When it comes to washing delicate clothes, the number one recommendation is washing by hand in a sink or tub so not to damage or wear out the clothing. But in reality, we often simply don’t have the time to handwash our delicate clothes individually. In our busy lives, the truth is we often need to throw our delicates in the wash just like the rest of our clothes.
But don’t wash your delicate clothes just like the rest of them! There are certain steps you should take when putting them in the washing machine, including temperature, wash setting, using the proper detergents, and more. First, let’s start with the question: What clothes count as delicates?
Examples of delicates include:
- Soft Sweaters
- Bras & Lingerie
- Thin Cotton
- Soft Blankets
Washing Delicates in a Washing Machine
Now that we can determine what clothes are considered delicates, how should you wash delicate clothes in the washing machine? Reading the labels on your clothes can also help understand what is best for washing machine settings. Below are the steps you should take when putting your delicates in the wash:
- Separate your delicate clothes from your regular clothes
- Separate by colors and fabrics for best results
- Do not wash delicates in hot water, use cool or cold water for best results
- Avoid using harsh detergents and soaps, use a gentle detergent or fragrance-free
- Use available “delicate” or “soft wash” settings on washing machines
- If delicates are washed on a “normal” cycle they may get caught on certain parts of the washing machine, causing stretching or tearing
- If available, use a mesh laundry bag and place delicates inside the bag before washing
- Once the wash cycle is complete do not let clothes sit, remove clothes and return them to their original shape as soon as possible. Make sure you are not stretching or deforming any fabric as you do so
Washing Baby Clothes
Washing baby clothes is another delicate that most parents struggle with on a daily basis. Stains from formula, breastmilk, or baby food can be tough to get out. Use a gentle baby soap and pre-treat or pre-soak the stain. Wash the clothes in the washing machine on a gentle or delicate setting. If possible use the rinse twice setting to remove any soap residue. Drying is a personal preference, but placing them in the dryer on a low heat setting is a good option.
Stains on Delicate Clothing
If any of your delicate clothes have stains, it is absolutely possible to pre-treat them before washing them. Use a very gentle detergent and do not scrub hard. Let the detergent do the work. You can even use a gentle dish soap.
Washing your favorite delicate clothes in the washing machine can be scary, especially if it is an expensive piece of clothing that you care about. But by following the right steps you can wash any of your delicates in the washing machine when you’re in a pinch! You can also click here to view our blog that covers surprising things you can put in the washing machine.