Video:How to Hand Wash Clotheswith Anne-Marie Barton
Certain delicate clothes require a little extra care. Here are just a few tips on keeping your delicates looking great longer.See Transcript
Transcript:How to Hand Wash Clothes
Why Hand Wash Clothes?There's nothing more frustrating than pulling your favorite blouse from the washer, only to find it's half the size it used to be. Nobody wants to spend more time doing laundry, but if hand washing can save money-and your favorite blouse-isn't it worth it? Replacing ruined clothing isn't cheap. Hand washing ensures you get everything you can out of the clothes you have.
Besides extending the life of delicate clothing, hand washing lets you alter its shape to your liking, for instance, lengthening or loosening a sweater. It also helps maintain color integrity. Of course, hand washing everything in your laundry bag isn't efficient or fun. But, definitely set aside anything delicate-vintage clothing, lingerie, silks, wool blankets and lace.
What You Need to Hand Wash ClothesHere's what you'll need:
- A sink with a plug
- A delicate detergent like Woolite
- Spray 'n Wash (or another stain remover)
- Towels (for your wet sweaters to lie on)
- A drying rack
Drying Space for Hand Washed ClothesIt's helpful to set up your drying zone in advance. I like to use the porch to pick up the scent of fresh air and sun, and, certainly, your laundry room or a clean floor will work just fine. Make sure you don't lay clothing out over non-color-safe fixtures. Iron railings, for instance, are notorious for leaving rust marks.
How to Hand Wash ClothesNext, fill your sink with cold water and dissolve soap completely before adding clothes. You can add a dash of fabric softener to the mix, or try one of the newer 2 in 1 detergents that has softener mixed in, like Tide with Downey.
Hand Wash Delicate ClothesDelicates should be soaked for at least 15 minutes and wrung out well.
Hand Wash Stained ClothesIt's especially important when hand washing colors to remove stains completely. I treat stains by scrubbing gently or patting with a little dishwasher soap. Thoro is great for getting out gum. If stains persist, try an all-day soak. For more stubborn stains, try chlorine bleach, but never pour it directly on the fabric and always dilute it in water before adding clothes, bearing in mind that older or more fragile pieces may yellow or fall apart if bleached. If you want to try a more natural lightening method, slice a lemon in half and rub the stain with it.
Hand Wash White ClothesTo keep whites looking bright, add a pinch of Clorox to your soap, and lay clothing in the sun to dry.
Drying Hand Washed ClothesLast, but not least, the drying stage, which is crucial because it's where the item regains its shape. Most clothing can be wrung out gently or rolled in a towel. Be sure to press out any area that will be difficult to iron flat. You'll save time later on. You can put some delicates in the dryer, on the gentlest setting if possible. Just make sure to check the labels.
No Time to Hand Wash Clothes?If you're still not convinced hand washing's worth your time, you're not alone. Any laundry loathers out there will be glad to hear that the latest washing machines, such as the Maytag Neptune, offer a hand wash setting that's as gentle as your own two hands. This feature is a great time-saver, so use it liberally.
I'm Anne-Marie Barton, About Home & Garden.
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