A person washing clothes by hand in soapy water.

Handwashing Clothes

The care labels for some clothes specify that they should be washed by hand. But occasionally handwashing clothes that you normally wash in the machine will help to prolong their life.


Tips for Best Results

  • Sort your wash by colour, so you are washing whites and light and dark colours separately
  • Check the care labels to see whether items need a cold or hot handwash
  • Check instructions for detergent advice (e.g. for delicate fabrics)
  • Be sure to add the right amount of detergent - check our dosing information
  • Make sure the washing detergent has completely dissolved in the water before immersing items in the wash solution - liquids dissolve more quickly and don’t contain bleach


What to do:

  1. Add your clothes to the water and, if they are heavily stained, leave them to soak
  2. After washing the clothes by gently squeezing the garments through the wash solution
  3. Rinse three or more times, until the water runs clear. Try to avoid keeping your hands in the detergent for too long. Rinse and dry them immediately afterwards. People with sensitive or damaged skin should avoid contact with wash solution and may wear rubber gloves.


Handwashing delicates

Fabrics such as wool and silk and rayon call for a gentle wash, so the stronger biological, high pH products are not always suitable. We recommend that you use a pH neutral non-enzymatic detergent because they do not contain enzymes, bleach or brightening agents. The same fabrics often have delicate dyes, so a product such as Persil Silk and Wool is ideal because it does not contain bleach.


Handwashing modern fabrics

Many modern fabrics can also be handwashed in a powder or liquid detergent, but check the care label carefully for instructions.


Handwashing woollens

  • Check that the care label on the article advises washing - some woollens are labelled ‘dry clean only’
  • Use warm water (around 30-40°C)
  • Use a pH neutral non-ensymatic detergent
  • Wash quickly, squeezing the garment gently in the suds. Give extra-dirty woollens two washes with a rinse between, rather than one long wash
  • Add a fabric conditioner to the final rinse water, to ensure that the garment stays soft
  • Gently squeeze out the excess moisture, then roll in a towel or spin dry in your machine to remove as much water as possible to prevent any dye running. Dry flat on a towel away from direct heat and sunlight to prevent white or light colours from discolouring. Do not tumble dry.

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