How to Wash Delicate Clothes By Hand

It’s always best to check the wash care symbols on each individual item before washing your clothes to make sure they’re being treated in a suitable manner. Here are some general considerations to make when washing delicates:
  • First, gather items of the same material together; this reduces the chance of different materials becoming loose and tangling with the delicate fibers.
  • Fill a basin with lukewarm water and a detergent intended for delicate items. A mild detergent will be gentle on your clothes as well as your skin.
  • Gently swirl the garments in the basin, paying special attention to any stains or spots.
  • Leave to air dry, either hanging from a rail, or – for items that are prone to stretching, such as woollens – leave the garment lying flat on a towel.

How to Wash Delicates in the Washing Machine

Washing machines are great at washing clothes, but some settings can be too harsh for delicates. Use the dedicated washing machine delicate cycle, or, if your machine doesn’t have this option, follow these simple rules:
  • As with hand washing, gather items of the same material together for a wash instead of mixing different fibers.
  • Only fill the machine halfway – this will help prevent fibers becoming tangled. If your machine has a half load option, it’s best to use it here, as it will reduce the amount of water used, conserving water and saving money.
  • Use a cool or lukewarm temperature setting, and a slow spin cycle. High temperatures can shrink some materials, while vigorous spinning can damage materials.
  • Use a cold rinse. Some people worry that cold washes won’t get their clothes clean, but as long as you’re using a good quality detergent, there’s no need to be concerned.
  • If you have a dryer, don’t be tempted to dry your delicate pieces of clothing in the machine. Instead, allow the delicate items to dry naturally, and away from direct sunlight to prevent bleaching.

Washing silk, wool, and linen doesn’t need to be something you fear – with these tips you can be assured you’re washing delicates in the safest way possible. So there’s no need to be put off buying any beautiful, delicate garments!

You should ideally hand wash delicate items using warm water. However, you can let the washing machine do the hard work for you, but be sure to use the delicate cycle and a cool or lukewarm temperature setting.