Is this viral laundry hack the answer to smelly PT clothes?
Sarah McAllister of Calgary, Alberta had no intention of starting a cleaning revolution.
“I think the massive traction we have received the last few months is hilarious,” the Canadian entrepreneur told We Are The Mighty. “We are seriously scrubbing toilets and people cannot get enough of it.”
McAllister isn’t kidding. The Go Clean Co Instagram page has amassed more than 1.5 millions followers amidst the coronavirus pandemic, mostly users impressed with the cleaning hacks she shares regularly to the page. The Canadian cleaning company, launched in 2018, specializes in professional house cleaning with a staff of 18.
“We have always shared our secrets with our followers,” she shared. “As long as people's houses are clean, we are happy, even if you cannot hire us.”
The most engaging of the company’s posts is laundry stripping, a cleaning method that ‘strips’ clean laundry of built-up detergent residue, fabric softener, body oils, odor, and hard water.
“I have always done it,” McAllister said. “I used to be a hot yoga teacher, and my yoga clothes used to stink horribly from all the sweat. One day I was googling how to get rid of the stink before I tossed a beloved pair of Lululemons and came across stripping. [It] has saved so many of my clothes since then.”
The CEO of GoCleanCo dubs laundry stripping ‘life changing’ and routinely strips clothing, sheets, and towels in her home. Before starting, she advises sorting laundry based on colors.
“You cannot strip darks and lights together,” she shared. “And I would not strip anything that is sweater or wool based, for fear of it shrinking since the water is hot.”
To strip laundry at home, McAllister recommends putting like-colored laundry in a bathtub with hot water, followed by her tried-and-true recipe of:
1 generous scoop of powdered Tide laundry detergent
¼ cup 20 Mule Team Borax
¼ cup Arm and Hammer washing soda
¼ cup Calgon laundry soap (optional)
She shared on her Instagram page that Calgon can be hard to get, and she has had ‘awesome results’ without it. Let the laundry soak for four to six hours, checking in every hour to stir the laundry around with your hand.
When the laundry is done soaking, drain the bathtub and wash in a regular washing machine cycle.
“Start with towels, they are the most satisfying,” she said. “It gets rid of the hard water build up, detergent, fabric softener, and any locked in grime. They feel so soft afterwards.”
In a recent post, fellow quaran-cleaners shared their enthusiasm for the laundry tip:
One follower said “I did my husband's work clothes. He’s an airplane mechanic - it was nasty!” Another shared “My husband's hockey gear that gets used three times a week. I honestly thought something died in my bathroom [and] the stink was so bad.”
Intrigued by the viral process, I took on the challenge with workout clothes, including Army PT shirts that have had a stuck-in stench for years. After five hours, the water was so murky my hand was barely visible beneath the surface. One week later, I was wearing clothes I had stopped working out in due to smell without any lingering odor, even while actively sweating. It’s safe to say I’m a believer in Sarah’s methodology and have since stripped curtains, towels and sheets without issue.