How To Hand Wash Clothes

Gentle clothes, undergarments and special fabrics require special care in the laundry. By taking a little extra time on the weekend to hand wash your clothing, you can protect the color and texture of the fabric so that the clothes look new for years to come. Follow these steps to hand wash the clothes.

  1. Check the tag. When you start sorting your clothing be sure you check the tag to determine the best process for washing. Dry clean only garments are usually not hand washable. Instead hand wash those clothes that require a gentle cycle or hand wash only. Follow the instructions for warm or cool water.
  2. Clean the sink. Clothes won't be cleaned in a dirty sink so before you get started washing make sure the sink is clean and dry.
  3. Fill the sink with cool water. Unless the tag on your garment says to wash it in warm water, then your best bet is to use cool. Fill the sink with water.
  4. Add a capful of mild detergent. Use a detergent like Woolite that is specially made for gentle cycle or hand washing use. Add a capful to the sink of water and stir using your hand.
  5. Insert clothing and saturate. Lower the clothing into the water letting it soak into the fibers of the clothes. Some fabrics are slow to absorb the water so hold the clothes in the water until the water and detergent soak in.
  6. Gently agitate. Use your hands to agitate the water and stir the garment to remove dirt and oils.
  7. Soak. Let the garment soak for five to fifteen minutes.
  8. Rinse. Empty the sink and run cool water over the garment to rinse the soap out of the garment. Avoid squeezing the garment to get the soap out. Instead, allow the water to flow into the garment until it rinse clean.
  9. Roll with a towel. Do not wring, twist or squeeze the garment between your clothes. Instead lay the garment onto a towel. Roll the towel and garment together so that the excess water in the clothing is absorbed into the towel. Then unroll and put the towel into the dryer.
  10. Lay flat to dry. Place the garment on a drying rack or flat surface so that it can air dry for several hours. Shape the garment to its correct form for drying. Once dry the clothing is fresh and ready to wear.

Hand washing laundry might seem old-fashioned but if you take the time to take care of your special clothes, you can extend their life. Wear your favorite sweater or undergarments for several seasons to come by taking these steps.


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