How to hand-wash clothes

Updated February 21, 2017

Some articles of clothing require hand washing. Even if the label doesn't call for hand washing, your garments will last longer if they're not constantly subjected to the rigors of the washing machine. Here are a few ways to get your clothes clean with hand washing.

Plug a sink, and add about 1/4 cup detergent.

Read the labels on your clothing and then fill the sink with the correct water temperature listed on the label. Keep in mind that some articles of clothing require cold water while some can be washed in hot water. Remember to leave room for the clothing.

If you're washing whites and want to bleach them, now's the time to add about 1/4 cup bleach to the water.

Put your clothing in the water and get it thoroughly wet and soapy. If it's stained, you may want to let it soak for a while.

Knead the clothing with your hands in the water for a few minutes, much as you would knead bread.

Unplug the sink, drain and start the water running. Rinse your clothing until the water runs clear, not soapy.

Wring out and hang to dry, or place clothing in the dryer.


Wash items of similar colors together; separate dark clothes from white or light-colored clothes. Pretreat heavy stains with laundry detergent or stain remover.


If you are using bleach, be sure to wear rubber gloves while washing clothes, and be careful not to get bleach water in your eyes. Some fabrics and garments require gentle, cold-water washing and mild detergent; check the labels on your clothes for specific directions.

Things You'll Need

  • Liquid Fabric Softeners
  • Clothes Dryers
  • Clothespins
  • Detergents
  • Laundry Baskets
  • Liquid Bleach
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