Some top-of-the-range washing machines include a gentle hand-wash programme, but if you don’t have one of these you’ll need to know how to do it yourself.


You will need hand-wash laundry liquid, which i s gentler on delicate garments and designed to require less rinsing than machine washing detergent.

Gather the garments that you want to hand-wash. Put the amount of detergent recommended o n the bottle label into a clean washing-up bowl. For colour-fast items, fill the bowl with water that is between warm and hot (comfortable enough to hold your hand in); use cool water for dark or brightly coloured clothes that might leach colour. Agitate the water with your hand to ensure the detergent is fully dissolved.

Immerse the items – not too many at a time – and use your hands to work the soapy water through them for a minute or so, paying attention to armpit areas and collars where odour and dirt more readily accumulate. Leave to soak for a few minutes if necessary.

Lift the clothes out onto the draining board and tip away the dirty water. Rinse out the suds from the bowl, fill with cool, clean water and rinse the clothes in this by moving them around. Rinse and repeat until the water is clear. Squeeze items gently to remove excess water and hang out to dry.

Roll woollens and other items that need to be dried flat in a large towel to absorb the remaining amount of water.

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