How to Hand Wash Clothes the Right Way: Step-By-Step

How to Hand Wash Clothes the Right Way: Step-By-Step

We're going to walk you through hand washing your clothes like a pro. No fancy machines are required. Just you, some gentle detergent and some loving hands.

So, why hand wash? Well, sometimes our clothes need a little extra care, especially those delicate fabrics that can't handle the rough-and-tumble of the washing machine. Plus, it's a great way to give your garments some extra love and attention, ensuring they stay in tip-top shape for longer.

Get ready to roll up your sleeves let's learn how to wash clothes by hand. Trust me, it's easier than you think and can actually be quite theraputic! Let's get started.

What Are the Best Practices for Hand Washing Clothes?

best practises for handwashing clothes
  1. Understanding Garment Care Labels
    Before you dive into hand-washing bliss, peek at the care label. Follow the recommended water temperature—hot-headed garments might shrink! And if it says “dry clean only,” respect those boundaries. Some fabrics are divas.
  2. Colour Separation
    Keep colours in their own corners—reds with reds, blues with blues. Mixing colours sounds fun, but your white tee coming out pink? not so much?

  3. Turn Clothes Inside-Out 
    Turn your clothes inside out. Delicate fabrics, like polyester, have inner layers (fancy, right?). Those layers might not hold up in the water, so keep 'em safe. No unraveling surprises, please!

  4. Pretreat The Stains
    Grab your secret weapon our detergent sheets.

    1. Apply a bit by tearing the sheet to the stain and let it soak for about 10 minutes. For sturdy fabrics like trusty cotton, give it a gentle scrub before rinsing.

    2. Rinse thoroughly, my friend! 

  5. Presoak Power
    If you’ve got a basin or sink big enough (or a bathtub feeling fancy), fill it with cool water or warm water (based on the garment’s care label). Add the recommended dose of detergent, and if you using laundry detergent sheets just add 1 or half sheet. Yep, just a sheet that will be enough to make soapy water. then submerge the garments in the soapy water.

  6. Swirl & Squeeze
    Gently swirl your clothes in the sudsy water. No vigorous scrubbing—these fabrics are delicate darlings. 

  7. Rinse, Rinse, Rinse
    Fill the sink with cool, clean water (again, it's based on the garment’s care label). Swish your clothes through it to get rid of those suds. Gently squeeze out as much water as possible. Voilà! Your items are now feeling fresh and rejuvenated.

  8. Lay out to dry
    Grab a hanger and get that baby out to air dry or lay it on a drying rack. Depending on the item you could use an automatic dryer to speed up the drying process but be warned certain items do not play well with high heat. 

How to Hand Wash Different Types of Clothing

When it comes to caring for your clothes, sometimes the gentle touch of hand-washing is the way to go. Whether you’re dealing with delicate lingerie, sweaty gym clothes, or those trusty bras, here are the proper techniques to keep them looking their best:

  1. Hand-Washing Lingerie and Delicates:

    • Fill a basin with cool water (not too cold, not too hot).
    • Add a mild detergent (look for one specifically designed for delicates).
    • Gently agitate the water to create suds.
    • Submerge your lingerie or delicate items and swirl them around.
    • Rinse thoroughly until no soap remains.
    • Press out excess water (don’t wring!).
    • Lay flat to dry on a clean towel.
  2. Hand-Washing Gym Clothes:

    • Start by turning them inside out.
    • Fill a basin with cold water.
    • Add a small amount of gentle detergent.
    • Swish the water around to mix.
    • Place your gym clothes in the water and gently knead them.
    • Rinse thoroughly to remove all detergent.
    • Squeeze out excess water and lay flat to dry.
  3. Proper Techniques for Bras and Delicate Lingerie:

    • Hook the bra to prevent snagging.
    • Fill a basin with lukewarm water.
    • Add a drop of mild detergent.
    • Swirl the water to create suds.
    • Gently massage the bra to clean.
    • Rinse thoroughly and squeeze out water.
    • Lay flat to air dry (avoid hanging by the straps).

Why Should You Hand-Wash Clothes?

You might wonder, why bother with hand washing when there's a machine for it? Well, let me tell you, hand washing has its perks!

Although we want to think that doing our laundry is as simple as throwing all of our clothes into the washer, pouring in laundry detergent, and pressing start, the reality is that different garments require different levels of care.

Delicate fabrics are easily damaged in modern washing machines, so knowing how to care for them properly is essential. For example, if you take the time to read the label inside your clothing that tells you how to clean it, you might find that some garments are “dry clean only.”

Others can only be washed at certain temperatures or with specific colors, and many more can only be washed “by hand.” Many can’t withstand bleach or other harsh stain removers.

However, even if your clothes don’t need to be washed by hand, doing so can make them last longer and help you avoid costly laundry mistakes. This is because washing machines, while effective, are relatively rough on your clothes.

The constant swish and swirl of warm or cold water breaks down fibers. Over time, this will cause the integrity of the fabric to wear down, and it can lead to fraying, ripping, or tearing. Skipping the washing machine on laundry day can prevent pilling, too.

If you want all of your clothes to last as long as possible, you should always wash them by hand. 

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Hand-Washing Clothes

avoid excess water wringing
  1. Avoiding Excess Water Wringing:

    • Imagine this: You’ve just finished washing your favorite sweater. It’s dripping wet, and you’re tempted to give it a Hulk-style squeeze. Hold up! Excessive wringing can stretch out fabrics and warp them. Instead, gently press the water out. Your clothes will thank you with a little twirl of gratitude.
  2. Using Harsh Chemicals:

    • On quest to clean your delicates, You often reach for that super-duper, ultra-vibrant detergent. But wait! Hold your horses. Harsh chemicals can harm your silky top or lacey bra. Opt for a mild, gentle detergent—like our recommended laundry detergent sheets.

      So, no more bustling around with wet clothes or unleashing chemical chaos. Keep it simple, keep it smart, and your laundry will be happy as Larry. 🌟


How often should I hand wash my clothes?

It is recommended to hand wash delicate garments like bras and lingerie after each wear to preserve their quality. Also for hygiene purposes!

Why should I wash my clothes by hand instead of using a machine?

Hand washing is gentler on delicate fabrics and can prevent shrinkage, color fading, and damage that may occur in a machine washer.

How do I choose the right detergent for hand washing?

It is best to use a laundry detergent specifically designed for hand washing or an enzyme-based detergent that is gentle and effective on fabrics. Like the Lucent Globe Laundry Detergent sheets (wink wink)

Can I use bar soap instead of laundry detergent for hand-washing clothes?

While bar soap can be used in a pinch, it may not be as effective at cleaning clothes as laundry detergent, so it's better to use the recommended products for best results.

Any tips and tricks for effectively hand washing clothes?

Some tips include reading the care label on your garments, using the right amount of detergent, and letting your clothes soak for a few minutes before gently agitating them to ensure they are clean. Apply a pre-treatment to visible stains and heavily-soiled areas.

Is hand-washing clothes an eco-friendly way to clean garments?

Yes, hand washing clothes helps save water and energy compared to using a machine washer, making it a more sustainable choice for cleaning your clothing.