How to Wash Clothes

Washing clothes, or doing laundry, is the process of cleaning worn clothes. The process involves using detergent and making sure it is thoroughly applied to the fabric to remove dirt. You can do this by hand or by using a washing machine.

To wash your clothes, you will need:

  • a detergent;
  • water;
  • buckets/basins/sink for hand washing or a washing machine; and
  • a dryer or a space to hang clothes for air drying.

1. Collect the dirty laundry. It is best if you put a clothes hamper in your bedroom or bathroom.

2. Sort the laundry according to color. Don’t mix whites with the coloreds in the wash as the colors may bleed and stain your whites.

3. Check labels of the clothes for special washing instructions. Delicate fabric may need to be hand washed. There are also clothes which need specialized cleaning. Do not attempt to wash these.

Hand washing

a. Put the laundry in a basin, bucket, or sink. Wide brimmed basins are best so that you will have enough space to move your hands.

b. Put enough water on the basin to submerge the clothes.

c. If you are using powdered detergent:

i. Put the powdered detergent on the basin with the clothes and water. The instructions it came with will tell you how much detergent to use.

ii. Leave the detergent in for as long as it says in the instructions. The instructions can often be found on the box or bag the detergent came in. The amount of time and detergent depends on the material you are washing and the kind of detergent.

iii. After the detergent has worked on the water, remove the soapy water.

iv. Put clean water in the basin with the clothes. Lightly rub the clothes together in the clean water to remove any detergent residue.

v. You can repeat the last two processes until the clothes are clean

d. If you are using bar detergent:

i. Hold the fabric with one hand.

ii. Lightly rub the bar detergent against the fabric.

iii. Drop the detergent and use your other hand to rub another part of the fabric against the part with the detergent. Do so lightly to prevent tearing.

iv. Repeat until all the pieces of fabric have been lathered with detergent.

v. Replace the soapy water with clean water. Rub the clothes together in the clean water to rinse it and remove any detergent residue.

vi. Repeat the last two processes until the clothes are clean.

5. Using a washing machine

a. Load the laundry into the machine.

b. Fill the machine with water. Most machines have markings on the side that indicate the volume of water already in the machine. You can also check the manual of the machine to check how much water is needed.

c. Add detergent to the water in the washing machine before turning it on. Follow the instructions on the package of detergent. This will tell you how much detergent to put.

d. Set the water temperature. Wash whites in hot water, and darks in cold water. It is better to use cold water, since hot water may shrink clothes. If the machine does not come with temperature control, you can just use lukewarm water.

e. Close the lid of the machine and place the settings for the machine. The settings include the timer and the type of spin to be used. The manual for the washing machine can tell you the settings needed for certain kinds of clothes.

f. After the spin has finished, take out the clothes and shake them gently. This is so that clothes will dry easier with less wrinkles.

6. Drying

a. Read the labels of the clothes for any special drying instructions. Some clothes such as brassieres and delicate wear need to be hanged and air-dried.

b. If there are no special instructions, you can put the clothes in the dryer.

7. Over drying may damage fabrics and destroy your clothes. It there is moisture retained in some fabric let it dry by hanging.

8. Fold the clothes or hang them in your closet after drying.