How grateful we are for the luxury of modern appliances. We rely on them for just about everything. Our plates come out of the dishwasher sparkling, leftovers can be reheated in the microwave with just a few presses of a button, and most of all our clothes come out smelling fresh and clean after simply loading the soap into the machine. But what about those few times when modern appliances simply won’t do the trick, when you read those seemingly troublesome words “hand wash only?”
Next you want to ad the soap to the water before you put in the clothing. This way the soap gets distributed equally through the garment. When hand-washing, I use soap flakes. There are no enzymes, bleaches, or perfumes and it is created from palm and coconut oil, making it all around natural and gentle, perfect not only for sensitive skin but for those delicate garments that can’t be trusted in a washing machine. If you want to go with something closer to a laundry detergent, there are some options that I have in my book The Joy of Green Cleaning.
If your clothes are particularly dirty, you may want to leave them soaking overnight. You can treat any stains by going old-school and rubbing soap into the stain with a small brush, even on both sides if the fabric has the strength to take it. This combined with the soaking should eliminate most problems you may have.
So to finish the process you want to dry the clothes in the gentlest manner possible. Since wringing will only disfigure the garment beyond all recognition, and hanging will stretch out the fabric, the best thing to do is to lay it flat on either a white towel or netted drying rack. For those sweaters that hold on to a lot of water, you can first role up the sweater in a towel, get rid of the extra water, and then lay it flat. In the end you’ll have the joy of wearing that special garment once again without worrying about the fit.