The Washing Guide Secrets for Hand Washing Clothes

Published: 19th September 2008
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The care labels for some clothes specify that they should be washed by hand. But if you occasionally hand wash the clothes that you normally wash in the machine, you will help to prolong their life.

Tips for Best Results

Just as with machine-washing, the first thing to do is sort your clothes by colour so that you are washing whites, light colours and dark colours separately.

Check the care label to see whether your clothes require washing in cold or hand-hot water, and whether there are instructions about laundry detergent type (eg for delicate fabrics).

Make sure you add the right amount of laundry detergent. Check our dosing information. Make sure the washing detergent has completely dissolved in the water before immersing items in the wash solution.

Add your clothes to the water and, if they are heavily stained, leave them to soak.

After washing the clothes by gently squeezing the garments through the wash solution, rinse three or more times, until the water runs clear.

Try to avoid keeping your hands in the laundry detergent for too long. Wash and dry them immediately afterwards. People with sensitive or damaged skin should be especially careful to do this, and may wish to use rubber gloves.

Hand washing Particular Fabrics

It is recommended that you use a pH neutral non-enzymated laundry detergent because they do not contain enzymes, bleach or brightening agents.

Modern Fabrics
Many modern fabrics can also be hand washed in a powder or liquid detergent, but check the care label carefully for instructions.

Check that the care label on the article advises washing - some woollens are labelled 'dry clean only'.
Use warm water (around 30 - 40°C).

Use a pH neutral non-enzymated laundry detergent.

Wash quickly, squeezing the garment gently in the suds. Give extra-dirty woollens two washes with a rinse between, rather than one long wash.

Add a fabric conditioner in the final rinse water, to ensure that the garment stays soft.

Gently squeeze out the excess moisture, then roll in a towel or spin dry in your machine to remove as much water as possible to prevent possible dye migration. Dry flat on a towel away from direct heat and sunlight to prevent white or light colours from discoluring. Do not tumble dry.

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