How to Handwash Clothing: A Step-by-Step Guide
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When you wash your clothes, chances are that you use a washer and dryer. It’s easy, and all it takes is the time spent washing and drying your clothes. Another way of doing your laundry is by hand-washing it. And while this method does require more work, it’s much cheaper and easier on your clothes.
But how do you hand wash clothes? Read the information below to find out more.
How to Hand Wash General Articles of Clothing
Hand-washing your clothing in general is a relatively easy process. In fact, not every article of clothing can be washed in a washer — many require hand-washing. You can find easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions for hand-washing your clothes below.
Step 1: Read the Label for Washing Directions Always start by reading the tag on the piece of clothing you plan to wash. The tag that has these instructions is called the "care label" and it usually has important information on how you should wash your clothes. The clothing tag can tell you the best way to wash the article of clothing, as well as any special settings you should use while washing and drying it.
The tag should also tell you what temperature of water to use and if you should use any specific type of detergent. In the absence of a tag, use a mild detergent for best results. Another piece of information that the tag will tell you is if hand-washing is required for the piece of clothing.
Step 2: Fill the Tub, Sink, or Small Container With Water Next, fill whatever you’re going to use to wash your clothes with water, checking the tag to see if there’s a recommended temperature. For clothing with no specific care instructions, use warm or lukewarm water, which ranges between 98- to 105-degrees Fahrenheit.
Add in your detergent of choice, and mix it into the water. Keep some extra detergent on hand in case you need to add more, such as for multiple items or a larger piece of clothing.
Step 3: Place the Article of Clothing in the Water Start the hand-washing process by submerging the first article of clothing in the soapy water. Using a gentle motion, swish the item through the soapy water. Avoid stretching or twisting the clothing, which can damage the fabric. Keep swishing the article of clothing until it’s clean.
For stains, work detergent or stain remover gently in the fabric and allow it to soak. Then, while you’re washing the rest of the garment, gently squeeze the water through the stained area several times. Generally, this process should only take about 15 minutes. For heavy stains, allow the article of clothing to soak a bit longer.
Step 4: Rinse the Clothing, Repeating as Necessary Finally, remove the soapy water from the tub, sink, or container and fill it with cool, clean water. Place the clothing item in the water, pushing it up and down until all of the soap is removed. Repeat the process if necessary, using clean water, until all of the soap is gone.
How to Dry Hand washed Clothing
Once your clothes are clean and freshly washed, it’s time to dry them. Just like the hand-washing process above, drying your clothes is a matter of following a simple process, as outlined below.
Step 1: Squeeze All of the Water Out To dry your freshly hand-washed clothing, start by squeezing and gently wringing out the excess water. Take care not to twist the garment too much, or it could damage the fabric. You’ll know it’s enough when excess water quits coming out when you squeeze the clothing.
Step 2: Lay the Clothing on a Towel Next, lay the still damp garment of a clean, dry, bath towel, preferably white. A white bath towel won’t transfer any dye onto the still wet clothing during the drying process. Roll the clothing up in the towel and gently press on it. This should transfer additional water from the damp clothing to the dry towel.
Repeat this process until the clothing is mostly dry. If needed, switch out towels when one becomes saturated.
Step 3: Allow the Clothing to Air Dry For the rest of the drying process, you have some options. The first option is to lay out the mostly dry clothing onto a clean, dry towel. Make sure the surface beneath it is moisture resistant. Flip the clothing periodically until it’s dry. Finally, iron the clothing if you need to remove wrinkles.
The second option is to hang the clothing outside on a clothesline to dry or on a drying rack. In all cases, follow the instructions on the clothing’s tag. Once your clothing is completely dry, fold it or hang it up to prevent any wrinkling.