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zensky's avatar

Could you give me your tips on hand-washing clothes?

Asked by zensky (13367points) November 15th, 2011

Yes, I occasionally hand-wash items of value which are not too dirty, and I would very much like to keep in good condition – something that regular washing and drying do not do.

Do you have any tips, specifically, how long do you soak? What products do you use? How much per item? What do you mix or not?

How do you hand wash?

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21 Answers

JLeslie's avatar

I usually use Woolite. I just swish the garments around a bit, you need a little agitation to really get the clothing clean in my opinion. Swish around, maybe even squeeze the garment in my hands, then let it soak a few minutes, then move things around again, and then rinse. To rinse I usually drain all the soapy water, then refill the sink with water, move the garments around again, then let the water drain and rinse under running water to wash away any leftover detergent. Then ring out the water, but not twisting the garmet much, more like squeeze out the water, then lay flat. Luckily in the winter, when I hand wash most items, the air is very dry and things dry quickly, even if they have not been spun in a washer. Some items you can hand wash, and then put in the spin cycle of your dryer to get the water out. A really fast spin can cause more wrinkling, but sometimes you can get out the wrinkles in dryer set on no heat if your worry about shrinkage.

JLeslie's avatar

Typo. Should be spin cycle of your washer, not dryer.

zensky's avatar

Thanks. Do you ever wash heavy sweatshirts by hand in the winter?

JLeslie's avatar

Sweatshirts no. Sweaters yes. Are you concerned about a sweatshirt being ruined in the washing machine?

silky1's avatar

I agree with the use of Woolite or anther mild laundry detergent. I usually let the item soak in cold water for about an hour with occasional agitation by hand. The rinse is about 15 to 20 minutes and the I use a towel to blot dry the item before I hang it up.

JLeslie's avatar

An hour?

zensky's avatar

I have a nice sweatshirt and a dark blue and dark black long sleeved shirts which I hardly and very gently wear – but love very much. The machine would destroy them and it isn’t worth it as they just need a gentle wash and rinse really.

JLeslie's avatar

@zensky If you are very nervous you might dry clean them. Depending on the fabric.

zensky's avatar

not an option

not very nervous – I’d just like to prolong their lifetimes

JLeslie's avatar

Woolite comes in a black bottle, it is for dark colors supposedy to maintain the color better. The regular Woolite is a white bottle, and there is one for colors that is a red bottle.

zensky's avatar

Sadly, we have neither.

Start-up venture possibilities?

JLeslie's avatar

@zensky Oh, but you must have another detergent for delicates. Even if you don’t, I don’t think you will harm your clothing with regular soap, because the fabrics are not delicate.

YARNLADY's avatar

My washing machine has a gentle cycle that is comparable to hand wash, and I use that. I usually lay them out to dry on top of the dryer, which I run the next load to have the heat.

@JLeslie I have Woollite as a powder in a box. I actually prefer OxyClean

JLeslie's avatar

@YARNLADY I had no idea it comes in a powder. I actually have a lay flat drying thingy I can use for heavier items. It has a mesh, so the air is above and below the garment. I rarely use it in Memphis, I used it a lot in FL since the air was more humid.

@zensky Be careful to lay the items flat if you cannot put themin the dryer. If you hang them too fast while wet you can cause marks and stretches in the items.

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maryqcontrarie's avatar

I have found that the hand washing is not the problem spot it is the drying of hand wash clothes especially heavy sweaters and sweat shirts. I roll my items in a very absorbent towel. If you have one of those chamois towels like swimmers use they work great because they are great at grabbing the water and holding it away from your item. You can then wring out your towel. After you get it as dry as possible I lay my things over the arms of my “www.bestdryingrack.com/clothes_drying_rack.html”. This allows the air to get all around the item and dry fresh and not mildewy.

zensky's avatar

@maryqcontrarie Interesting @JLeslie I looked around and found woolite. I’d love to compare prices, something they do in the newspaper here every day with one item – the difference in cost per item in the US, Uk and here. It’s usually ridiculously overpriced here.

JLeslie's avatar

I just threw out a receipt. But, I buy the middle sized one, which size would you want? I can look when I go to the grocery store in the next couple of days. I don’t think I can find the smallest size here where I live, which is probably all you need.

zensky's avatar

I have to check again – I think it was 1.8 or 2 liters.

JLeslie's avatar

The one in my house is 1.48 liter. There is a smaller one I used to find in NY and FL. There is also a larger one that I think is double the size.

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