How to Hand Wash Delicates and Be Eco-Friendly About It | HC Quick Tip


I’m a firm believer in being a lean, green, eco-friendly machine of a wife. Not that I’m a machine – I’m the second-most emotional person on the planet (my Dad cried at Mulan) – it just rhymed better than wife.

I’ve always loved the planet. My best friend/neighbor when I was little lived about a mile up the dirt road, and we would walk to meet in the middle with our respective dogs. Sometimes we wore shoes. I think it was the perfect way to grow up, and in many ways that bring me immense pleasure, I didn’t grow out of loving nature. Yes, Netflix and Pinterest are fun, but there’s true magic in the woods.

How to Hand Wash Delicates and Be Eco-Friendly About It | Happy Wife, Creative Life

A family of deer Charlie-pup and I saw yesterday!

Speaking of Netflix and nature, how ‘bout these classics:

The list goes on. So whether I’m on a nature-bender awwing over our dog, our gardens, or fresh flowers, I want to protect and preserve the planet. It’s a critically important cause, as, you know…earth is our home. And there are SO many of us, who believe in, cheer on, and work to save the planet! In fact, I bet there’s a little tree-hugger in you, too 😉

So one way to worship Mother Earth like a real tree-hugger is to hand wash your delicates in the sink, and reuse the gray water for plants. Soap that’s gentle enough for your silk naughties is just fine for your plants, and it’s even rumored to make bugs leave ’em alone.

How to Hand Wash Delicates and Be Eco-Friendly About It | Happy Wife, Creative LifeHere’s what you need:

    • Laundry detergent
    • A sink or big bowl
    • Some big, fluffy towels
    • Standards/Vocal Jazz Pandora Radio (optional but highly recommended)

Here’s how it works:

  1. Identify your delicates. Tags work well here 🙂 trust ’em when they say hand wash only.
  2. Pull up the drain stopper in the sink.
  3. Wash clothes, only leaving the water running when absolutely necessary i.e. to wet clothing or rinse out soap – once you have gently soaped up a few smaller items, you can slowly run clean water through them, rinsing them clean and letting more water pool in the sink to prepare for your biggest item. I find washing a few smaller items, or one larger one, at a time works best, and you can take your time, enjoying the feeling of the water and soap and the music, and the joy of conserving water (one of our planet’s most valuable and endangered resources).
  4. Fold the towels in half and lay flat across a large surface like a dryer.
  5. As you finish washing your clothes, very gently squeeze out the excess water and smooth each item in a single layer on top of the towels.
  6. For sweaters only: Gently and slowly, roll the sweater up in the towel as if you were rolling a very delicate rolling pin across the table. Gently squeeze the towel roll to release excess water. Unroll and smooth the fabric back out.
  7. Eco-friendly bonus!! Scoop the soapy water from the sink and use it to water plants. Tada!!


How to Hand Wash Delicates and Be Eco-Friendly About It | Happy Wife, Creative Life

A fabulously heavy sweater recovering from a Coca-Cola stain (luckily the Coke-spiller had taught me to wash delicates this way)

I think it took me probably 10-15 minutes total to wash a bathing suit, a sweater and two lace tops. And I enjoyed it! If only changing our sheets was that peaceful and comforting. I do love clean – nah, I’m going to get in bed early and read instead 🙂

Happy washing!


A Happy Wife

How to Hand Wash Delicates and Be Eco-Friendly About it | Happy Wife, Creative Life

Happy Wife, Creative Life

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