Fortunately, your only laundry options aren’t limited to washing machines and dry cleaning Hand Wash Your Clothes is a great way to save your clothes, save water, and save you a trip to the laundromat.
There’s nothing worse than buying an expensive dress or lingerie set, wearing it once, putting it in the washer, and getting it ripped, torn, or stretched out. You may even have avoided washing your bras or silk items altogether in fear of ruining them.
Why Hand Wash Your Clothes?
“Handwashing clothing can help them last longer,” says Jessica Ek, the director of digital communication at the American Cleansing Institute. While the washer and dryer are modern miracles that save us time, they aren’t always the best for our clothes.
“The tumbling of the washer and dryer can cause some items to lose their shape or snag, and the heat can break down delicate fabrics,” she adds.
Hand Wash Your Clothes is also great if you need a special dress or clothing for an event but don’t want to lug a whole load down to the laundromat or wastewater using your washer. Hand Wash Your Clothes can also help you get stubborn stains out of clothes without ruining them.
You can Hand Wash Your Clothes just about anything, but Ek recommends Hand Wash Your Clothes your delicate, including bras and underwear, bathing suits, lace clothing, and wool clothing. But always make sure you read the label tag on your clothes closely to clean them correctly.
While handwashing seems simple in theory, there are plenty of ways to do more harm than good for your favorite pieces.
Below is an easy step-by-step guide on how to Hand Wash Your Clothes correctly and help your clothes look fresh.
Pre-treat Your Stains
If your item(s) have any stains, treat them before washing. The American Cleaning Institute has a handy stain removing guide to help you get just about any stain out. Or you can use your regular spot remover or stain treatment.
Just remember to be, well, delicate with your delicate. While it may be tempting to scrub away the stain, Ek warns against this, encouraging us to let the cleaner and detergent do their job to “help minimize wear and tear.”
Add Water and Detergent
Fill your sink or washbasin with room temperature water and add your laundry detergent. Then, mix it around with your hand to move the detergent around. When the sink or basin is filled, turn off the water.
Put your item(s) into the wash and move them around with your hands or a washing wand to agitate the water and get the detergent working. Again don’t be too rough with your clothes. Don’t let your clothes soak for longer than thirty minutes, especially silks, as they will start to shrink.
A common mistake that people make is using their faucet to rinse out their clothes. This isn’t good for your clothes as the running water clause the fabric to stretch. Instead, put your clothes in a colander, turn on the sprayer setting on your faucet and spray cold water through the colander.
“Don’t get your panties in a twist” isn’t just an expression; you should never twist your clothing to get the excess water out as it makes the fabric lose its shape and could damage it. After spending all this time washing your clothes, don’t ruin them now by wringing them to dry.
Instead, Ek recommends gently squeezing the clothing and placing it on a towel to dry and soak up the excess water.
It would be best if you always lay your clothing flat to dry. Do not hang them up or put them in the dryer as they will lose their shape or cause damage. However, you can put them on a drying rack for faster drying.
What Does “Dry Clean Only” Really Mean?
I’ve always just thrown my clothes into the washer and hoped for the best unless it was something super delicate. This system has serviced me well for the majority of my laundry life. Part of this is pure luck. Another part is that “dry clean only” is a pretty flexible rule.
“There are many reasons why a garment might have to say ‘dry clean only’ on the label,” says Jessica Ek. “Washing might harm the buttons or the trim, or the dyes might be more prone to run if the garment is washed.
In addition, some fabrics, such as cotton, shrink when washed—unless they have been preshrunk in the manufacturing process. Most manufacturers choose care labels that cover the worst-case scenario. In many cases, you can wash the garment, as long as you do it carefully, but you do so at your own risk.”
When doing your dry cleaning, make sure you read the label in full, noting what kind of dyes the garment has or if it has been preshrunk. However, while most things can be cleaned at home, Ek warns to avoid materials like suede and leather, which are best left to the professionals. And, above all,
“don’t take a chance with things that have high sentimental value and are not replaceable for you,” says Ek.