A staple of American laundry rooms for decades, Woolite, a fabric detergent made by Reckitt Benckiser Inc., is one of the gentlest ways to clean fine, washable fabrics. According to the manufacturer, Woolite "has no harsh ingredients. Woolite won't cause shrinking, stretching or fading." The manufacturer goes on to recommend Woolite for "acetate, acrylic, blends, cotton, denim, microfiber, nylon, polyester, rayon, silk, spandex, and wool." Extend the life and look of your clothing and fine home fabrics by using Woolite.
Prepare the garment for washing. Test for colour fastness by wetting an inside corner of the garment and rubbing it with a white cloth. If garment dye transfers to the cloth, wash the item alone to prevent damage to other items. Empty pockets, zip zippers, button buttons and unroll sleeves.
Decide if you will hand wash (Step 3) or machine wash (Step 4). If you're in doubt, wash the garment by hand.
Fill a clean sink with cold water and add a few drops of Woolite. Swish around and add the garment. Allow to soak for 15 to 20 minutes. Gently rinse in clean, cold water and squeeze out excess water. Do not wring. Hang or lay flat on a clean towel to dry.
Fill the washing machine with cold water and add Woolite, as recommended on bottle, according to the size of the load. Add garment(s) and run on the machine's delicate cycle. Remove clothing before the spin cycle if you're worried about tearing or fraying. Hang or lay flat to dry.
Carefully read care labels in each garment. If a tag says "dry clean," that is one option and you can probably hand wash without damage. If a tag says "dry clean only," that's what it means. Professional dry cleaning is recommended for some fine fabrics and trims, such as sequins and beads. If you're in doubt, dry clean. Turning garments inside out before washing helps to prevent fading and protects trims, such as buttons and zippers.