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Hand washing clothes?

Can someone explain how you do this? I'm an idiot I know, but I never understood the concept.


Asked by Ash9724 at 10:53 PM on Sep. 17, 2010 in Home & Garden

Level 21 (11,107 Credits)
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Answers (8)
  • For items that are too delicate to be agitated around in the washer (lots of elastic, lace, embellishments like beadwork or things that will get tangled) handwashing is often better than drycleaning (which can leave a grey cast on fabrics)...

    You can hand wash in the bathtub or in any basin that's big enough for it to lie relatively flat in the water. Put in enough water to cover, with a very small amount (like a tsp) of gentle detergent (don't use soap, soap flakes or laundry soap --it takes way too long to rinse out, and you'll be inclined to agitate it a lot to get rid of it all, and it deposits a grey cast that can't be removed without re-dying) --woolite is a choice, but so is dish detergent (not dishwasher detergent, it has bleach) and if you're trying to remove hair or body oils, or food oils, plain (not 'color save' or 'moisturizing'...) shampoo. Very, very little.

    arg... stupid character count


    Answer by LindaClement at 11:09 PM on Sep. 17, 2010

  • ...more...

    Very, very little of any kind of gentle detergent because you don't want to spend your life rinsing the stuff out. You can press the garment gently into the water as it floats up... don't wring it or move it quickly or very much at all. For a few minutes, unless you think it's very soiled. If it's very soiled, let it soak for 20 minutes or up to an hour. Come back and press it back into the water a few times.

    Pull the plug and let it drain, keeping the garment from going into the drain. Plug again, fill with water again, and gently press it down into the water for a few minutes. Drain. Fill again and repeat until there is no more suds to rinse out. Drain and let it sit and drain for a few minutes so you don't have to do anything about most of the water.

    Take out and place on a stack of towels that are bigger than the piece (so it doesn't overhang), roll and press gently, remove towels. Lay flat to dry on a rack.

    Answer by LindaClement at 11:17 PM on Sep. 17, 2010

  • get laundry soap and water in either your tub or sink.....and wash the clothes by hand? Kind of like how you would wash dishes by hand's clothes.

    Answer by emilex at 10:55 PM on Sep. 17, 2010

  • emilex- I know that part, but like do you just rub the shirt together? How much detergent do you put in? The last time I tried to do this, I felt like I didn't get all the detergent out of the shirt and that it wasn't even clean.

    Comment by Ash9724 (original poster) at 10:58 PM on Sep. 17, 2010

  • For handwashing, I prefer to use Woolite in cold water. I think it rinses out better than the regular detergent. Also, unless there's a pretty bad stain, you can put the clothes in and let them soak for a few minutes. Then just squeeze the garment gently for a few minutes, rinse and you're done.

    Answer by NannyB. at 11:02 PM on Sep. 17, 2010

  • I wouldn't wash my own clothes without a washing machine, but if you do, get an antique washboard, groove back to the days of the Depression and rub the clothes on it with soap and water repetitively until clean, and if you play your cards right, you'll have a single load of laundry clean within 2 hours. :( I wash 2 loads of laundry a day so I feel bad for you having to wash clothes without a washer!

    Answer by lore_tex at 11:03 PM on Sep. 17, 2010

  • Yes, you would rub them together. I have only done it a couple times and I just started out with a very small amount of detergent so I could add more if needed. You can always add more but you can't take it out you know! If you have a "wash board" you could use that, but I haven't so when I did it I rubbed them together vigorously. If you have a stain you could use a tooth brush on it.

    Answer by emilex at 11:15 PM on Sep. 17, 2010

  • Ugh. I had to wash all my newborn's clothes by hand last week because we don't have a washer and had no money for the laundromat. He has only a small amount of clothes and spits up horribly.
    Took freaking forever and I ended up using too much soap so now his clothes feel weird, lol. Oh well. They don't seem to bother him.
    I totally wished I had a washboard, though. I remember my gramma had a wooden one when I was a kid (and there was one built into our cast iron sink in the basement). I also wished I had something to wring them out. My hands were so sore after that.
    Luckily a few days later we got some money and I did the rest of our clothes at the laundromat.

    Answer by justanotherjen at 11:48 AM on Sep. 18, 2010