How to Hand Wash Clothes

How to Hand Wash Your Clothes the Easy Way

Often, it seems like the cutest clothes are hand wash only. Β A lot of times, I completely ignore this suggestion, but when it’s something like a sweater with rhinestones, I figure it’s in my best interests to just hand wash it.

But that’s a pain, so I typically end up leaving those clothes in my hamper for a few months (oops). And then I have to wash about six items … and I have to do them one at a time.

However, when I was altering my wedding dress, I knew that I definitely had to hand wash it, and I also knew that there was no way that dress would fit in the little dish pan I usually use for hand washing. But the tag on the dress said “hand wash in large tub” — and the only large tub I had was the bathtub.

So I started looking around on Pinterest. It turns out that a lot of people use their bathtubs to hand wash clothes and that it’s actually really easy.

I combined a few of the articles I found, and now I (almost always) hand wash my clothes in the tub.

Here’s how I do it.

Step 1: Run Water in the Bathtub & Add Soap

Step 1: Run Water in the Bath Tub & Add Soap

Fill the bathtub with as much water as you need for the amount of clothing you’re adding. For this “load,” I had a sweater dress and a sweater (that happen to be the same color …), so I ran a pretty shallow bath.

Ideally, you’d have Woolite or some special soap, but I don’t, so I just use a little bit of regular detergent.

Step 2: Add the Clothes

Step 2: Add the Clothes

Throw them all in and submerge them! If they’re not quite covered, just add a little more water.

Step 3: Β Agitate the Clothes

Step 3: Β Agitate the Clothes

I think this is the best part. Just slosh the clothes around in the water, flip them over, and slosh them some more.

Step 4: Let Them Soak

Step 4: Let Them Soak

You can set a timer if you want (maybe for 15 minutes), or you can just go do something else and forget about them. I do the second one. πŸ™‚

Step 5: Ring Them Out

Step 5: Ring Them Out

Use your hands to Β ring out the majority of the water from each item. (If you don’t get it all, it’s not a big deal. We’ll take care of that in the next step.)

Step 6: Wrap the Clothes in a Beach Towel

Step 6: Wrap the Clothes in a Beach Towel

Lay them flat on a towel (I prefer using a beach towel because they’re bigger), and roll them up like a burrito.

Matt would like to mention that this particular towel is actually his beach towel. But it’s one of the huge ones from Land’s End, and it works really, really well.

Step 7: Squeeze Out Extra Water …

Step 7: Squeeze Out Extra Water by Stepping on the Towel. Lightly.

… by stepping on the towel. Lightly. (This is completely optional, but I think it works well.) Put your clothes burrito somewhere out of the way, and let it sit for 10-20 minutes. Or just forget about it for a while. That works, too.

Step 8: Hang Them Up to Dry

Step 8: Hang Them Up to Dry

Pull out your drying rack or just hang the clothes on a towel bar in your bathroom.

And just like that, all of your hand wash clothes are clean!

Thanks for reading!

4 thoughts on “How to Hand Wash Clothes

  1. Gina says:

    *flashbacks to handwashing my clothes during my YAV year*
    But seriously, it’s not that bad, until you try to hand wash jeans or a towel.
    And I hadn’t hear of wrapping your clothes in a towel before. Neat idea!

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