Who knew that regular cycles in your washing machine may not be enough to get clothes clean?
A viral TikTok by user MrsLaurenElms, which showed her soaking towels in a bathtub, helped launch a national obsession with “laundry stripping” during the pandemic. Over the last few months, TikTok’s #laundrystripping tag page has garnered 27 million views and counting.
“One reason that we have seen a rise in this laundry trend is because of the shock factor that it gives people when they realize that the clothes they thought were clean are horrifically dirty,” said Michelle Hansen, an organizing and cleaning expert and owner of Practical Perfection.
Laundry stripping provides physical proof that our regular laundry methods might not be working as well as we thought. “Plus, it’s satisfying to see the murky colored water and see how much cleaner you’ve been able to get your laundry,” Hansen said.
But what, exactly, does laundry stripping do? And is it safe for your fabrics? Here’s a closer look at the latest laundry trend.
What is laundry stripping?
“Laundry stripping is a soaking method designed to deep-clean your laundry, with the intent to remove built-up residue from detergent, hard water, body oils and fabric softener, which you simply cannot do using a washing machine,” explained Dr.