Why Should You Wash Your Clothes By Hands?

Hand Washing

Do you think hand washing clothes belongs to cave man time? In some occasions, that is just the best way of handling your clothes. Even some dry clean clothes can be hand washed. Back to the basics.

In some part of the world where soaps are locally made, people still do their laundry by hand and hang dry them. In today society and American culture where people prefer convenience, Washing machines and clothe dryers are the norm.

Although convenient and sometimes reliable, these machines can be harsh on your laundry. Some clothes don’t last long when constantly washed in machine and dried with heat.

Washing delicate clothes by hand is far better than in the machine. However, laundry detergents are not suitable for hand washing. They tend to dry out hands. Lye soaps are better in this instance, as they are mild and yet sudsy, and remove stain easily from the clothes. All you do is rubbing the soap against the stain and washing it with both hands.

Reasons to wash your clothes by hands using lye soap:

First, lye soap is gentle on hand and on the clothes.

Second, it easier to remove stains especially stain around collar and under pit caused by suet, dirt and deodorant. Those stains are not well removed when machine washing clothes. As you wash by hand, you give each outfit a particular attention, wash gently the less dirty ones and rub more the stained ones. As a result, all your clothes come out clean look less wrinkly and do not wear out easily.

Third, hand washing clothes reduce the risk of color bleeding stains and peeling. Since clothes are hand washed one by one there is no reasons for one cloth to color stain the other.

Fourth, it cuts down on dry cleaning bills. Many clothes tags recommend dry cleaning even for the clothes that can be washed gently. Manufactures do so to run on the safe side. However, those clothes can be hand washed easily with no problem to the exception of clothes that shrink in water. For example, in the attempt of cutting down on polyester clothes in my wardrobe, I purchased some 100% silk dresses. The tags recommend dry cleaning but I just hand wash them in cold water with my homemade lye soap. They are just fine. In brief, don’t just rely on clothes tags. Test your clothes and do what is right by them.

Fifth, it reduces indoor air pollution for, many laundry detergents and dry cleaning products emit volatile organic compound (VOCs) . VOCs affect the quality of indoor air. Potela, Carol. ” Indoor Air Quality: Scented Products emit a Bouquet of VOCs“. U.S. National Library of Medecine National Institute of Health. National Center for Biotechnology Information, US. National Library of Medecine. Jan. 2011. Web. 20 Dec. 2014.

Why about scum buildup from lye soap?


When washing with lye soap, the rinsing water has scum in it especially the first rinsing water. With hard water it should be expected. Therefore, it is recommended to rinse each cloth at least three times or until the rinsing water runs clear for each one of them.

Should hand washed clothes be dried in the dryer?

Hang Dry Clothes


They could. However, it takes more time and heat for them to dry as you cannot squeeze the water out of them as much as the washing machine, they take longer to dry. They can be hung in the bath tub for the water to drip as least before drying them in the dryer if they cannot be hung on a cloth line. For example, I generally hang mine in the bathroom overnight and move them to the bedroom in the morning to hang them on my closet frame.


More on the advantages of hang drying laundry will be discuss in another blog.

To conclude, it is not convenient to do laundry by hand for lack of time. Nevertheless, it is better to do so with clothes that require gentle cleaning, as they will last longer. And washing them with lye soap is gentler not only on the clothes but your hands also. Additionally, lye soap can be rubbed on stain before do laundry by machine. If you have lye soap, put it to work. It has many uses in your house.

Happy Soaping!

Anyone hand wash his/her clothes? Please feel free to share your experience with us.

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