5 STEPS TO HAND WASHING YOUR CLOTHES
STEP 1 - Pre-treat any stains and leave for 10 minutes before washing.
STEP 2 - Fill a sink with comfortably warm water (approximately 20-30 degrees). Add 15 ml of laundry liquid under the tap stirring the water with your hand to froth up the bubbles. We recommend Total Wardrobe Care’s delicate Laundry Liquid, as it has been specially formulated for hand washing delicate garments.STEP 3 - Immerse the knitwear item in the water, squeeze it gently, and leave for 10 minutes.
WHY SHOULD YOU SOAK CLOTHES?Leaving your delicate clothes submerged in warm water will loosen the stains and make it easier for them to be lifted off when you come back to the garment.
STEP 4 - Rinse items and carefully squeeze out the excess water and either spin the garment in the washing machine on a gentle spin cycle or place it between two towels and roll it up to remove excess water.
WHY SHOULD YOU USE A GENTLE SPIN FOR YOUR DELICATES?The low speed of a gentle spin prevents the tearing and stretching of the delicate fabric that your garments are made of.
STEP 5 - Dry flat on a towel or an airer. Do not use a tumble dryer or put knitwear directly on a radiator.
WHY SHOULD YOU LAY CLOTHES FLAT TO DRY?Drying clothes flat save their shape as they air dry. Placing a delicate garment hanging will cause stretching as gravity acts on the garment which is already weighed down by the excess water. This can affect the shape of your favourite garments.
ADDITIONAL STEP - De-pill your fine knitwear or cashmere. You can do this with a fine knitwear comb and gently comb the fabric to remove material build-ups from the garment.
WHEN SHOULD YOU HAND WASH YOUR CLOTHES?
We cannot stress enough the importance of hand washing your delicate clothes made from a fine wool blend, 100% cashmere, or silk. Machine washing is too harsh for these garments.
If the garment goes into the washing machine, it is rolled around and around continually in a metal drum for around half an hour even on a gentle wash. If the fabric is delicate this may prove too much and it could lose its luster, lose its colour or at worst shrink or become misshapen.
You also have the benefit of being able to wash your clothes from home, rather than an expensive trip to the dry cleaners.
Even if you have a favourite t-shirt or pair of jeans that you normally would put in the machine, they are not dirty but need freshening up then a quick hand wash is better for the garment and better for the environment.
Maybe you leaned over a table during dinner and dipped into something on the table. Treating that stain as soon as possible with stain remover and then soaking in lukewarm water with our laundry liquid before gently squeezing your garment will get you back in your favourite shirt as soon as possible.
WHEN CAN I USE THE HAND WASH MODE ON MY WASHING MACHINE?
Always follow the washing instructions on the label of your clothes. Gentle spins are ideal for delicate materials such as silk, soft cotton, certain wool blends like angora or cashmere, or delicate linens.
If a garment or accessory is vintage or second-hand and doesn’t have a label, for instance, a silk scarf, cotton knitwear, or lingerie, start with the hand wash mode on the washing machine. Or, when you have washed a garment several times by hand and it’s reacting well to hand washing. Then use the hand wash mode, as long as the temperature is 20-30 degrees, the spin is slow, and the cycle is short.
Check out our helpful guide to laundry care symbols.
HOW SHOULD I WASH CLOTHES WITH BEADS & SEQUINS ON?
If your clothes have beads or sequins a gently spin is also ideal. As the low agitation and slow speed won’t pull and damage the clothes. Sparkly clothing always looks lovely, but it does need a bit of extra care and attention to keep the sequins shining in place.
HOW DO I DRY MY HAND-WASHED CLOTHES?
You should always dry hand-washed clothes by air, laid down flat to promote their original shape. A tumble dryer can ruin clothes that need to be hand-washed- and why put all that work to waste?
Avoid direct heat and strong sunlight as this can cause wear in the fibres and maybe loss of colour.
Avoid the back of a chair or a table if it is wood as the dampness can affect the wood.
Cashmere and delicate wools are best dried on a plug-in air dryer clothes rail or an old-fashioned clothes horse, which hung from the ceiling and could be pulled out of the way.
The modern solution for the clothes horse above the bath is a pull-out indoor washing line and delicate can be laid over the full width and dry naturally. A bendy mesh shelf over the bath is optimum as the garment lays completely flat and then there are no creases at all. These are quite inexpensive, about £10 for two, but can only fit one jumper at a time.
The new plug-in air dryers are brilliant as the heat is gentle and the garment can be laid over several bars which helps disperse the weight of the garment and stop the crease in the middle which needs steaming or gentle ironing when dry. These are quite expensive about £130 but very effective.
After washing, gently squeeze out the excess water and lay the garment flat on a white towel, roll the towel and garment into a sausage and gently twist the roll to get rid of excess water. Then lay the garment as flat as possible on the air dryer, or mesh shelf.
When the garment is dry, either gently press with the iron or better still use a steamer to get any creases out. Ta daaah!!
HOW DO I HAND WASH CASHMERE?
Cashmere should be washed by hand with a gentle hand wash detergent. Follow the steps above or our handy how-to video for the perfect cashmere wash.
HOW DO I HAND-WASH WOOL?
Before you hand wash a woollen garment, make sure to turn it out then follow our steps above for a good clean that will also prevent future moth damage.
HOW DO I HAND WASH SILK?
Silk should always be washed in cold water. So, fill the sink with cold water and 15ml of our delicate hand-wash laundry liquid and soak the silk piece. Agitate the item before rinsing, absorb the water by placing the clothing between two towels, then leave to air dry.
HOW DO I HAND WASH MY ACCESSORIES/HATS/BAGS?
Washing an accessory without a washing machine is a simple, quick way to wash your favourite wardrobe pieces whilst maintaining their shape. Just follow our steps above and wash the item in a sink or bowl. For tough stains, a toothbrush is your friend.
WHAT DETERGENT SHOULD YOU USE FOR HAND WASHING CLOTHES?
A gentle detergent, or laundry liquid is the best to use when hand washing clothes. A laundry solution made up of natural ingredients is also advisable. If you’re looking for this, we have the perfect product.
Our new delicate hand-wash laundry liquid is the go-to. With our signature May Chang fragrance, you can care for your clothes by showing them love and keeping moths off them.
HOW LONG SHOULD YOU SOAK CLOTHES WHEN HAND WASHING?
We suggest a ten-minute soak to make sure the stains are lifted, and the clothes are clean.
WHAT SHOULD YOU NEVER DO WHEN HAND WASHING?
- Never use an unclean sink! It’s important, before you start the delicate washing process, to make sure your sink is clean and clear of debris.
- Never use boiling hot or freezing cold water! The water needs to be lukewarm in temperature as this promotes
- Never scrunch, twist, or rub delicate garments! This can damage the clothing and cause it to become misshaped.
- Never place clothes on a drying horse or radiator! This can damage the clothes by misshaping them or crushing fibres from the heat. Steaming is the safest solution to reduce wrinkles in a range of wool blends.