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A guide to hand washing.

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A red item of clothing being hand washed in a basin.

Hand washing

The care labels for some clothes specify that they should be washed by hand. But if you occasionally handwash the clothes that you normally wash in the machine, you will help to prolong their life.


Tips for Best Results

  • Sort your wash by colour, so you are washing whites and light and dark colours separately
  • Check the care label to see whether items need a cold or hot hand wash
  • Check instructions for detergent advice (e.g. for delicate fabrics)
  • Be sure to add the right amount of detergent – check our dosing information
  • Make sure the washing detergent has completely dissolved in the water before immersing items in the wash solution – liquids dissolve more quickly


What to do

  1. Add your clothes to the water and, if they are heavily stained, leave them to soak.
  2. After washing the clothes by gently squeezing the garments through the wash solution.
  3. Rinse three or more times, until the water runs clear.

Try to avoid keeping your hands in the detergent for too long. Rinse and dry them immediately afterwards. People with sensitive or damaged skin should avoid contact with wash solution and may wear rubber gloves.


Handwashing Particular Fabrics

Delicates Fabrics such as wool and silk and rayon call for a gentle wash, so the stronger biological, high pH products are not always suitable. We recommend that you use a pH neutral non-enzymatic detergent because they do not contain enzymes. The same fabrics often have delicate dyes, so a product such as OMO Silk and Wool is ideal. Modern fabrics Many modern fabrics can also be handwashed in a powder or liquid detergent, but check the care label carefully for instructions. Woollens

  • Check the care label on the article advises washing – some woollens are labelled ‘dry clean only’
  • Use warm water (around 30-40°C)
  • Use a pH neutral non-enzymated detergent
  • Wash quickly, squeezing the garment gently in the suds. Give extra-dirty woollens two washes with a rinse between, rather than one long wash
  • Add a fabric conditioner to the final rinse water, to ensure that the garment stays soft
  • Gently squeeze out the excess moisture, then roll in a towel or spin dry in your machine to remove as much water as possible to prevent any dye running. Dry flat on a towel away from direct heat and sunlight to prevent white or light colours from discolouring. Do not tumble dry.