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31 May 2022

Most washing machines usually have programs for gentle washing or hand washing, but sometimes you get the best results through old-fashioned, literal hand washing. Always read the laundry symbols for instructions before you start washing. If the label says "dry cleaning only", it is best not to wash the garment at home at all. Before you start washing, you can try washing a small part of the garment that is not visible to ensure that the colour is intact and does not bleed.


Some garments, such as underwear, wool sweaters and silk blouses, retain their colour and shape best if they are washed by hand. However, silk garments should not be washed by hand if they have strong colours, patterns or dark colours, as they fade easily and the colours may disappear.


How to wash by hand


Step 1:

Carefully read the label for specific recommendations for the garment. Then choose a suitable detergent. If there are no washing tips on the garment, use the mildest detergent you can find, or a few drops of dish soap.


Step 2:

Fill a small tub or sink with water at the recommended temperature (usually also on the laundry label). If there is no label, lukewarm water usually works well. Add about a teaspoon of detergent. You may need more detergent if you are going to wash large or several garments.


Step 3:

Put the garment in the water so that it is completely covered. Let soak for a while. Silk garments should never be soaked for more than 30 minutes. Gently stir the garment into the water so that it is thoroughly soaked. Avoid rubbing or twisting the garment in a way that could stretch or damage it. Continue to gently wrap the garment in the water until it is clean.


Step 4:

Empty the tub or sink, and fill it with cold, clean water to rinse with. Press the garment up and down in the cold water until all detergent is gone. If you are unsure, smell the garment. Change water if necessary and repeat until the water is clean and free of detergent.

How to dry hand-washed clothes


Step 1:

Gently squeeze excess water out of the garment. Do not twist or pull the garment, as this may stretch the fibers and damage the fabric.


Step 2:

Lay a clean, dry and white terry towel on a flat surface. Preferably a towel that has been washed several times and will not release any lint or small fibers. Lay the hand-washed garment flat on the towel. Roll up the towel so that it wraps around the garment. Gently press on the roller to squeeze water out of the garment. If the towel gets too wet, you can change to a new one, and repeat the process.


Step 3:

Air dry delicate underwear on a drying rack. If the dry garment becomes wrinkled, you can look at the washing symbols to see if it can be ironed, and if so, at what temperature. If washing symbols are missing, you can try ironing a small part of the garment that is not visible to see if it is safe.

Frequently asked questions about washing by hand


What type of detergent or soap should I use?

Choose detergent based on the type of garment you are going to wash. Take a good look at the washing labels to see what fits.


What does it mean if the water in my sink gets stained?

No worries. This is completely normal and just means that the garment you are washing has released some of its colour. You will not notice that the garment has been bleached.


Can I hand wash more than one garment at a time?

Yep, you can wash several garments together. Just make sure they are the same colour and are of the same material, as they should be washed and treated the same way.