Hand Washing

The normal reason for a hand washing instruction will be that a garment fabric is too delicate to wash it in a machine. Even though today a large number of machines have hand wash programs, your very delicate and treasured items are probably worth the extra effort of hand washing.
A common misconception is that a Hand Washing instruction is put on the care label because of the heat setting a garment can take. In actual fact the real reason is much more likely to be that the garment or fabric can not take the agitation associated with being tumbled around a machine. The movement of the fabric especially when wet can distort, shrink or even break certain fibres or surface treatments.
Also don't suppose that all manufacturers simply put a hand wash label on a garment just for their own safety (although this undoubtedly does happen on occasions). Just because you normally have no trouble with cotton items doesn't mean that the stitching or a facing is necessarily safe.
Here's how you should hand wash:
Step

Description

1. Dissolve the correct amount of detergent in a sink or a bowl, the manufacturers instructions on correct dosing for hand washing are normally on the packet of powder and make sure it's all dissolved.
2. Place the garment in the liquor ensuring that it's completely covered.
3. Instead of scrunching up the garment with your hands, to get the water to flow, add weight to the fabric by leaning down and only lightly pull your fingers in at the same time. Let it soak and keep coming back to it every three minutes or so for around 15 minutes.
4. Empty the water out and refill using cold clean water again leaning on the garment and only slightly pulling with your fingers. Repeat this step at least once more.
5. If the care label allows spinning then spin the garment in your washing machine on a short cycle. If not then lay it flat on a towel and wrap it up again using your weight to press the garment but this time you're trying to get as much water into the towel as possible. DO NOT WRING THE GARMENT!
6. Most hand wash items need to be dried flat and you can buy a gauze made to cover the bath for this purpose. If you haven't got a gauze then spreading a net across a bath or two lines of a circular washing line should do the trick. Don't hang the item on a hanger, unless it's something like a scarf,  or you will probably end up with baggy shoulders that can be impossible to repair.

 

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