Our work uniforms all look a little different these days. We’ve swapped our business casual attire with something a lot more casual—as in mostly sweatpants, activewear, athleisure, and pajamas. But just because you’re staying in more doesn’t mean you don’t have to wash your clothes. Here, best practices for handwashing all your pieces, for those who don’t want to risk a trip to the laundromat.
First: Here’s How Often You Really Have to Wash Them
When deciding how often to wash your sweats or athleisure, consider how much you’ve perspired or if they’ve been exposed to potential contaminants while wearing them. If they’re pretty sweaty after an at-home workout or outdoor jog, or if you went on a grocery store run, wash them right after. If you’re just lounging around the house, items can be worn a couple of times before you toss in the wash.
Keep Loads Small
Washing small loads every other day or so is the best way to keep on top of your laundry. A small load can be easily washed in a clean sink or Wash Tub Basin. Larger loads can go in the bathtub.
Before you start washing your items in the tub, be sure to clean it! Remove dirt and grime by creating a powerful mixture with All-Purpose Bleach Alternative, All-Purpose Cleaning Concentrate and hot water. Once you’ve cleaned the tub, make sure the drain is closed to keep the water afloat.
For best results, be sure to wash like colors and fabrics together. Pretreat any stains with Stain Solution (for color-rich protein and tannin stains such as red wine, juice, chocolate, and ink or pit stains) or the Wash & Stain Bar (ideal for oil or grease stains such as ring around the collar, salad dressing, and makeup).
Use The Right Temperature
If you’re washing cotton, linen, durable synthetics (like polyester), run warm or hot water long enough to cover the garments. Next, add the appropriate amount of fabric-specific detergent (try Signature Detergent), depending on the size of the load—usually 2-4 capfuls.
For delicate fabrics like silk, lace, wool or cashmere or activewear, use cool water only (very important!) and Delicate Wash, Wool & Cashmere Shampoo, or Sport Detergent (for activewear). Soak, Rinse, Repeat
Softly agitate the water with your hands to distribute the soap into the water and let the garments soak for up to 30 minutes. Remove the laundry by pressing each garment against the edge of the tub, and placing in a clean bucket or sink. Then, open the drain to release the soapy water and close the drain before filling the tub back up with clean warm water. Place the garments in the clean warm water. Swirl to thoroughly rinse away the suds and drain once more. If any garments still have suds, run them under the faucet until rinse water runs clear. Never wring the garments—this will damage the fibers. Instead, press garments against the edge of the tub to get rid of excess water.
Hang or lay flat to dry. We have always been fans of line drying, as it preserves fibers, colors, shape, and elasticity while also saving energy. Most everyday garments can be hung to dry on a hanger, but be sure the hanger is properly shaped to prevent annoying shoulder bumps.
Delicate items such as silk, wool and cashmere, and activewear should always be dried by laying flat in their natural shapes on a drying rack or clean towel—hanging will strain the fibers and distort the garment. If you hang directly from the shower rod, be careful of rusting, which can be difficult to remove.