Tips for Washing and Drying Delicate Clothes


The majority of washing experts agree that light textiles, such as silk, lace, fine knits, chiffon, velvet, and synthetics including polyester, should be used for delicate goods. These unique textiles, such lacy bras and silk ties, need to be cleaned using a different method than your ordinary clothing. To keep their shape, beauty, and lifespan, delicate materials demand careful handling. 

While certain delicates can be machine washed, many of your goods, such as hand knit or crocheted fabrics, will need to be hand washed and handled with further care. Even a trip to the dry cleaners can be necessary for some goods. Extra fine silk, suede, leather, feathers, fur, and other delicate textiles should never be hand- or machine-washed. Follow these professional advice to give your precious apparel the care it deserves.

Read the Label on your Delicates

Shirt with tag

The label on the item is the first place to check when learning how to clean delicates. The tags on some delicate fabrics, such as silk, synthetics, and fine knits, may read “hand wash” or “dry clean.” While this does not preclude using your washing machine, it does require you to use extra caution when washing your delicates in the machine. The safest course of action is to wash your hands especially when in doubt.  

So, is it possible to machine wash delicates? No and yes. As long as you follow the label provided by the manufacturer, you can either hand wash or clean an item in the washer if the label says “dry clean,” depending on the material. If the label specifies “dry clean only,” take it to the dry cleaners. Everyone wants to save time and money, but the last thing you want to do is destroy your favorite rayon skirt or an expensive silk top in an effort to save a few dollars.

That’s why entrusting your delicate garments to professionals like Sage Dry Cleaners in Tampa ensures they receive the care and attention they deserve.

Treat Stains Immediately

White cloth with red stain

For best results, treat stains on delicate clothing as soon as you notice them. Before you begin cleaning stains, there are a few more things you can do to make them easier to handle. Avoid using commercial stain removers, especially on silk clothes. In the same way, bleach. Use a natural stain remover instead, such as lemon juice, baking soda, or white vinegar. It’s crucial to go slowly and use only what’s necessary, even when utilizing natural cleansers.

After dabbing the solution on the soiled spots, gently work it into the cloth with your finger. Be patient; lacey trim and other delicate parts will take a bit more time. Allow the stain remover to sit on thick stains for five minutes before rubbing it in. If you won’t be washing the item straight away, spread it out flat on a fresh, white towel. Before it dries entirely, go to your hand washing or machine-washing phase.

Learn How to Handwash Delicates

Use clean containers when hand washing and rinsing delicates, though you can also use the sink. You should separate your delicates into bright and darks. You can wash several delicate goods without having them fade or bleed into other materials by sorting them beforehand. Use only warm or cold water because hot water may cause your clothing to shrink or fade the colors. Use a detergent made for delicates that are hand-washed. If buying lingerie detergent is out of the question monetarily, a homemade cleaning solution mixed with one cup of hot water, one teaspoon of baby shampoo, and one drop of your favourite essential oil can be the ideal substitute.

When mixing the detergent with the warm water, don’t use too much. Before you find the ideal detergent-to-water ratio, you might need to experiment a bit with several delicates. Gently move your clothing in circles, up and down, and side to side. When using delicate trim, such as lace or sequins, take caution. Always handle delicate goods with care. Your clean delicates should be gently rinsed in a separate container of clean water or with a kitchen sink sprayer. To remove all the soap, spin the items in the container as you would during a wash cycle. To get rid of extra moisture, fold and press your clothes up against the edge of the basin. Avoid wringing delicates out because doing so will ruin the fabric or trim and make them lose their shape.

Wash Delicates in the Washer the Right Way

Delicate clothes in the washer

You will begin by classifying your delicates, just as you would while hand washing. But you also need to sort by fabric in addition to color. Avoid combining delicate fabrics with other fabrics, such as knitwear and polyester, to prevent your delicates from losing their shape. To prevent snagging and tearing, take caution when combining delicates with metal closures and zippers. You can still pre-treat stains that you might have overlooked previously before washing your delicates. The stains will be removed as gently as possible using natural stain removers, once more. Make sure all zippers and other closures are well buttoned while turning your delicates inside out. Use the “Delicate” or “Gentle” wash setting with cold water, add your detergent, and place your delicates in a mesh laundry bag. To prevent damage, select the lowest spin cycle on your washing machine.  

The last stages are the same whether you wash your delicates by hand or in your washing machine. If wet delicates aren’t given the proper time to dry, they might easily lose their shape. Your fragile objects should be gently reshaped after being washed to restore them to the appropriate shape and size. To dry, spread them out flat on a fresh, white towel. When the exposed side of your delicate apparel is almost dry, flip it over and let the entire item air dry. Additionally, delicates can be dried on a drying rack, but take care to prevent stretching out.

Soaking Delicates Helps Get Them Cleaner

Soak cloth

The simplicity of handwashing undergarments and other delicate items is that it only takes a short amount of time to complete the task. The extra time required to soak your delicates is true, but the result is worthwhile. Your delicates will become even cleaner and more stain-resistant after soaking. Make a thorough soak your first line of defense against spills on delicates to prevent further damage to those delicate fibers.

This is the procedure. Put enough lukewarm water in a container or sink to completely cover your previously sorted delicates. Any extremely stained or dirty region should be gently scrubbed, then the items should soak for 15 minutes. Drain the water, replace it with clean water, and soak your delicates for an additional five minutes. Soaking effectively will remove all stains except the strongest ones. Once the soaking process is complete, look for any lingering stains. After treating any stains you find, wash by hand or in a washing machine.

Delicates Like Bras Need Special Cleaning Care

Delicate lingerie 

Many bras are built with underwires, padding, additional shaping components, and bendable closures. Anything that can clean large loads of towels, comforters, and gym clothes is probably going to mangle your favorite bras. Because of all these various materials, machine washing is a big “no no.” Hand washing your bras with the same care you give your other delicates will help them keep their form and last longer.