I came real close to throwing out all our bathroom towels. I couldn’t figure out why they would start to smell so funky after using them only a day or two. I’d wash them in hot water, I’d use scented detergent, scented fabric softener and even resorted to the laundry scent booster, just to get them smelling fresh again. But nothing worked. Little did I know I was just adding to the problem. Our towels, no matter how clean I thought they were, were just accumulating years of detergent, softener and body oil residue. When I started googling “why do my bath towels smell funky?” I came across a lot of information on laundry stripping.
What is Laundry Stripping? It is the process of soaking laundry in a combination of Borax, Washing Soda and detergent to remove all the years of built-up soap, softener and body oil residue. You will actually be able to see the funk that is left behind in the water from what you thought were clean towels!
How do you Laundry Strip? It’s actually really easy!
1. Fill a large tub or utility sink with hot water.
3. Add your towels or sheets but don’t overfill. Give it another little stir. I used the end of a plastic scrub brush.
4. Soak for 4-6 hours, stirring once every hour. You will quickly see the water turn a nice, dirty gray color.
5. After the 4-6 hour soak, drain the tub or sink and squeeze excess water from laundry.
5. Wash on regular cycle, no need to add detergent or softener. 😉 I am fortunate to have a utility sink in my laundry room so it made transporting dripping towels from the sink to the washing machine easy. If you are transporting from a tub in a different room, you may want to use a plastic hamper or even a large plastic bag.
6. When your towels are done drying, bury your nose in your fluffy, fresh, TRULY clean towels and inhale. Ahhhhh. Even my husband who is our super smeller in the house gave our towels two thumbs up. It looks like I won’t be needing to spend money on new towels after all.
Note: I have only tried this on towels so far. I’ve read that sheets take well to laundry stripping, but check labels and color fastness for anything else since hot water is being used.
Happy Healthy Home!