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How To Properly Wash Clothes By Hand

Washing your clothes by hand is among the most straightforward things you could do to take care of your precious or delicate garments. Hand washing is beneficial for various fabrics like satin, silk, mohair, embroidery and wool, and also for structured clothes such as dresses and jumpers. 
How to properly wash clothes by hand (Image via
The guidelines below will give you step-by-step instructions on how to hand wash your clothes properly. One thing noteworthy is that there is also a hand wash setting offered by some washing machines. This function gives fabrics gentler treatment compared to a standard washer.

Equipment Used for Hand Washing

You will need:
·        A sink, basin or tub
·        A specialized detergent for hand washing
·        A lot of water
·        A towel and a flat surface to dry clothes

9 Steps to Properly Hand Wash Clothes

#1. Read the Clothing Label

Always remember to check the garment label before you wash clothes by hand. Many garment labels that read 'hand wash only' need washing in cold water, whereas other clothes require lukewarm or warm water to be washed more effectively.
For garments having 'dry clean only' labels, you should not wash them by hand since hand washing is unsuitable and water can do them damage. 
 Clothing label (Image via

#2. Clean the Sink

You may think cleaning the sink is so simple. However, bear in mind that the sink used for washing clothes by hand must be clean without any spots. Greasy traces in a kitchen sink can leave bad spots on your clothes. Likewise, those traces of skin care products can indeed bleach the fabrics.

#3. Temperature of Water and Type of Detergent

When you hand wash your garments, remember to use tepid or cold water with temperature always less than 29oC or 85oF. If you wash in hot water, colors will run or your clothes will shrink.
Remember to add the items for washing only after you fill up the tub or sink with water. This is because some fabrics can indeed be stretched under the force of a running tap. In case you need to add water, try to deflect the water force using a cup or your hands.
When washing clothes by hand, measure carefully for one teaspoon of some gentle liquid detergent. There's no need in forming too many bubbles to get your garments cleaned. Too many bubbles mean you need to rinse a lot of times. Or, in some cases, the clothing will be left with some detergent residue in its fibers.
Always remember to add the detergent to the clean water first, then add clothes and quickly stir the water for all the detergent to be distributed and dissolved well.
If you are allergic to laundry detergent, you can use organic body wash instead. This substance not only protects your hand skin but also gives your clothes a pleasing aroma. Also, it doesn't impact the fiber quality as much as detergent.

#4. Soak your Clothes

Dim your clothes into the water then move them around to make sure the fibers all absorb the moisture. Set aside the items in soapy liquid for about 2 to 3 minutes.

#5. Wash the Clothing

Using your hands to move gently the clothing around in the tub. In all likelihood, the cashmere sweater you're washing down not have too much grime to clean up. In case there are some particular dirty traces left on your delicate clothing, you just need to rub that area lightly. Use a little detergent to rid the fabric of the dirt.

#6. Rinse then Repeat

The next step is to drain away the used water, then rinse the washed items in clean cold water by squeezing the water through the fibers. Continue till the water finally runs clean, rinsing off the clothes all bubbles and foam created by the detergent.

#7. Remove Extra Water

Wool as well as cashmere, when wet, are extremely delicate. So you must dry them with special care. Never try to twist or wring the fabric by any means. Instead, you should gently remove the clothes from the sink then lightly squeeze out the water.

#8. Resize Your Clothes

Again, after having been washed, wool and cashmere fabrics are both notorious for shrinking. Yet, you can avoid this by laying out your clothing items on a flat surface such as a clean and dry towel. You should gently stretch and pull the fibers so that they return to their original size and shape. Then roll up both the clothes and the towel to rid of any excess water you could have missed before.
#9. Dry the Clothing
Dry the Clothes (Image via
For these delicate fabrics, you should neither dry them in an automatic drier nor hang them to dry because they will either shrink or stretch out. Instead, try to lay the clothes out on a flat surface such as a dry clean towel in room temperature. Depending on the home temperature and the level of moisture, it may take them from several hours to several days to dry up.
What about the hand wash function offered by your washer? In general, when you choose this setting, the machine will spin a little more gently and wash your clothes in cold water to prevent damage. However, the word ‘gentle’ is only relative to a washing machine. If you want to ensure the absolute safety of your garments, my advice is you should best wash them with your own hands.
Author bio:
Emma is the founder of ShrewdMommy, where she and associates blog about pregnancy advice, parenting insights, tips for mommy. Those experiences will somehow help you in your search for questions about pregnancy and baby tips.