Washing machine broken? Tired of feeding coin-operated washers? Whether by choice or necessity, hand-washing your clothes can help conserve water, save on energy costs and protect your clothes.
Conventional washing machines use between 35 and 50 gallons of water per load, which makes them responsible for about 22% of average household water usage. On top of that, you're using up a ton of electricity both heating water to use in the hot or warm washing machine settings and running the dryer.
Washing clothes by hand increases the longevity of textiles by preserving fibers and detailing. Bras, pantyhose, and anything with lycra or elastic can potentially break down in the hot water and agitating spin cycles.
Many detergents tend to contain chemicals that are too harsh for delicate items. Simple Green Laundry uses plant-based surfactants and a smart enzyme system that's tough on dirt and stains while being gentle on skin and the environment. It's free of chlorine, optical-brighteners, borax and phosphates commonly found in other detergents, and all of which can irritate skin.
Before you begin, look for the washing instructions on the item's tag. If the tag says "dry clean only," do not hand or machine wash.
Directions for Hand Washing Clothes:
Spot test a small, hidden area before use.
- Separate clothing by color. Delicate fabrics such as silk garments, wool and lace should also be washed separately.
- Pretreat stains as needed. Learn how to do so with this tip. Then turn each item inside out.
- Clean out your sink or bucket if needed. If you're going to be hand washing clothes in your sink, be sure to clean it to get rid of leftover food grease in the kitchen or lingering toothpaste in the bathroom.
- Fill sink. Fill your sink, tub or bucket with room temperature water, but leave room for the water to get higher when you add your clothes. Pour a capful of Simple Green Laundry into the container.
- Add clothes. Agitate for 2-3 minutes, rubbing dirtier fabrics against themselves to help the detergent penetrate soils.
- Remove clothes. Gently squeeze out excess water. Avoid twisting, as doing so can damage the fabric.
- Drain the sink. Drain or dump your used water. Rinse out your bucket or sink and refill it with water.
- Submerge clothes again. Agitate then allow clothes to soak for 5-10 minutes.
- Remove clothes again. Squeeze out excess water.
- Air dry. Hang clothes on drying rack or line, or lay flat on a dry towel.
- Drain. Empty your sink, tub or bucket and rinse with clean water.