How to Hand Wash Clothes

Wringing out clothes

Did you know that in the United States alone, there are around 50 million households that use washing machines? In comparison, roughly 3 million households in the entire nation use manual washing. Although fewer people wash clothes by hand, millions want to do so to reduce costs, go green and reduce their carbon footprint. Here are the best tips on how to hand wash clothes to extend the life of your favorite items in the closet.

How to Hand Wash Clothes?

It is great to hand wash your clothes because the tumbling of a washing machine and dryer can cause many delicate fabrics to break down and lose their shape.

The best thing is that you can hand wash anything. Underwear, bathing suits, wool clothing, laced items, and bras should always be washed by hand. Remember to always read the labels on every item.

This should contain information about temperature guidelines with washing instructions. For instance, a clothing item may say dry clean only. Then you should not hand wash your clothes.

However, if it says “dry clean” without any other rules, the item can be safe to wash by hand in the sink. Before doing an entire laundry load, you should test your garments first.

This can be done by placing a drop of water in a hidden spot. Then you must blot this with a napkin. If you do not notice any color coming off, then it is safe to hand wash clothes. Remember to separate your clothes according to the detergent and temperature needed.

Tackling Stains

When you wash clothes by hand, it is necessary to pretreat your stains. This is the same as you would for your regular laundry load. Always pretreat any stains you notice, especially if they are on any white clothes.

The best way to pretreat stains is by using a stain remover. You can find these at a regular store. Otherwise, you can also create your own at home with some baking soda, water paste, hydrogen peroxide, and detergent.

Then you fill your sink or tub with water. For most clothes, it is always best to go for water that is at room temperature.

However, check your labels for more information to determine what temperature your clothes need. For example, wool and cashmere garments must always be washed with cold water.

reading label

wash care labels will have the most accurate instructions to care for your clothes

Adding Detergent

You should use liquid laundry detergent for most items of clothing because it does the job well. However, you should only use a teaspoon of any detergent.

Remember that you need to use much less than washing clothes in a machine. Delicate items like silk or cashmere should have a different detergent that works best with these sensitive fabrics.

It is worth picking natural detergent without fabric softeners, dye, or other chemical add-ins that could be damaging.

Adding Wash Detergent
Handwash Clothes Bucket

The Soaking Process

After choosing the right detergent to wash your clothes by hand, the next tip is to place your sorted clothes in the water basin. Using your hands to dip your clothes into the water is best, as though you are replicating a delicate washing cycle with your arms.

This will activate the detergent to clean your clothes as you keep swishing your garments through the water. A little bit of discoloration in the water is normal, so there is no need to be alarmed.

This means that the dirt and small amounts of dye from your clothes have been washed away. If you want a deep clean, you should push your clothes towards the bottom of the basin as though you are kneading them like bread.

However, do not scrub or wring anything to avoid damaging the delicate fabrics. Always treat your clothes as though you are washing the dishes. After kneading, let your garments soak in the water for a few minutes.

When your clothes are done soaking, you should drain the dirty water and refill your tub or sink with cool water.

watch this video explanation of how to hand wash clothes

Keep Rinsing

It is crucial to keep rinsing your clothes as much as possible. This is because drying garments may still have some detergent on them that can damage the fabric if you do not rinse them enough.

Always give your clothes one final rinse before drying them properly. This way, you can ensure that there will not be any remaining cleaning agents that can stain and harm the threads.

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