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Most Effective Ways to Hand-Wash Your Clothes

  • October 6, 2021
  • HobyClean Customer Service
Hand wash via hobyclean

Let’s not kid ourselves, washing machines aren’t an ancient thing—at least by our standards. And as effective as they are, for one reason or another, sometimes it’s best to ditch the washing machine and take a manual approach that’s as old as life itself.

Whereas in modern day laundry care, hand-washing is typically reserved for delicate items such as bras, hankies and underwear—it’s still a thing for most and no less effective an option for most types of clothing.

But before pulling out your basins from under the bed or bathroom, be sure to take a look at your garment’s care and fiber tag for some guidelines and washing instructions. If the label says, “dry clean,” as opposed to “dry clean only,” it may be safe to wash—and help you lower your dry cleaning bill in the process. And on the side of caution, remember to not mix clothes especially whites with coloured clothes.

Washing clothes by hand is by far the gentlest approach. That means, you want to treat your garments with an extreme level of care throughout the entire cleaning process. To save time, feel free to wash likes with likes a.k.a. garments in the same color and fabric type. Follow this step-by-step guide for most garments (but keep on reading for more specific how-tos for bras, underwear and sweaters):

Read the care label to determine the type of fabric: silk, wool and so forth. This will help you pinpoint the best laundry detergent. Nonetheless, any standard detergent should work for most items but delicate fabrics may require something gentler, like fine fabric detergent, free and gentle detergent, or mild dish liquid.

Treat stains if necessary: gently work with a laundry stain remover or liquid detergent on the stain with your fingertips but avoid scrubbing. While it’s soaking, gently squeeze the sudsy water through the garment several times.

Fill the basin, bucket or sink with water (lukewarm or warm) depending on your garment’s care labels—and put garments in. (FYI: Wool, silk, and bright colors clean best in cold water.) Then add the recommended dose of detergent. Swish the detergent in the water to make sure it’s completely dissolved, then lay your garment in the water and gently press it down to fully immerse it. The water may turn color, but don’t panic: This is simply the fabric dye releasing color, and won’t result in any color loss after washing.

Rinse thoroughly: Fill your basin, bucket or sink with clear water, immerse the garments and squeeze the water through to rinse. Repeat as needed until your personal satisfaction but oftentimes, rinsing at least twice should be enough.

Remove excess water: Since wringing out wet, delicate fabrics may cause unnecessary damage, carefully lift the garment with both hands and gently squeeze out as much water as possible. Then, lay it flat on an absorbent towel, and roll the towel and garment together until the water is absorbed.

Lay items to dry: To prevent delicates like knits, from stretching out of shape, lay them flat to dry. For extra care and to speed up up the drying process, lay sweaters or swimsuits on top of a dry towel, and let it air dry. Remember to flip clothes over from one side to another for proper drying. Hangers could also help in drying shirts and t-shirts faster.

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