Stripping Laundry: The Sexy Way to the Cleanest Clothes

Since the winter is coming soon, I decided to do a “spring cleaning” before we’re cooped up indoors for six months in the cold.

This means cleaning every inch of my house from top to bottom until there isn’t a speck of dust or dog hair left in the place! 

I think that deep cleaning like this once every season is important and gives your home a consistent clean feeling.

You’d be surprised how much gross stuff can accumulate under your furniture and in your laundry. My husband even dropped a pack of string cheese under the couch that I found a few months later. Talk about aged cheese!

Along with the dusting, vacuuming, and scrubbing, I’ve found a new way to get all of my laundry SUPER CLEAN. It’s called laundry stripping, and it’s super easy and satisfying! 

laundry stripping dog smell

What is Laundry Stripping?

A few weeks ago I was scrolling through TikTok and saw a new “laundry stripping” trend that people were doing.

The videos show people throwing their “clean” laundry into a bathtub filled with hot water and mixing it with different cleaning solutions to suck out the extra grime and laundry build up that gets locked inside the fabric. 

If you’re a clean freak like me, it’s therapeutic watching all of the dirt get sucked out and having your laundry look and feel brand new afterwards!

In most videos, the water ends up looking really gross, and proves that washing machines don’t do as deep of a cleaning as we thought they did. 

To test the laundry stripping experiment for myself, I decided to try it on my used couch that our landlord gave to us when we moved in.

Though I kept it as clean as I could by washing the pillow covers monthly and vacuuming out the crumbs, the couch still smelled like a barnyard.

Because I let my dogs on the couch, it’s safe to assume that they bring the outdoors inside and rub their scent on the couch, resulting in that “dog” smell that you smell when you walk into some people’s homes.

I refused to have that smelly house reputation, so I looked up the laundry stripping recipe and got to work. Luckily, it’s only 3 ingredients. And chances are you already have them in your house!

In order to strip your laundry, you’re going to need the following items:

laundry stripping prep work

Step 1: Prep Work

Fill up your bathtub with the hottest water you can.

The hot water helps loosen the dirt in the fabric for the laundry stripping solution. While the tub is filling up, put in the laundry that you wish to clean.

For me, that meant stripping my entire L shaped couch and throwing it in before I turned the tub on, just to make sure the water didn’t overflow. 

Step 2: Making Your Laundry Stripping Solution 

As the water is still filling up, you can start to make your cleaning solution. If you’re doing regular clothing or towels, the recipe is:

  • ¼ cup of washing soda
  • ¼ cup of borax
  • ½ cup of laundry detergent

Since I was washing a huge used couch that hadn’t been washed in 4 months, I decided to up my washing soda and borax measurements to ½ cup.

Many recipes online also say to use powdered laundry detergent when stripping laundry, but I couldn’t find that so I used liquid detergent and it worked just fine. 

Step 3: Marinate Your Laundry

At this point, your tub should be filled with your hot water solution and your laundry.

Within the first ten minutes of soaking, you’ll start to see some dirt coming out. I assisted the process by stirring the laundry and poking it down with the end of a broom stick.

Once you’re done stirring and the laundry is completely submerged in the water, close the door and let the stripping solution work it’s magic for about 4-6 hours.

I did the couch for 5 hours, but by hour 4 the water was so gross I’m not sure if that extra hour made a difference. 

laundry stripping removing laundry from tub

Step 4: Removing the Laundry

After you’re done with the soaking phase, it’s time to drain the tub and wash your stripped laundry in the washing machine.

If you have to reach into the water to unplug the drain, make sure to put on those yellow rubber gloves that come up to your elbow.

Don’t be like me and just reach in with your bare hands. There are powerful cleaning agents in that water and they will make your skin split and peel!

Since the laundry was soaking in it’s own dirt, you’re going to wash it on the hottest and heaviest setting to make it extra, extra clean. 

laundry stripping with dogs smell

Step 5: Enjoy Your Hard Work!

Once your washing machine is done, you can throw your laundry in the dryer or let it air dry.

I learned from previously washing my couch that the material shrinks in the dryer. So this time I let it air dry overnight.

After putting the covers back on the cushions, my couch looked brand new! My landlord (the person who gave us the couch) was amazed by how different it looked.

In addition, my living room no longer smelled like a barnyard. And the “dog” smell was definitely gone!

Side Notes:

-There will be gross gunk at the bottom of the tub when you’re done draining. Washing this gunk down the drain will only clog it and cause problems for you. Instead, wipe it out with some paper towels or a rag you can throw away. 

-While this is a great way to make your laundry like new again, it’s important to make sure that your washing machine is performing at it’s best so you don’t have to do this process regularly.

Washing machines need to be cleaned at least once every 6 months in order to function at their best. Learn how I clean mine naturally here!


Laundry stripping isn’t just a gimmick. It really works! You can strip pretty much anything made of fabric including clothing, towels, blankets, and couches.

I’ve even gone as far as washing the dog’s beds. And you don’t even want to know what came out of those!

It’s safe to say that I will be laundry stripping every season along with my seasonal cleaning schedule. 

What are your favorite cleaning hacks? Let me know in the comments!

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  1. This is especially essential in individuals for people who let their dogs on the couch!

  2. Really Intresting! I’m going to improve this area. Thank you!

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