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Someone hand washing clothes in soapy water.

Tips on Washing Clothes by Hand

Today, most of us use a washing machine to wash our clothes, rather than hand washing. In fact, some of us don’t even know how to hand wash clothes! Using a washing machine is quick, convenient, and stress-free, so why use any other method? Well, there are still some of us who prefer to hand wash, especially when it comes to cleaning treasured garments or very traditional and delicate fabrics.

Hand washing gives us complete control over how the fabric is handled, which can give you peace of mind when dealing with garments that are irreplaceable. Unfortunately, hand washing can also be a time consuming and tiring process – so how can we make it more efficient?

How to Hand Wash Clothes Efficiently

If you dread laundry day because of the time taken up by washing clothes by hand, you may find it beneficial to take a look at our handy tips for speeding up and simplifying the process:

  • Wash Multiple Loads at Once

    Different types of clothing need to be washed at different temperatures. Whereas naturally-coloured cottons and heavy duty materials can usually be washed at hotter temperatures (be sure to check the label for any advice), dyed and delicate fabrics are best washed with cool water in order to prevent any damage and to stop the colours from running.

    Attempting to wash a mixed load at just one temperature will mean some clothing isn’t being cleaned as well as it should be. For best results, have two buckets on the go at once – one with hotter water and one with cooler water.

  • Use a Liquid Detergent

    Waiting around for powdered detergent to dissolve in a bucket of water is as dull as watching paint dry – and if it doesn’t all dissolve, your clothes are left with a powdery residue and will need to be washed again. Washing machines will give your clothes a thorough wash and rinse with both a liquid or powder detergent, but when it comes to hand washing, a liquid detergent, which dissolves instantly, is the best option.

    With Surf excel’s liquid detergent, you can even remove stains using the dip-dab-drop method: simply take a capful of detergent, dip your finger in, dab it gently onto the stain, and drop the rest into your bucket! The same method will work if you’re using a washing machine, too!

  • Don’t Jump the Gun

    If we’re in a rush, it’s very tempting to put clothes into the bucket and try to clean them straight away. This won’t work, and it will just mean you’ll need to wash them again. It can be frustrating to wait for your clothes to soak, but it’s actually much more efficient in the long run. It’s always better to spend a little extra time doing something right the first time, instead of doing a mediocre job and having to redo it.

    You only need to leave your clothes to soak for 15 minutes – why not use that time to have a much-needed rest with a cup of tea? By time you go back, the detergent will have been absorbed into the fabric and softened any stains, ready for you to begin the cleaning process.

Hand Washing is Not the Only Way!

Believe it or not, washing clothes by hand isn’t your only option when you’re dealing with delicate fabrics. Modern washing machines today are specifically designed to remove the need to hand wash clothing. Most offer a range of customisable settings, which give you just as much control over how your clothing is handled as you’d have when washing by hand, so multiple washes are no problem. You can adjust the water temperature to your liking, set the spin cycle to a gentle setting, or even use the ‘hand wash’ option, which treats your laundry with utmost care.

Both powdered and liquid detergents will work well, so you can choose a product according to your preference. And with a soak setting, you can even let your machine take care of loosening tricky stains before you put clothes on to wash. In this day and age, there’s really no need for us to be hand-washing clothes anymore!

Do you hand wash or machine wash? Do you have any tips for washing clothes by hand you’d like to share? Comment in the box below – we’d love to hear from you!