The Ultimate Guide to Hand Washing Clothes: Quick and Efficient Techniques

November 20, 2023 • Jamie Dorman

We’re all pretty skilled at finding our way around a washing machine and dryer over here. However, Yet, what occurs when you suddenly spot that one piece of clothing – the absolute must-have for today's ensemble was somehow mysteriously left behind on your previous laundry day? There it rests atop the washing machine, dirty, mocking you because there's nothing else to accompany it in the wash.

What are your options? Handwashing? In theory, but how does one even do that effectively? With this hack from Sheets Laundry Club, you’ll learn how to hand wash clothes without any of the expected hassle.

Gather Your Items

While we’re calling this a “how to wash clothes by hand” hack, what we’re actually doing is creating a tiny, little, manually operated washing machine. To serve as the “washing machine,” you’ll need a salad spinner. Aside from that, all you need is a Sheets Laundry Club Laundry sheet, your soiled clothing item, and a nearby sink.

Pre-Wash Preparations

Before even touching the salad spinner, examine the article of clothing in question. If it is extremely soiled, especially if there is dirt or debris stuck to the surface of the item, first rinse the garment under warm water, gently trying to remove anything that is stuck to the clothing. (Note: This handwashing hack is only intended for one item at a time, so if you have more than one thing that needs to be cleaned, you can either do this in shifts, or wait until you have enough laundry accumulated to run a traditional wash.)

Load your DIY Mini-Machine (aka the Salad Spinner)

Put the soiled clothing item into the salad spinner. Put the salad spinner under a faucet and allow it to begin to fill up with the warmest water the garment can withstand. Cut 1/10th of a laundry detergent sheet and hold it under the running water until it dissolves.

Once the sheet dissolves, shuffle your clothing item around in the water a little bit, helping the detergent disperse and mix into the water.

Cover The Salad Spinner and Spin Away

Put the cover on the salad spinner, ensuring it's secure and locked. Then, begin to vigorously spin it, mimicking the oscillations of a traditional washing machine. Spin the spinner for a while – it will probably feel longer than you expect, but getting stubborn dirt out of clothing can take a while. When you think it may be sufficiently clean, open the spinner and take out the item to examine it. If it’s still dirty, put it in and spin it a little longer. (If the water looks very dirty at this point, you can always dump it out, add another 1/10th of a laundry sheet, and repeat the process with clean water.)

One Final Rinse

Once you’re satisfied that your clothing item is sufficiently clean, dump out the water from the salad spinner and quickly rinse out the bowl to remove any lingering detergent residue. Refill the spinner with water, re-secure the top, and spin the garment once again, this time with the goal of getting any remaining detergent out of the fabric.

Spin Dry

Finally, once the item is cleaned to your satisfaction, empty all the water from the salad spinner and put the item of clothing back in. Put the cover back on and vigorously spin the salad spinner in order to pull any excess moisture out of the fabric.

Hang to Dry

Once your item is no longer dripping, hang it outside on a clothesline or inside on a hanger to finish drying. Once it’s dry, it’s ready to wear! Congratulations, you’ve learned how to handwash clothes effectively! 

At Sheets Laundry Club, we’ve got you covered, whether it’s for your regularly scheduled weekly laundry loads or an unexpected emergency. Follow our TikTok for more laundry hacks, and don’t forget to subscribe and save with our subscription boxes so you’ll always be prepared for any laundry catastrophe!