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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.

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Someone hand washing clothes in soapy water.

Laundry Tips: Washing by hand

The care labels for some clothes specify that they should be washed only by hand.  If, however, you occasionally hand-wash the clothes that you normally wash in the machine, you will help to prolong their life. Check the care label to see which items in your wardrobe need to be washed by hand. By washing your favourite garments by hand, even if they are machine washable, you can extend their lifespan. 

Here are some hand-washing tips that’ll ensure the best results:

  1. Hand wash whites, light and dark colours separately. It’s important to sort your laundry.
  2. The care labels on your clothes act as a guide to ensure clothes are not damaged.
  3. On all OMO products , you will find instructions on how to care for different fabrics. Follow these for best results.
  4. On all OMO products, you’ll also find dosage instructions. Follow them and save money by using the right amount.
  5. The laundry detergent should be completely dissolved before you start hand-washing your items. Liquid detergents may be the better choice, as they dissolve quickly and don’t contain bleach.

How to wash clothes by hand:

  1. Heavily stained clothes should soak for a while before washing.
  2. If not stained, just add the clothes to the water.
  3. Wash the garments by gently squeezing the wash solution through the fabric.
  4. Rinse the items until the water runs clear (about three to four times).

Try not to keep your hands in the washing solution for too long and rinse them immediately after you’re done with the laundry. If you have sensitive or damaged skin, opt for rubber gloves when hand-washing.

Hand-washing particular fabrics Delicates:  

Wool, rayon and silk are fabrics which need a gentle wash accordingly, and the biological, high pH products which are stronger are not always the best option. A pH neutral non-enzymatic detergent is the way to go. These products don’t contain bleach, enzymes or brightening agents. Delicate dyes are often used to colour these fabrics, so a product such as OMO Auto Liquid is the recommended product, as it doesn’t contain bleach.

Modern fabrics:

Note the care label carefully to know which modern fabrics can be washed by hand with a liquid or powder laundry detergent.


  • Some woollens are labelled for ‘dry clean only’. See what the care label on your favourite woollen garments states.
  • Warm water is advised (around 30-40°C).
  • Choose a non-enzymatic, pH neutral product.
  • The wash should be quick, squeeze the clothing gently in the washing solution. Give heavily soiled woollens two washes with a rinse between, instead of one long wash.
  • To keep the garment soft, add a fabric softener to the water with which you do the final rinse.
  • Get rid of the additional moisture by gently squeezing the item. To prevent the dye from running, roll the garment in a towel or spin in your machine.
  • Lay the garment flat on a towel. To prevent light colours or crisp whites from discolouring, do not tumble dry and keep away from direct sunlight.

For more laundry tips on how to best use your liquid detergent, effective stain removal or fabric care, be sure to take a look at OMO’s laundry tips.