Towel Stripping Techniques That Defeat Odors & Buildup

Published April 4, 2022
Woman Holding towel Basket At Home

You might have heard the term towel stripping buzzing around on social media. More than just a hot trend, towel stripping is an efficient method for removing the buildup of detergent, dirt, hard water, and other oils from your towel. Get the deets on how to towel strip with a few simple ingredients.

Getting Started With Towel Stripping: Ingredients

Social media is more than just dancing and funny videos; it can be practical too. Just take a look at Handy Ma'am and her simple how-to videos. Right along with how to change a doorknob, you can find some priceless videos on towel stripping. This surprisingly satisfying deep clean is super easy and only requires a few simple-to-find materials.

  • ¼ cup of washing soda
  • ¼ cup of borax
  • ½ cup of heavy-duty laundry detergent
  • Spatula or rubber gloves

If you are looking for a more non-toxic clean, you can substitute hydrogen peroxide for borax for white towels. With a load of colors, you can use Branch Basics Oxygen Boost or something similar.

Easy Steps to Towel Strip

You've watched a few TikToks, and you are ready for this adventure. From a bit of grime to downright gross, this method will remove some ick from even the most diligent housekeeper's towels. If you are ready, follow these steps to clean.

  1. Grab your clean and laundered towels.
  2. Fill the tub about halfway with clean water.
  3. Add ¼ cup of washing soda, ¼ cup of borax, and ½ cup of detergent to the water.
  4. Use the spatula to stir everything up.
  5. Add your towels one at a time and use the spatula to completely submerge them.
  6. You only want to add enough towels for an average load, so you might need to do this multiple times for lots of towels.
  7. Once all the towels are added, stir everything up and let them sit for 4-6 hours.
  8. Every half hour to an hour, agitate the towels in the water.
  9. After waiting, give the towels one final stir and drain the tub.
  10. Wring out the towels.
  11. Add them to the washer to rinse.
  12. Wash towels in cold water in a regular cycle. Do not add detergent to the load.
  13. Dry clothes as normal.
  14. Enjoy that fresh clean.

How to Naturally Towel Strip With White Vinegar

Woman in laundry room putting towels in washing machine

Towel stripping can be harsh on your fabrics. Therefore, you don't want to do it more than 2-3 times a year. However, you can do a more natural washer strip for your towels once a month to keep them clean and fresh between soaks. For this method, you need:

Now that you've got your ingredients ready, it's time to get your towels stripped. Just remember, for this method, you will wash them twice. Don't use white vinegar and baking soda at the same time.

  1. Put your clean towels in the washer.
  2. Add 1 cup of white vinegar.
  3. Wash the towels on hot.
  4. Once the cycle completes, add one cup of baking soda to the wash.
  5. Wash again on hot.
  6. Dry as normal.

When to Strip Towels

As you can see, even clean towels are surprisingly dirty. But how do you know if towel stripping is for you? You'll notice a few indicators calling your name.

  • Smelly or musty towels
  • Crunchy fabric when dry
  • Dingy look to towels
  • Less absorbent towels
  • You use fabric softener
  • You have hard water

How to Make Towel Stripping More Effective

Towel stripping is pretty effective. Just look at the water afterward. But there are a few things you can do to make sure you get the most bang for your buck, so to speak.

  • Don't overload the tub. You only want to add enough towels for a regular load.
  • Make sure to agitate the towels at least once an hour. You can wear your rubber gloves to make this easier than using a spatula.
  • Let everything sit for at least four hours. Towel stripping takes time to be effective; you don't want to cut your cleaning short by being impatient.
  • Don't mix up baking soda and washing soda. For the deep clean you are looking for, you need washing soda.

Strip Your Towels Clean

Once you've been bit by the stripping bug, you might wonder what else you can strip. Well, you can try this on sheets, mats, clothes, curtains, etc. Nearly any washable fabric can be washed in hot water can be stripped. Now it's time to get stripping!

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Towel Stripping Techniques That Defeat Odors & Buildup