How to Hand-Wash Laundry

There is only one thing worse than checking the tag on your new sweater and finding the dreaded “dry clean only” label, and that’s finding this one:

handwashonly

There are about 100 things I’d rather do than wash my laundry by hand, starting with “pay someone to hand-wash my laundry.” It’s not that I’m lazy. If you have a hole in your elephant-print Sleep ‘n Play, I’m more than happy to mend it. If you want me to remove your duvet cover, launder it, then crawl inside it to smooth out your comforter, crawl back out to admire the fresh bedding, leave the house for an hour and return to find a fresh cat barf stain right in the middle of said duvet, forcing me to start the process all over– I’m game. In fact, I practiced just today, just in case.

But I’m stuck on the hand wash thing, mostly because how do you wring the water out without stretching the piece of clothing out? And get it dry enough that it doesn’t weigh a ton and drip pink water on the floor? 

Looks like I wasted a lot of years worrying, because today I looked it up from the place that would know about stuff like this. The answer was so simple. Almost too simple:

After squeezing out water, lay the sweater on a white towel on a flat surface (a white towel prevents dye transfer from towel to sweater). Gently roll the towel and sweater together to remove moisture, squeezing and pressing as you work.

It totally worked. Any even though the water was extra-cold, sending me into a Tierra-like fit… my expensive-so-I-don’t-want-to-ruin-it Banana Republic sweater and my cheap-so-I-don’t-want-it-to-fall-apart Forever 21 peplum top are saved. Thanks, Martha!

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