Most Effective Way to Hand-Wash Clothes in Your Sink
For one reason or another, sometimes it is best to ditch the washing machine and take a manual approach. While hand-washing is typically reserved for delicate items — bras and underwear, namely — it is an effective option for most types of clothing, especially if you do not have a large enough load to make a trip to the laundromat worthwhile.
Before heading to your sink, take a look at your garment's care and fiber tag for water temperature guidelines and further washing instructions. If the label says, "dry clean," as opposed to "dry clean only," it may be safe to wash in the sink — and lower your dry cleaning bill in the process. Although the care instructions may vary from one clothing type to the next, the same step-by-step method applies, no matter if you are working with wool, silk, or cotton.
How to Hand-Wash Clothes
Washing clothes by hand is by far the most gentle approach. That means, you want to treat your garments with an extreme level of care throughout the entire cleaning process. To save time, feel free to wash likes with likes a.k.a. garments in the same color and fabric type. Follow this step-by-step guide for most garments:
1. Read the care label to determine the type of fabric: silk, wool, and so forth.
Any standard detergent should work for most items. Delicate fabrics may call for something more gentle, like fine fabric detergent, free and gentle detergent, or mild dish liquid.
2. Treat stains, if necessary.
To do so, gently work laundry stain remover or liquid detergent into the stain with your fingertips (avoid scrubbing!). While it is soaking, gently squeeze the sudsy water through the garment several times.
3. Fill sink with water — lukewarm or warm, depending on your garment's care labels — and put garments in.
Add the recommended dose of detergent. Swish the detergent in the water to make sure it is completely dissolved, then lay your garment in the water and gently press it down to fully immerse it. The water may turn colour, but do not panic: this is simply the fabric dye releasing colour, and won't result in any colour loss after washing.
4. Rinse thoroughly.
If you have a sprayer on your faucet, place any lightweight garments, like lingerie or swimsuits, in a colander and rinse clean. Otherwise, fill the sink with cool, clear water, immerse the garment, and squeeze the water through to rinse. Repeat as needed.
5. Remove excess water.
Since wringing out wet, delicate fabrics may cause unnecessary damage, carefully lift the garment with both hands and gently squeeze out as much water as possible. Then, lay it flat on an absorbent towel, and roll the towel and garment together until the water is absorbed.
6. Lay items to dry.
To prevent delicates, especially knits, from stretching out of shape, lay them flat to dry. For extra care (and to speed up up the drying process), lay sweaters or swimsuits on top of a dry towel, and let it air dry. Once the front is dry, flip it over.