Sustainability made simple

Natural Laundry Stripping Recipe Step-by-Step

Natural laundry stripping recipe
Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / Skitterphoto

Natural laundry stripping is an eco-friendly way to clean old, discolored towels and sheets. Check out our laundry stripping recipe to get your textiles as fresh as new!

Laundry stripping is a thorough method of soaking textiles that rids your laundry of leftover body oils, softener and detergent that can collect over time. This kind of buildup accumulates regardless of how often items are washed. However, our simple laundry stripping recipe can help you prolong the life of household fabrics.

This useful technique is done chiefly on towels and sheets in a bathtub of hot water. The traditional method includes adding a mixture of borax, washing soda and laundry detergent to the water and leaving it to cool completely. It takes between four and five hours.

Laundry stripping is a useful cleaning technique when your towels and sheets get dingy and whites start to look yellow. You can also do it if you have sensitive skin and you have a reaction to your towels and sheets. It’s also a good idea for textiles just out of storage and when towels become less absorbent. This cleansing method freshens your sheets, towels and clothes and makes them like new.

The Environmental Impact of Laundry Stripping

This natural laundry stripping recipe doesn't contain chemicals that harm the environment.
This natural laundry stripping recipe doesn’t contain chemicals that harm the environment. (Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / kropekk_pl)

Despite the cleaning power of laundry stripping, it is not without its downfalls. Namely, it is not the most environmentally-friendly method of cleaning. The cleaning products used, like Borax and Tide, are made with harsh chemicals. Although these chemicals do wonders for your old towels, they’re bad for the environment and your health.

Thankfully, you can strip laundry without harming the environment. Follow this natural laundry stripping recipe to keep your towels, sheets and the environment clean.

Natural Laundry Stripping Recipe

Vinegar is a natural cleaner that can brighten discolored white towels and give them new life.
Vinegar is a natural cleaner that can brighten discolored white towels and give them new life. (Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / Positive_Images)

This laundry stripping recipe requires a few everyday household items.


You can also use a large, clean basin if you do not have a bathtub. The amount of vinegar, washing soda or detergent you need depends on how much laundry you want to strip and the size of your tub or basin.

A general rule of thumb is to create your solution using a one-one-two ratio. Note that when you combine the ingredients to make your solution, you will see a slight chemical reaction and the water will begin to fizz. This is supposed to happen and will die down quickly.

Now that you have your natural laundry solution ready, you can get cleaning!


  1. Wash the items as you usually would — make sure not to add softener.
  2. Once out of the washing machine, dunk your laundry into the tub with the prepared stripping solution. Stir your laundry using the end of a broomstick or another item that keeps the liquid away from your skin.
  3. Leave the laundry in the solution for between four and five hours.
  4. Give it a good stir roughly once an hour. You should start to see the water darken and dirt come off.
  5. Once the water has cooled completely and over four hours have passed, drain the water and return the items to the washing machine. Wash them on a water-only cycle, without detergent or softener.
  6. Dry the laundry as you would normally.

This laundry stripping recipe is an effective way to give worn-out textiles a new lease on life. However, don’t do it too frequently, as it uses significant water and energy. Laundry stripping should only be done two to three times a year.

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