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How to Wash Delicate Clothes

by Anant Khare 22 Jun 2022

The most delicate clothing from your wardrobe should always be hand-washed, from lingerie to luxury clothes. Some delicate fabrics include silk, satin, lace, wool, polyester fabrics, fine knits, velvet, cashmere or any sheer fabric like chiffon. Attire with embroidery, beads, pleats, or sequins is also considered delicate clothes. Delicate clothes are made of synthetic fabrics, which should be given a gentle treatment. Delicate clothes are lighter than sturdier fabrics and involve a lot of production costs. The delicate clothing materials are more flexible and pliable but need to be handled with care. Try to check the label before giving it to the laundry; because all the fabrics are not made to wash with harsh powder.

How often should you wash delicate clothes?

A thumb rule to clean delicate apparel is washing after every three wearing. Make sure you hand-wash because the machine ruins the texture and softness of the fabric. Try to use a plant-based laundry liquid, like TheBetterHome's laundry liquid containing no harsh chemicals.

General instruction for washing delicate clothes:

  • The temperature should be cold/ room temperature
  • Clean the sink well before washing
  • Fill the sink with water
  • Add an adequate amount of laundry liquid (plant-based if possible)
  • Soak and swish the garment gently
  • Drain the sink and rinse the garment well with water
  • Absorb the excess water but don't squeeze too hard
  • Leave it to air-dry

How to wash delicate clothes?

To master the art of delicate clothes washing, let's take a look at some of the ways to clean different delicate fabrics:


  • Soak the clothing for a while
  • Use chemical-free laundry liquid, like TheBetterHome's baby-safe laundry liquid
  • Pull the garment up and down for 3-5 minutes
  • Drain the water
  • Use a towel to soak up the moisture
  • Leave it to be airdry, but not in a spot with direct sunlight


  • Handwash is the best but can be washed on the machine's delicate cycle
  • Use cold water with gentle detergent
  • Let it soak in foamy water for 3-5minutes
  • Gently squeeze the foam
  • Rinse it thoroughly with cold water
  • Don't twist the cloth because it will ruin the shape


  • Fill a tub with lukewarm water
  • Add one or two caps of laundry liquid
  • Swish the water until suds disappear
  • Fold the garment in half
  • Swirl it around the water; it might release some dye colour but won't affect the cloth
  • Soak it in soapy water for 30 minutes
  • Keep rinsing until the soap bubbles disappear
  • Place the garment on a bath towel and put the second towel on top
  • Press gently to remove excess water
  • Keep it to air dry

Clothes with laces:

  • Take a look at the label before washing. Dry cleaning will be the best option for lace clothes.
  • In the case of handwashing:
  • Soak it in cold water for 30 minutes
  • Rinse and squeeze the excess water
  • Do not scrub or rub with brushes; it may tear
  • Do not put it into the dryer
  • Lay the lace garment out flat to dry

Why do delicate clothes need special care?

Clothes need special care

Although you may be tempted to throw all your delicate into the wash together, it’s not worth it. Delicate clothes are made with very soft and fragile fabrics that feel lightweight but can be ruined by harsh chemicals and machine wash. Some materials are more delicate than others, so caring for them is essential. For example, cashmere sweaters are notorious for shrinking in warm and hot water. In like fashion, putting lace pyjamas in the washing machine will likely tear them apart. In even the mildest cases, delicate fade when washed on the wrong cycle. Whether it be a velvet blazer or silk dress, such items can cost hundreds of dollars. It doesn’t make financial sense to ruin these pieces of clothing to save a few minutes when doing the wash.

Tips for washing delicate clothes:

  • Read the label before washing
  • Treat stains immediately
  • While hand washing, don't squeeze the material too hard
  • Soak the delicate for a while
  • Use cold/ room temperature/lukewarm water
  • Avoid chemicals like bleach if possible; it ruins the texture
  • Does laundry detergent ruin your clothes?

Laundry is a science. And if you want to make sure your clothes are as clean as possible, you need to know the amount of laundry detergent. The general rule for how much laundry detergent to use is 1 tablespoon per load. However, if you have a HE (high-efficiency) washer or an HE front-loader, you may need less detergent because they clean more efficiently than standard top-loaders. Laundry detergent gets dirt and stains from your clothes, but you create a new mess if you use too much. This results from detergent residue that hasn’t been thoroughly rinsed out. As a result, it can turn your previously soft wardrobe into a crunchy, scratchy, uncomfortable-to-wear load of clothes.

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