How to use delicate wash, and when to reach for it

Written by Sophie Barrow

How to use delicate wash, and when to reach for it

 Sure our towels and bedding can handle a tougher and hotter wash, and it’s great to be able to throw in most of our clothes to washing machine and not have to think twice about them, but there are times when our garments need a little more care and attention.


But how do you know when to reach for a delicate wash, and how do you tell what needs to be hand washed and what can go through the delicate wash setting on a machine?


The general rule of thumb that we stick to in our house hold is that anything heavily embellished, lacey, embroidered, silk or wool is hand washed. We simply clean our sink to make sure that nothing can snag or leave residue of the clothes, fill the sink with tepid water and a dose of delicate laundry liquid and conditioner (not for sequined or embellished items) and then gently one by one wash and hang them to dry.  


But what if you haven’t got time, or the inclination to hand wash your items. Whilst we think it’s best to take as much care as you can, we know it’s not always practical to stand at the sink hand washing!


  • First of all don’t worry if your machine doesn’t have a “delicate cycle”, by selecting a cold temperature and a low spin this will produce the same results.

  • As with hand washing don’t mix everything together, make sure that you washing the same material and colours.

  • Place the items that are bound for the machine into washing bags, make sure they are quite small so that the garments don’t have the option to spin and spread out wildly within the bag. This will also help from keeping the garments from getting tangled.

  • Use a cold rinse, a good quality detegernt/delicate wash will be able to clean your clothes just as well as on a high temperature.

  • What ever you do, don’t use a dryer! In stead this is where a good clothes horse will come in handy, try and lay the garments as flat as possible and leave to dry naturally.

  • If you have a steamer, once the garments are dry then we recommend getting any wrinkles and creases out this way, rather than with an iron.

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