How to Hand Wash Clothes. For one reason or another, it’s sometimes best to drop the washing machine and do it manually. While handwashing is usually restricted to delicate items – bras and underwear – it is an effective option for most types of clothing, especially if you don’t have enough cargo to make a trip to the laundromat worthwhile.
Before going to your sink, read the care and fiber labels on your garment for water temperature guidelines and other washing instructions. If the label says “dry cleaning” versus “just dry cleaning”, washing in the sink can be safe – and lower the bill for dry cleaning. To be on the safe side, test your garment by putting a drop of water in a hidden spot and dabbing it with a paper towel. If no paint comes off or no water stain remains, it should be safe to wash by hand. Although care instructions may vary from one type of clothing to another, the same step-by-step method applies regardless of whether you are working with wool, silk, or cotton.
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Whether you’re tackling a wine stain or just need to freshen up a blouse before wearing it again, let an expert – Carolyn Forte, director of the Good Housekeeping Institute’s cleaning laboratory – tell you how easy it is to wash clothes by hand.
How to wash clothes by hand
Washing clothes by hand is by far the most gentle approach. That means you want to handle your garments with the utmost care throughout the entire cleaning process. To save time, you can use Likes a.k.a. Wash garments in the same color and type of fabric. Follow this step-by-step guide for most clothing (but read on for more detailed instructions on bras, underwear, and sweaters):
- Read the care label to determine the type of fabric: silk, wool, etc. Find the best detergent from there. Any standard detergent should work for most items. Delicate fabrics may require something gentler, such as B. fine fabric detergent, free and gentle detergent or mild detergent.
- Treat stains if necessary. To do this, carefully apply a laundry stain remover or a liquid detergent to the stain with your fingertips (avoid scrubbing!). Gently push the frothy water through the garment several times while soaking.
- Fill the sink with water – lukewarm or warm, depending on the care labels of your garment – and put the garments inside. (For your information: wool, silk and bright colors are best cleaned in cold water.) Then add the recommended dose of detergent. Swirl the detergent into the water to ensure that it is completely dissolved. Then put your garment in the water and gently push it down to fully immerse it. The water can take on color, but don’t panic: this is simply the substance that releases color and does not cause color loss after washing.
- Rinse well. If you have a sprayer on your tap, put light clothing such as lingerie or swimsuits in a strainer and rinse them clean. Otherwise, fill the sink with cold, clear water, immerse the garment and press the water through to rinse. Repeat if necessary.
- Remove excess water. Since wringing out wet, delicate fabrics can cause unnecessary damage, carefully lift the garment with both hands and gently squeeze out as much water as possible. Then lay it flat on an absorbent towel and roll up the towel and garment until the water is absorbed.
- Place objects to dry. To prevent delicates, especially knitwear, from getting out of shape, lay them flat to dry. For additional care (and to speed up the drying process), put sweaters or swimsuits on a dry towel and let it air dry. Once the front is dry, turn it over.
How to wash bras and delicate lingerie by hand
While throwing your bra in the washing machine may seem like a quick fix, it can be harmful in the long run. Washing your bras by hand is recommended by lingerie brands and designers because it keeps your underwear in shape and fit. Good news for you: it’s really easy to do.
- Fill the sink with lukewarm water (or the temperature specified on your bra’s care label). Add a gentle detergent.
- Carefully put the bra in the water and let it soak for 15 minutes. Carefully work the foamy solution into all corners and corners of the bra.
- Do the washing up. If you have a sprayer on your tap, put the bra in a strainer and rinse it clean. Otherwise, fill the sink with cold, clear water, immerse the bra and press the water through to rinse.
- To remove excess water, gently squeeze the water out of the straps and back, dab it off (including the cups), or dab it off with a towel. Then reshape and dry flat.
Hand wash underwear
Similar to bras, there are some styles of underwear that should be hand washed. Follow these instructions the next time you clean your silk, lace, or delicate underwear.
- Fill the sink with warm water (or the temperature indicated on the care label of your underwear). Add a gentle detergent and swirl it into the water until it dissolves.
- Place the underwear – you can wash several pairs as long as they are the same color and the same fiber material – in the water and let them soak for up to 30 minutes. Swing the detergent into the water regularly to ensure that it is completely dissolved.
- Rinse off with lukewarm water. If you have a sprayer on your tap, put the underwear in a strainer and rinse it clean. Otherwise, fill the sink with water, immerse the underwear and press the water through to rinse.
- Carefully lift the underwear out of the water and gently squeeze it to remove excess water. Then dab with a towel, shape your underwear and hang up either dry or flat.
How to wash sweaters by hand
We all have this one sweater that we love … except for the fact that it takes a trip to clean it after every wear. If it is labeled “dry clean” on the care label, you can be sure to wash the sweater directly at home.
- Check the sweater’s care and fiber labels to determine the perfect water temperature and detergent. Usually fill the sink with lukewarm water and add a gentle detergent or mild detergent.
- Treat stains with a stain remover or liquid detergent. Work the stain remover into the stain with your fingertips (avoid scrubbing).
- Turn the sweater over. Dip the sweater in the water and swirl the foam around. Let it rest for at least 10 minutes.
- Do the washing up. If you have a sprayer on your tap, put the sweater in a strainer and rinse it clean. Otherwise, fill the sink with cold, clear water, immerse the sweater and press the water through to rinse.
- Lift the garment with both hands and gently squeeze out as much water as possible. Then lay it flat on an absorbent towel and roll up the towel and garment until the water is absorbed.
- Place the sweater on a dry towel and let it air dry. Once the front is dry, turn it over.