There is nothing like the fresh-air scent of clean laundry clipped to a clothesline on a hot summer day. If this thought makes you nostalgic for the sunny days of your childhood, when your family hand-washed bathing suits, linen shirts, and cotton dresses in a stainless farmhouse sink, you’re not alone! Get back to those classic summer days with these contemporary tips for hand washing and hang drying summer laundry.
Start by sorting your laundry.
In addition to hampers for your machine washables, keep baskets next to your laundry room cabinetry for the items you want to wash by hand. You’ll need at least two baskets to sort your laundry by color. Don’t mix dark and lights colors, unless you want that red bikini to bleed all over your favorite white sundress or t-shirt. Be mindful of care instructions on garment labels and color fastness before you begin. Check and empty all pockets, pretreat any stains, and check this handy pre-laundry checklist from Better Homes and Gardens.
Stock your laundry room cabinetry with summer essentials.
While washing your laundry by hand takes a little more time and effort, it’s well worth it to keep fabrics looking like new. When hand-washing delicate summer items like bathing suits, you should keep gentle detergents on hand in your laundry room cabinetry. Many brands are offering plant-based detergents in summery scents, like Tide Pureclean in Honey Lavender or Seventh Generation laundry detergent in Fresh Citrus. You can also opt for unscented soap and let Mother Nature sweetly scent your clothing, or make your own laundry detergent with this recipe from DIYNatural.
Follow the steps to hand wash and hang dry your summer laundry.
Fill a tub or stainless farmhouse sink with cool water and about a teaspoon of mild detergent. Once good and sudsy, submerge and soak your garments. With your hands, lightly swish the garments using an up and down and side to side motion. Once you are satisfied that the garments are clean, drain the water and rinse thoroughly until all the soap is gone, or repeat by soaking the garments again in clean water. Do not wring out delicate, “hand wash only” items. Instead, roll in a clean, dry towel to remove excess water. Lay flat to dry, or hang outside in the sunshine, and enjoy that fresh-air scent!
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