How to Deep Clean Your Laundry

Deep cleaning is essentially a long hot soak in detergent, with minimal agitation.  This makes it a candidate for seldom washed items too delicate or bulky for the washing machine, as well as items so heavily and deeply soiled that even the heavy duty cycle of the wash can’t get them clean.  It is also useful for using cleaning products that aren’t safe for use in the washing machine, such as Dawn, for degreasing items that are otherwise washable.


When SHOULD you Deep Clean?
  1. Is the item not recommended for stripping?
  2. Is the item in question heavily soiled?


Examples of Deep Clean Items:
  • Pack and Plays
  • Couch Cushions or Pillows
  • Comforters
  • Blankets
  • Laundry
  • Rugs
  • Stuffed Animals


HOW Do you Deep Clean?
  1. Always start with CLEAN items. They do not have to be dry, just clean. Out of the washer or off the “clean” shelf is fine.  If dealing with non-machine washable items, this can mean rinsing first, or you can repeat the deep cleaning process until they are clean.
  2. Fill your top-loader, bathtub, or other container ½ full with HOT water (as hot as you can get it from the tap.)
  3. Add in the appropriate combination of Deep Cleaning Ingredients and dissolve well.
Deep Cleaning Ingredients
*(Required) An appropriate amount of your preferred strong detergent based on the amount of water used.  ½ – 1c in a half bathtub of water, or 1 Tbsp per gallon of water in a smaller container.
*(Optional) If the items being cleaned are soiled with protein-based stains (grass, food, spitup, etc), add a scoop of an enzyme booster such as Biz or OxiClean White Revive
*(Optional) If the items being cleaned are soiled with urine, add an enzymatic cleaner formulated for laundry such as Odoban, Natures Miracle or Bac-out. Amounts will vary by the concentration of the product, use the amount recommended for a normal load of laundry
*(Optional) If the items being cleaned are soiled with grease or oils (either kitchen or automotive/mechanical), add a grease fighter such as Dawn (a hefty squirt) or Lestoil (1 cup). If using Dawn or other dish soap, make sure you rinse them before proceeding to Step 7.
  1. Soak all your items in the water for a few hours depending on the soil level of the item(s).
  2. Stir the item(s) occasionally to help release more soil from the fabrics.
*The water MAY change colors or get murky. It’s also normal for it to smell slightly unpleasant. However, if your water doesn’t change colors that is okay too! There are plenty of gross things that we can’t see! Don’t worry!
  1. After at least 4 hours or when the water is cold, drain the tub and squeeze all water from the items. If you used Dawn, rinse well and squeeze dry again.
  2. Complete with a WATER ONLY wash cycle. This will make sure all the detergent and mineral solution is out of your fabrics.


By Meredith Spitalnik