Here's How You Can Strip Laundry With Vinegar

Are your towels becoming less absorbent than they used to be? Maybe your athletic clothing smell just as bad even after running them through the washer. If you are experiencing these problems, you need to strip your laundry with vinegar. This cleaning method has become popular on the CleanTok side of TikTok because of the results people see. Their clothes look brand new, and the dirty water that's left proves how necessary it was to cleanse them. Laundry needs to be stripped because when you wash them with too much detergent, it builds up on the fabric, like soap scum. The excess detergent is washed away by leaving them to soak for hours in a mixture of cleansers, revealing completely clean clothing and linens.

Usually, people mix a chemical solution that includes borax when stripping their personal items. Even though this ingredient has the power to remove any built-up detergent and dirt from your laundry, it's often too aggressive on fabric. Borax can cause dye and natural oils to separate from your clothing, reducing their quality. Switching to distilled white vinegar is gentler on your laundry and an eco-friendly alternative that can provide the same results.

How to do it

You'll need a few more ingredients if you want to use vinegar to strip your laundry. The key to the solution is a ratio of one part distilled white vinegar, one part washing soda, and two parts laundry detergent. Which soap you use is up to you; it can be an eco-friendly option you purchased or something you made yourself. When you're ready to start stripping your laundry, you need to judge how large of a container to use. Many people on TikTok prefer to soak everything in their bathtub because of the large amount of clothing or bedsheets they need to clean at once. Another option is using a bucket or sink for a small batch. Then you can adjust the recipe to fit your load. First, pour very hot water into your container. Next, add the vinegar, washing soda, and detergent. As they combine, you'll notice the water starting to fizz. This is a normal reaction that you don't need to worry about.

Before you add your laundry to the container, check the tags on your clothing to ensure it's okay to strip them. What you want to look for is the temperature they can withstand. If it says cold water wash only, you should not strip them. You risk shrinking your clothing since you need hot water for this process. Generally, you shouldn't clean items made of silk, cashmere, rayon, and spandex in hot water.

Allow to soak for five hours

The first step to stripping laundry is washing them in your machine. Use all the settings as you would with any regular load; just skip the fabric softener. Once they're done, it's time to start the stripping process. Throw them into your tub or another container of your choice with water and the vinegar solution. Make sure they're entirely submerged so the mixture can work properly. Although, be careful and use a tool like the end of a broomstick to prevent the solution from touching your skin. 

Allow the laundry to soak for four to five hours. After each hour, use your tool to mix everything. As you check back during the process, you'll notice the water getting dirty. You'll know you're done stripping your laundry when the time is up and the solution is cold. Take out the fabric and put it back into your washing machine to rinse out the cleaning solution. Use a water-only cycle without detergent or fabric softener, then put them in the dryer or hang your laundry to air dry.