GoodHousekeeping.com

No one wants to put more time and energy into cleaning than they have to. That’s exactly why most of us throw our laundry into the washer and dryer, and call it a day. But sometimes (key word: sometimes), it may not seem like a standard wash and dry gets the job done. Enter laundry stripping, the latest cleaning method that people — TikTok users, especially — are obsessing over.

Laundry stripping isn’t new by any means: Many people, including Good Housekeeping Institute’s Cleaning Lab, have used this soaking method for years to remove detergent residue, fabric softener, minerals from hard water, and body oils from textiles. But one viral before-and-after TikTok by MrsLaurenElms started a cleaning movement in recent months, causing TikToks with #laundrystripping to rack up 18.5 million views.

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It makes sense why this soaking method is taking off — the TikToks show tubs filled with murky brown water after hours of soaking clean laundry. This prompted many people to wonder if they’ve been unknowingly wrapping up in dirty sheets and towels all this time.

Just like other of-the-moment trends, there are tons of questions about this soaking technique — some are straight-forward (Can I strip other items