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This disgusting but effective laundry hack is meant to clean what washing machines can't.

They say everything old becomes new again, and right now, it’s old-school laundry hacks on TikTok.

(TikTok [tick tock] noun. A social media platform for young, hip people and celebs to post videos of themselves dancing, lip syncing and living life etc.)

Moving on.

With germs and hygiene at the front of our minds, there’s no better time for a laundry hack my nan would approve of to go viral.

The hack in question? Laundry stripping.

WATCH: Here’s how to get stains out of your clothes – even the really greasy ones from your morning croissant. Post continues after video.

Video by Mamamia

Laundry stripping isn’t a new thing. The process, which involves soaking items for hours, is meant to remove built-up residue from soaps, washing liquids and powders, and fabric softener. It also draws out any minerals in your items from washing in hard water, and general grime, oils and gunk washing machines potentially won’t.

Only now, we’re spending a lot more time on social media looking for new hacks, tricks and tips to do around the house to pass the time in isolation. Case in point: 2-ingredient Nutella cakes and whipped milk in various flavours.

So, who do we have to thank for bringing back laundry stripping and cementing its place in the iso zeitgeist? TikTok user Lauren Elms (@mrslaurenelms).

@mrslaurenelms“Stripped” me and my hubby’s workout clothes! Towels are up next! ##diycleaning ##laundry ##cleanfreak ##tide ##borax ##armandhammer ##lululemon♬ original sound – mrslaurenelms

@mrslaurenelmsGotta strip that COVID-19 off those scrubs! ???? ##laundry ##tide ##armandhammer ##borax ##covid ##nurse ##diycleaning ##ERnurse ##cleanfreak ##laundrystripping♬ original sound – mrslaurenelms

@mrslaurenelmsWho’s here for the towel stripping? ????‍♀️ ##laundry ##cleanfreak ##laundrymagic ##laundrystripping ##tide ##borax ##armandhammer ##diycleaning♬ original sound – mrslaurenelms

The ER nurse from the US started sharing her laundry stripping endeavours online to deal with stinky workout clothes, ER scrubs, old towels, bed linen and doona/duvet covers. The murky results made for excellent internet content, racking up millions of video views.

Here’s her laundry stripping method:

  1. Fill a bath tub with hot water. You could also use a large storage container.
  2. Add 1/4 cup of baking soda/bicarb soda.
  3. Add 1/4 cup of Borax, a mineral-based household cleaner you can find at a supermarket or hardware store.
  4. Add a generous scoop of washing powder or laundry liquid.
  5. Pop your items in the bath and give the concoction a stir with the end of a broom or mop, or any long household item you can use without having to touch the water.
  6. Leave to soak for several hours, stirring the tub every hour or so.
  7. Remove items and chuck in the washing machine on a regular cycle.

As you can see from the images below, laundry stripping is disgusting, but effective and oddly satisfying.

Doesn't this doona water look delicious? Image: TikTok.
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Who doesn't love a bit of doona broth? Image: TikTok.
DEAR GOD. This is the water after laundry stripping. Image: TikTok.
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Here are some lovely towels... Image: TikTok.
MAKE IT STOP. Image: TikTok.
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And here's a little trail of bits left behind. Image: TikTok.

Some pointed out the colour of the water comes down to dye leaching out from the clothes as they soak, and look, fair point.

Soak any coloured item and the water will change colour, but the hack has also been proven to turn water a brown, murky colour even using white linen and doonas. You can also see the water ends up with a light film or patches of oil, which is from the yummy, greasy bits in your clothes.

Naturally, everyone else on TikTok decided to jump on the laundry stripping 'trend'. Search #laundrystripping on the app and you'll find heaps of similar videos of people attempting the hack at home.

Some are meh, but others, like this example of laundry stripping rank, filthy yellow pillows, are legit.

@mommygirgisStripping feather pillows. Gross. ##laundrystripping ##momsoftiktok ##grossmeout ##laundrychallenge♬ original sound - mommygirgis

Check out these yellow pillows before... Image: TikTok.
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During the laundry stripping process... Image: TikTok.
And after! Image: TikTok.
This is also the stuff of nightmares. Image: TikTok.
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So gross, but so satisfying. Image: TikTok.

While laundry stripping looks like the stuff germaphobes' dreams are made of, it is important to note it can cause further wear on your clothes. Probably don't laundry strip your clothes, towels and sheets before every wash. But give it a go every now and again and just watch as that water changes colour. Yum.

Feature image: TikTok/@mrslaurenelms.

Have you tried laundry stripping before? tell us about it in the comments below!

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