What's the best way to clean—and sanitize—without the luxury of a washing machine if you usually wash your clothes at a laundromat (or limit your trips to a communal in-building laundry room)? Patric Richardson, founder of the Minneapolis boutique Mona Williams, says that not only is it possible, but also surprisingly simple, to hand wash your clothes at home (so much so you may never go to a laundromat again).

Have a load to wash but can't find a washer? One step at a time, here's how to take care of your clothes.

The Most Effective Method for Hand-Washing Clothes

The first step is to clean out (and then thoroughly clean) your kitchen sink, which is the best place to wash your clothes by hand. Richardson recommends the kitchen sink for several reasons. Not everyone has access to a bathtub, and the average bathroom sink isn't particularly large. He claims that most kitchen sinks are large enough to wash multiple items at once.

"When you use a machine, you put all the pieces in at once," Richardson advises, "so fit as much as you can in your sink." "Just make sure to separate the colours and whites according to your method."

After that, soak your clothes in warm water, which is the most effective way to kill germs without burning your hands. Is there no laundry detergent in the house? That is, in all honesty, for the best. Instead of using detergent, Richardson suggests using gentle hand soap or shampoo (but never dish soap). Use a laundry soap (not a detergent) if you have one. Detergent will be nearly impossible to remove from your clothes, and he claims that soap is powerful enough to keep your clothes fresh while also killing any germs that may be present.

"If I had to buy soap in the store, I would get foaming hand soap, which is the gentlest soap available," he says. "Don't go crazy with it—a kitchen sink load only requires 4 or 5 pumps in total."

Now it's time to do the laundry. Richardson recommends soaking your clothes in soapy water for 20 minutes and then manipulating them with your hands every 3 to 4 minutes without being too harsh or aggressive.

Pull the stopper, let the water run out, and then fill the sink with cool (not ice cold) water as much as you can. Swish the clothes around again; you'll notice the water is clearer this time. Finally, replace the stopper and swish the clothes with your hands until the water is clear. Your clothes should be clean and dry before you leave! Just remember to wash your hands and put them in the sink (again) when you're finished.

How to Clean Your Clothes and Get Rid of Germs

When there are a lot of germs around, you'll want to focus on sanitising your clothes rather than just cleaning them. The good news is that if you wash your hands with soap, you're probably getting rid of any lingering pathogens.

Richardson explains that the soap we use to wash our hands contains lipids, which bind to bacteria and viruses. So when you wash your clothes, the soap literally removes the germs and flushes them down the drain. Antibacterial products, on the other hand, kill germs and leave them on your clothing.

Laundry detergent binds to germs in the same way that regular soap does, but not to the same extent. When you're machine washing, it's the heat that does the majority of the sanitizing—on the "sanitise" setting, a washer reaches temperatures that your hands can't handle, like 160 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. When hand washing, you can use heat to kill germs on your clothes by steaming or ironing them after they've been washed. According to the CDC, flu viruses can be killed by heat of 167 degrees or higher, and many steamers can reach temperatures of 200 degrees or higher.

How Often Should Your Clothes Be Laundered and Sanitized?

Richardson isn't a big fan of washing your clothes more than they need to be washed. Wear your clothes until you absolutely need to wash them—until you spill something or the garment appears truly dirty—if you're just hanging out at home. According to Richardson, clothes that aren't exposed to outside germs can go for 6 to 7 wearings before needing to be sanitised.

You'll need to up your laundry game if you're going out in public. Take care of your clothes just as you would your hands when you get home; germs can live on your clothes for several hours. If you have a designated area for your dirty clothes, such as a hamper, this rule does not apply. If you think those germ-infested clothes might end up on a chair, wash them.

"Right now, if you're out and about, you'll have to wash your clothes as soon as you get home," Richardson advises. "Just change your clothes as soon as possible and hand wash the ones that are dirty."

Richardson recommends spraying a few spritzes of vodka (which is odourless) on garments you don't want to wash every time, such as a jacket, to keep germs at bay—just don't use it to clean hard surfaces or, of course, your hands.

It doesn't matter what you're washing; what matters is that you're realistic. If you've been around someone who's been sick, wash your clothes as thoroughly as you would your hands. If you don't have time to wash the dirty clothes right away, put them in a hamper until you can. Re-inventing your laundry routine may not sound fun, but think of it as another way to look after your health—and help others do the same.

How to Dry Clothes Quickly in the Air

You might be surprised at how long it takes your clothes to dry if you're not used to doing laundry without a machine. Invest in a large, foldable drying rack to ensure you get the most air flow. When not in use, it will fold up out of sight (under the bed, for example) and provide enough space to lay out an entire load. If you don't have access to a drying rack, hang your clothes on open-air surfaces such as chair backs, window curtain rods, and shower curtain rods.

When you can't get to the laundromat, a salad spinner can simulate the spin-dry action of a laundry machine for smaller loads and single garments (but your garments will probably still need to be air-dried afterwards).

If it appears that your clothes are taking an unusually long time to dry, you should keep an eye on the humidity level in your home. A dehumidifier can be placed near your drying rack to help speed up the drying process.

Related posts
Tips To Make You Look Adorable In Puffer Coat
  • 25

Ipsum generators on the Internet tend to repeat predefined chunks as necessary, making this generator on the Internet.

6 Smart Ways to Wear a Dress in Winter
  • 20

Ipsum generators on the Internet tend to repeat predefined chunks as necessary, making this generator on the Internet.

SteamyTrends collects & utilizes cookies from third-parties & affiliate networks to improve user experience. If you buy a product or service after clicking on one of our links, we may get a commission.