Washing machines have been a modern luxury for the past 100 years and one that most people are unwilling to live without. However, there may be times when you find yourself in a place without a broken sink or laundry facilities.
Before the 1900s, most people washed their clothes in tubs or water with washing boards. Today, if you’re in a pinch, you can get your clothes fresh and clean with laundry soap and a sink or bathtub.
How to hand wash your clothes like a pro
Before hand washing your clothes, check the care tag. Most fabrics are suitable for hand washing, except for dry-clean-only garments.
Step 1: Fill the sink with lukewarm water and mix in detergent
Fill a sink or bathtub with lukewarm water. For larger loads, turn to the bathtub. For small loads, turn on the sink.
Add the appropriate amount of laundry detergent and stir with a wooden spoon to combine. (Use powder or liquid detergent – don’t use a laundry pod to wash hands. If you don’t have laundry detergent, use a few drops of mild dish soap.)
Step 2: Immerse and excite the garment
Immerse the garment in water. Choose a piece of clothing and use your hands to gently press it up and down, working the suds through it. Do this several times per item. Finally, use your hands or a spoon to swirl the cloth around the water.
Step 3: Wash the garment
Drain the soapy water and fill the sink or tub with fresh water. Add the garment and spin it to rinse the laundry detergent. If your sink has a sprayer attached, drain the water and rinse each item thoroughly.
Step 4: Hand wash and dry flat
After draining the water, use your hands to wipe excess moisture from each item. If you have access to a dryer, add all the clothes and dry as usual. If you don’t have access to a dryer, lay your clothing items flat on dry towels, turning them over when they’re halfway dry.