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Four Tips To Properly Hand Wash Clothes

Most clothes can be easily cleaned in a washing machine. Some items of clothing, however, are more delicate and must be hand washed to prevent damage. Since hand washing itself can harm or ruin clothes if done improperly, knowing the right way to do it is important. Here are four tips for hand washing clothes correctly.

 Read garment labels

  1. Read garment labels. Garment labels provide important information about how a piece of clothing should be treated. For example, a label will reveal whether hand washing is even possible, or if a garment must be dry-cleaned. Manufacturers also often recommend the use of a particular detergent for their product, and may state what temperature of water is most appropriate. In the case that no instructions are provided, using lukewarm water and a mild detergent is generally best.

 Clean gently

  1. Clean gently. Clothes that require hand washing are likely to be harmed by vigorous scrubbing or rubbing. Gently, slowly working soap into garments is the best way to avoid damage. Use kneading or swirling motions. While this approach won't be quick (taking probably ten minutes or more to completion), it will ensure the item stays intact. Even stains should be handled gently. Luckily, most stains can be taken care of with a little laundry stain remover, carefully rubbed into the dirty spot.

 Rinse and dry carefully

  1. Rinse and dry carefully. Rinsing off soap with the faucet can be too rough for delicate clothing, resulting in stretched and damaged fabrics. Instead, simply immerse the item of clothing in a basin of fresh, cool water. After rinsing, don't wring out or twist the fabric, which can be damaging. Gently squeezing out the liquid works just as well.

 Dry flat

  1. Dry flat. Clothing that requires hand washing should not be hung up, since doing so can cause stretching and distortion of the fabric. Laying the garment flat and letting it air dry will allow it to retain its shape. Simply place the item of clothing on a dry, clean, lint-free towel. Replace the towel if it becomes damp, and periodically turn the garment over.


With adequate knowledge, proper hand washing of delicate items of clothing is not difficult. Paying heed to the four simple tips described in this article is all that is necessary.