Ever notice that the washing instructions tags on some of your clothes warn you to hand wash only? While doing this is especially important for delicates that specifically ask you to do so, hand washing your clothes where possible can actually help your clothes last much longer.

Additionally, knowing how to handwash clothes is a great skill to have if your washing machine ever breaks or if you find yourself in a situation where you don’t have access to a washing machine. 

Knowing how to hand wash clothes is definitely an essential task to learn in case you should ever find yourself in a situation where it’s needed. Here is how you can hand wash your clothes at home: 

1. Sort Your Laundry

Sort Your Laundry
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Like when using a washing machine, it’s important to sort your laundry by colour. For even better results here, you could even sort out your laundry by materials. 

The reason why it’s important to sort your laundry is that sometimes the dyes from certain fabrics bleed into the water. If you’ve ever washed a red shirt with your white socks and found that the socks turned pink, you’ve experienced this first hand.

Unfortunately, hand washing is no different when it comes to the possibility of dyes bleeding into the water. If you notice this while hand washing your pieces, don’t worry. As long as you’re sorting your clothes by colour, there shouldn’t be any issues.

2. Prep Your Clothes

prep your clothes
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If you need to, you can use stain removers or any other treatments your clothes may need at this time. This step is totally optional. But if you do have any types of special things to take care of on your garments before washing, now is the time.

3. Get Your Water Ready

get your water ready
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For handwashing clothes, you have the option of using a bathtub, your sink, or even a separate basin that you can fill with water. Which tool you use as your container will probably depend on what you have access to and also the number of clothes that you’re trying to wash. 

If it’s just one or two garments, you could probably just get away with using your sink. If it’s more, probably the bathtub. And if you need some locational versatility on where you’re washing your clothes, opting for a separate basin could be your best bet.

Once you’ve chosen a basin, fill it with some room temperature water for the best results. Delicates typically don’t respond well to being washed in warm water. So definitely pay attention to the temperature. 

4. Add Soap and Swish

add soap and swish
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Choose any detergent or soap that you have on hand and add an appropriate amount to the water in your basin. If you have the option, choosing a gentler formula is probably better- since you’re going to get your hands involved.

Once you’ve added your soap, put your garments in and swish the water around. You really want to get the soap and water into the clothes and compel any dirt or grime to get off your clothes and into the surrounding water. You can rinse and repeat this process as many times as you feel necessary. 

Then, just rinse your garments with cold water until all of the soap is gone.

5. Carefully Dry

carefully dry
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Never wring out your clothes like washcloths. This can damage your articles. Instead, grab a towel and lay it flat on the floor. Then, lay your garment flat on the towel and roll it up like a sushi roll.

Once rolled, lightly press on the towel until you feel like you’ve done enough to get rid of the water. Then, find a well-ventilated area to hang up your garments so that they can air dry.


Definitely take this extra time at home to hand wash and give your delicates the love and care they deserve.If you’re interested in more home-related content, also check out 5 Home Skills Every Young Adult Needs to Learn.