People sometimes avoid buying delicate items of clothing because they are concerned about being able to wash them correctly. However, it’s actually very simple to keep fragile items looking their best, and you can even use a washing machine if you want! Read on for more tips on washing clothes and dealing with delicate items of clothing.
What Items are Delicate?
While towels and even some bedding materials are strong and sturdy and can handle quite vigorous washing, there are some materials to look out for. Delicate items include linen, silk, wool, and embroidered or embellished garments. Soft cottons and thin linens can become damaged through high heats and active spinning in a washing machine, and silk and woollens could fray or shrink if they are not taken care of properly. If you own any embroidered items, it’s also a good idea to keep these separate from the main wash, to ensure the needlework doesn’t unravel.
Should I Wash Delicate Items by Hand?
Hand washing is by far the best way to keep delicate or fragile clothes looking their best. Being in control of the entire washing process – including the exact water temperature and how much you handle the garment – is hugely beneficial, and hand washing means you can stop at any point. However, it’s not necessary to hand wash all the time, and many washing machines include a delicate cycle that can be used for such fragile or delicate garments.
How Do I Hand Wash Delicate Items?
It’s always best to check the wash care symbols on each individual items before washing your clothes to make sure they’re being treated in a suitable manner. Here are some general considerations to make when washing delicate items.
- First, gather items of the same material together; this reduces the chance of different materials becoming loose and tangling with the delicate fibres.
- Fill a basin with lukewarm water and a detergent intended for delicate items. A mild detergent will be gentle on your clothes as well as your skin.
- Gently swirl the garments in the basin, paying special attention to any stains or spots.
- Leave to air dry, either hanging from a rail, or – for items that are prone to stretching, such as woollens – leave the garment lying flat on a towel.
This step-by-step video guide will show you how to wash delicate materials properly.