When we are discussing delicates, we mean clothing that can become damaged when washed using a regular cycle. Examples of delicate items include your bras, silk shirts, silk ties, scarves, and padded bike shorts. Delicate items are typically some of the most expensive items of clothing in your wardrobe and should be treated with care.
Read the Labels
Delicates typically have specific washing instructions on how to handwash, including the temperature of the water that should be used and the type of detergent to use. If your delicates have care instructions follow them to help avoid damaging your delicate clothing. If your clothing does not have care instructions, use a very mild detergent or a bit of dishwashing liquid and handwash your delicates in cool or room temperature water.
* Pro Tip: Clothing that is brightly colored i.e. hand-dyed silk items can bleed when they are washed. For this reason, you will want to separate bright items during handwashing. In addition to this, limit the number of times you wash brightly colored clothing to help prevent fading.
Handwashing Delicate Items
Fil a small basin or your sink with cool water and add a teaspoon of detergent to the water. Stir gently to create suds. Place delicate items in the water and swirl using your hands for a couple of minutes. Avoid twisting, scrubbing, or bunching delicate clothing as this can damage the fabric.
Rinse Your Delicates
Drain your sink and fill it with cool water and swirl your items to help remove soap from the fabric. Repeat this process a second time to remove all traces of detergent.
Drying Your Delicates
Remove your delicates from the sink and gently squeeze out the excess water, paying attention to avoid wringing or twisting your garments as this can damage or tear delicate materials like lace and silk.
Finally, place your delicates in a towel and press down on the towel to help absorb the remaining water in your garments. When choosing a towel, ensure that it is clean and is lint-free.
Certain delicates, including padded bike shorts, bras, and sweaters, will need to be reshaped before they are allowed to dry. Take time to do this to help keep your garments looking their best.
After your garments have been reshaped, it is time to allow them to air dry. You can either use a drying rack or a lie the article of clothing flat on a clean, dry towel.
If you are using a drying rack, leave space between your items as they can drip onto other items causing a stain. Finally, place a towel under your drying rack to protect your carpeting and floors from water damage.
If you do not own a drying rack or prefer to dry your items on a flat surface, place your items on a clean dry towel and flip every couple of hours to ensure the items dry evenly. You may need to replace the towel with a clean dry one as it absorbs water and the garment dries.