While on maternity leave, I got this “brilliant” idea to start stripping our laundry ? I’ve actually never done it before, gasp, but I do know that our clothes needed it! After sitting in the closet for about two weeks, everything would start to smell musty no matter what I did in the laundry.. and don’t even get me started on our athletic material clothes and hubby’s softball clothes ?
I’ve never been a huge fan of the traditional laundry stripping recipes you see floating around, primarily because they use Tide detergent, which is not something I personally want to be using on our clothes, as there are far “cleaner” detergents out there.
This recipe has been working really well, and I get to use my beloved On Guard Laundry Detergent, so it’s a win win! If you don’t have On Guard Laundry Detergent, sub in your favorite toxin-free laundry detergent instead! I’ve been stripping our laundry in a big empty Sterilite bin in our basement shower because it’s right across the hall from the laundry room, and wet laundry is heavy (and messy) to carry up and down the stairs.
Be sure to scroll down to view all of my favorite laundry DIY recipes, including Natural Toxin-Free Dryer Sheets and swap out those unstoppables for a Natural Laundry Scent Booster. Remember to add some white vinegar to each load as a natural liquid fabric softener – no, your clothes won’t smell like vinegar, I promise!
I also ALWAYS put wool dryer balls in the dryer! Wool dryer balls reduce drying time, can help with static cling (although I think my dryer sheets work better than the dryer balls at removing static cling, especially in the MN winters), they are eco-friendly and sustainable, and they also do not put harmful fragrances out into your laundry and environment. Of course, I add essential oils to my dryer balls to “scent” my laundry naturally in a toxin-free way. Wild Orange, Eucalyptus, Lavender, Petitgrain or Purify are my favorite oils to add!
- ¼ cup Washing Soda
- ¼ cup Borax
- ½ tablespoon On Guard Laundry Detergent (or other toxin-free detergent)
- 5 drops Purify essential oil
- Begin to fill tub or basin with hot water
- Pour in all ingredients as tub is filling
- Add clothes to the tub (be sure to separate your lights and darks!)
- Stir once everything is added, make sure the water level is above the clothes
- Let sit for at least four hours, stirring laundry occasionally
- After 4+ hours, wring out all clothing items, put wet clothes into the washing machine and launder as usual – do not add more detergent to the washing machine
Pro tip: wringing out towels is HEAVY, instead of following the full laundry stripping method with towels or other heavier items, consider adding the same amount of Washing Soda and Borax to the washing machine the next couple of times you wash those things. It will take a little longer to remove the smells, but at least you didn’t have to wring out all the heavy towels!
Natural Toxin-Free Dryer Sheets
- 1½ cups white vinegar
- ½ cup water (filtered/purified/distilled recommended)
- 20 drops essential oil (fave combos below)
- 16oz glass spray bottle
- Old t-shirts cut into dryer sheet size, or these white t-shirt rags
- Combine all ingredients in 16oz glass spray bottle
- Shake to combine (don’t you love DIYs that are this easy?!)
To Use: shake to combine, spray on clean t-shirt rag (you’ll want it pretty saturated) and toss into the dryer with your load! I promise your clothes won’t smell like white vinegar and this is the best thing I’ve found to get rid of static cling!
Grab a cute label for your spray bottle from my Etsy shop!
Laundry Scent Booster
- 2 cups Epsom salt (make sure you get the unscented stuff – use your pure essential oils for the smell and not an artificial fragrance)
- ½ cup baking soda
- 20-30 drops of your favorite essential oil – Citrus Bliss or Citrus Bloom are my go-to’s! Check out more of my faves below
- Combine all ingredients in a container
- Shake to combine (again, another super easy DIY!)
To Use: add ¼ cup to your washing machine with each load!
Grab a cute label for your container from my Etsy shop!