Hand washing tips

Hand washing couldn't be easier with this useful guide! Find out how to get the best results when hand washing using these tips!


Close up on hand washing fabric over a basin

Key steps:

  1. As with machine washing, separate whites and darks to avoid colour seepage or accidental tie-dye catastrophes.
  2. Check that the detergent has fully dissolved before immersing clothes in the solution.
  3. Those with sensitive skin should wear gloves to protect the hands from detergent.

From time to time, we’re all guilty of bunging clothes in the wash when the label sternly advises us to hand wash them with care. However, taking the plunge and doing the laundry by hand from time to time helps to keep your favourite garments in better condition for longer – as well as saving money on your energy bill.

Don’t be fooled into thinking hand washing is a medieval approach to doing laundry! Hand washing is sometimes much better for certain materials such as delicates. Use a mild detergent or one specially designed to wash delicate fabrics to ensure your clothes get the gentle hand wash treatment they require!

Hand washing in action

Hand washing can be surprisingly therapeutic and satisfying – particularly when you can sit back at the end and admire your handiwork. Follow these simple steps to leave clothes pristine:

  1. Add liquid or powder laundry detergent to warm water (follow the directions on the pack for exact quantities).
  2. Leave the clothes to soak for a few minutes to let the detergent begin to work its magic.
  3. Gently knead and wring out each garment in turn.
  4. Rinse at least three times until the water runs clear.
  5. Add a fabric softener to the final rinse water for clothes that feel as good as they look.

Do you use powder, capsules or liquid to wash your clothes?

Washing machine hand wash cycle?

Although it might sound like a bit of a contradiction in terms, many modern washing machines do have a ‘hand wash’ cycle designed to treat delicate fabrics such as wool and silk to an extra-delicate wash. Though still running a slightly higher risk of snagging or shrinkage than manual washing, a hand wash washing machine cycle is the perfect option when time is in short supply!

Drying clothes after hand washing

Hand washed garments can be dried as normal, depending on the instructions on the care label. Avoid tumble drying woollens or delicates – if the weather’s nice, why not give clothes a breath of fresh air to cut energy bills and leave them feeling fresh.

Remember: Be gentle

Although there are a number of online hand washing videos to walk you through the process from start to finish, the most important thing to remember is to handle clothes with care and read the care label to see what the manufacturer recommends.

Originally published