Hand washing Clothes Techniques

hand washing clothes

hand washing clothes

Washing clothes by hand are deemed by many to be an outdated practice. In this era where washing machines are common, it is rare for people to wash their garments by hand. 

Most have compelling reasons for using machines instead of cleaning clothes themselves. Some see it as a daunting and time- consuming task. 

Others simply have no patience to do their laundry themselves. Be that as it may, there are still many reasons why you should do your wash by hand.

If you have no idea what washing clothes entail, you are not alone. 

Many people were never doing their laundry by hand, and so are clueless about the basics of washing clothes. It is undoubtedly far more involving than stuffing clothes into a washing machine. 

However, it is not as tiresome a chore as people would have you believe. Besides, it might come in real handy where there are no washing machines available. 

Learning to wash your clothes is an invaluable skill that you should possess.

1. Read the Label

Different clothes need to be washed differently. In fact, there are clothes that you are not supposed to wash in water. You can only learn the correct way to clean clothes by reading the washing instructions on the clothes label.



If a garment is meant to be dry- cleaned, refrain from washing it yourself by all means. This is because you may end up destroying the cloth or its appearance. 

Clothes made of the specific material may shrink if you wash them by hand while others may lose their shape. Before you deep, the cloth in water, make sure that it can be hand- washed.



Some clothes don’t come with any cleaning instructions. In such cases, you would be well advised to wash a section of the cloth and see what effect it has on the garment. 

If it does not damage the garment, you may proceed to wash it. If it does, you would be better off taking the cloth to a professional cleaner.

Go to a professional-cleaner

Go to a professional-cleaner

2. Soak the Clothes in Water

After ascertaining that your clothes can be washed by hand, you then need to immerse them in water.



First, let the water fill the washing tub. Lukewarm water is ideal for washing most kinds of clothes, although you might require using cold water for the more delicate garments. Add a tablespoon of washing powder to the water and create foam using your hand. Too much detergent is not suitable for clothes. It makes them fade and also hardens the task of rinsing them.



Once you have your washing water ready, it is now time to soak your clothes. You may opt to wash soak the whites separately from other clothes to ensure that they do not get stained. 

But if you are certain that none of your other clothes lose their color, there is no harm in washing them together.

You can soak your clothes for 15 minutes to about an hour. The dirtier the clothes are, the longer you should soak them. However, do not soak clothes in water for hours at a time as this could damage them as well as cause them to lose color and sheen.

3. Wash the Clothes

Soaking serves the purposes of loosening dirt from your clothes. After about an hour of soaking, it should be extremely easy to wash the clothes. 

Tough fabrics can be cleaned by mild agitation especially where dirt and stains are present. The more delicate fabrics should not be agitated by any means. Swishing them in your washing water should be enough to rid them of dirt.

 Wash the Clothes by hand

Wash the Clothes by hand

4. Rinse out the Clothes

After cleaning the clothes in soapy water, it is now time to rinse out the detergent. Simply wring out the washing water and place the clothes in a tub of clean water. Rinse them until all the detergent is removed.



You may need to change the rinsing water sometimes till you get all the soap out. It is far better to rinse clothes thoroughly than to dry them out with some detergent still left in them. Detergent that gets left in clothes often causes skin irritation and can also damage the garment itself.

5. Hang Out the Clothes to Dry

Rinsing clothes should then be followed by hanging out the clothes to dry. When hanging the clothes, avoid wringing the water out as this often leads to the formation of creases. 

Also, avoid hanging your clothes in many layers as this may interfere with the drying process. For socks and jeans, hang them using the bottom hem to ensure that another covers no part. 

Use pegs to secure the clothes on the drying line. Once they are dry, take them in, iron and fold them for later use.



What are the Benefits of Washing Clothes by Hand?

1. It is Gentle on Clothes

Washing clothes by hand are by far gentler than doing so using a machine. Some clothes are far too delicate to be washed by a machine, which leaves you no choice but to clean them by hand. Additionally, the gentle nature of washing clothes by hand means that they can last for longer than when using a machine.

2. You Rinse them Better

Although washing machines are typically excellent for cleaning clothes. They are known to leave a residue of washing detergents even after clothes are rinsed. If you do the laundry yourself, you are bound to be more thorough in ensuring that you remove all the washing powder as you rinse the clothes out.

3. Saves you Money

Washing clothes by hand require minimal detergent, less water than a machine and no electricity. All these are ways to save money on your laundry.


This hand washing clothes technique is anything but difficult to learn. Sure, it may take you more time and energy to clean your clothes by hand, but there are unique benefits that you will gain by doing this. Besides, some fabrics are best cleaned by hand so you might as well learn how to do it well. It will prove to be an invaluable skill with time.

Written by: Dorcus Ayoti


  • Updated a few months ago
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