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How to Hand-wash Your Clothes
- Published: Jan 25/2022
- Last update: May 19/2023
- 8min read
- Views: 148
Sometimes handwashing clothes is better than using a washing machine. For example, capricious fabrics, such as wool, cashmere, silk, and others require special care, and cleaning them manually is the best option that you’ve got. And yes, it can be really time-consuming and downright tedious, but it can save you money and even the life of your favourite pieces. Also, let’s not forget to mention that it’s a really useful skill to have if you travel frequently.
In this article, we are going to cover how to hand-wash clothes the right way, so continue reading if you:
The best detergent for hand washing clothes is the one that is both gentle to your skin and effective in cleaning your garments. We don’t recommend using regular detergents because they need agitation, which your hands just can’t produce. When choosing a hand-wash detergent, we suggest you look for a liquid product or a soap. Whatever you pick, don’t use too much, as it will make rinsing harder, can cause skin irritations, and even damage more delicate pieces of clothing.
If you are dealing with wool, silk, or rayon, look for pH neutral detergents. They are the safest choices.
Soap and detergent for hand-washing clothes are not quite the same. The biggest difference is that soaps are made from natural ingredients, while detergents – from synthetic ones. The option you choose will depend on the water in your area. If your tap water is hard, better opt for a detergent because the soap’s natural ingredients can leave a residue on your clothes.
We will focus more on liquid detergents below, so here’s how to wash clothes by hand with bar soap. Just add it to the water in which you’ll be washing your clothes. If you are dealing with stains – rub a bit of soap on them, let it sit for some time, and carefully scrub the clothing. Wash the soap away, and repeat if needed.
Different fabrics need different types of care. When searching for a hand-washing liquid, you will find that there are three main types – mild detergent, no-rinse detergent, and detergent with lanolin. Now, let’s take a look at each one:
This option is best for delicate clothes, except those made from silk, lace, wool, or fine-knit materials. If you don’t have one in your home, baby shampoo or a mild liquid soap are also good options.
No-rinse detergents are perfect for silk and lace. When it comes to these types of fabrics, it’s best to avoid rinsing away the water after soaking them. No-rinse hand-washing detergent options make the cleaning process faster and easier, since they take this step out.
This one is suitable for wool and fine knits. The interesting fact here is that lanolin is a natural oil that is produced by sheep to waterproof their wool. So, in any case, it will help you take good care of your wool and fine-knit clothes.
Not every piece of clothing can be put in the washing machine, so probably one of the most useful skills you can learn is how to wash clothes by hand.
Most types of underwear also need a special approach. For example, bras and other gentle pieces of lingerie are better washed this way. With all of this said, the steps in washing clothes by hand are simple and easy to follow. Now, the first thing you need to do is…
The most important thing is to determine the type of fabric you are going to be dealing with – this way you can understand how to take care of it and choose the right detergent for hand-washing clothes. If you don’t find a label and can’t recognise the fabric, then better bet on safety, and choose a mild detergent or dishwashing liquid. There are also standard detergents that work for most delicate clothes, but make sure to read their labels beforehand.
Use your fingertips to gently put some liquid detergent or laundry stain remover on the spot. Leave the product to do it’s magic. Avoid scrubbing and twisting the item, especially if you are dealing with a delicate fabric.
Fill your sink or laver with warm or cold water. Note that the temperature of the water will depend on the type of clothing you are going to wash. Keep in mind that wool, silk, and brightly coloured items clean best in cold water. Pour the detergent of your choice in the water, following the instructions on the packaging. Make sure it’s completely dissolved and put your clothes in.
Don’t panic if the water turns a certain tone – it’s absolutely normal for the fabric to release some kind of dirty-looking colour.
It’s important to wash out the detergent properly. If you’ve chosen to wash the clothes in the sink, you can use the faucet. Start the water, and let the dirt wash away.
If you’ve decided to wash your clothes elsewhere, like in a laver, then just pour out the dirty water, and fill it with clean. Let the clothes sit for a bit, rinse them, and repeat if needed.
Wringing out delicate fabrics may damage them if not done carefully. Hold the garment with both of your hands, and squeeze out as much water as possible. Be careful not to stretch the clothes too much.
Lay down an absorbent towel and place the pieces on it, then roll the towel to absorb as much of the water as possible.
Cashmere is definitely a fabric that requires extra care. Although some cashmere garments can be placed in the washing machine, it’s best that you hand-wash them. If you are wondering how to hand-wash cashmere, just follow these rules:
Silk is another type of fabric that needs special treatment. Here are some simple rules to remember:
Since your hands don’t have the power of a centrifuge, your hand-washed clothes will surely be wetter than if you’ve used a washing machine.
So, lay the clothes on a clean, flat surface without stretching them. To speed up the drying process, you can place them on a towel. Let them air dry, and after 2-4 hours, flip them so the other side can dry too.
Silk, polyester, and cotton clothing can dry on a hanger.
Book a professional Laundry Pick up and Delivery.
If you want to spend the time doing your favourite things or be with your family instead of dealing with a pile of dirty clothes, you can rely on professional laundry services or dry cleaning services. Experienced professionals will take care of your laundry, and you will have all your clothes fresh and clean right at your doorstep within 24 hours.
Have any questions? Our team is at your disposal – leave us a comment below, and we will answer it.
Image Source: Shutterstock / Rozhnovskaya Tanya