5 Best Hand-Wash Detergents For All Types of Delicates

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After more than a month away from our dry cleaners, we have a newfound respect for the art of washing clothes. While we await the day when we can drop off our most precious items for professional cleaning, we’re resorting to laundering our delicates the old-fashioned way: by hand.

Gwen Whiting and Lindsey Boyd, cofounders of The Laundress explain that hand-washing is the safest method for fabrics like silk and lace. But if the tags are no longer visible or you're unsure, perform a water test to make sure it's safe to wash in water. "Find an inconspicuous area on the garment and dip into cool water. If you don’t see the fabric become distorted or warped, then it is safe to wash!" says Whiting. And Boyd's number one rule: "Do not wring the garment! That will damage the fibers."

With their expert tips in mind, we realized that hand washing is actually super easy and soothing (looking at our phone isn’t an option for at least 20 minutes). Here are the five best hand-wash detergents that make our new chore feel *almost* like self-care.

How to Hand-Wash Clothes, from Bras to Cashmere & Everything in Between


1. Dedcool Dedtergent 01 “taunt”

This California fragrance brand is so cool it hurts. We’re already obsessed with their clean, non-toxic perfumes and now we’re adding “Dedtergent” to the list. Dedcool’s laundry detergent is 100 percent biodegradable, plant-based and environmentally conscious, thanks to clean ingredients and endlessly recyclable aluminum packaging. It can be used as both for hand-washing and in HE washing machines, so you can use it for so much more than just your lace bras.

The Laundress

2. The Laundress Lady Delicate Wash

Everything The Laundress does is perfection, but this Lady Delicate Wash is one of our favorites. It was specifically crafted to gently remove sweat marks and body oils from silk or lace, all while keeping your clothing looking like new for the long haul. It can be used as a hand-wash (two capfuls in cool or warm water) or in the washing machine (four capfuls), leaving behind nothing but an herbal citrus scent that’s never overpowering.


3. Nordstrom Lavender Delicate Fabric Wash

If you’re looking for an all-around versatile wash, this lavender-scented detergent is it. Use it to remove sunscreen, saltwater and chlorine from swimwear, sweat and odor from activewear and dirt and oil from silk, cashmere, hosiery and lingerie. Have sensitive skin? Don’t worry, this formula is hypoallergenic and biodegradable.


4. Tocca Beauty Laundry Collection Delicate

If you can’t get enough of TOCCA’s perfume, you’ve got to try its subtly scented laundry detergent. The formula is infused with the brand’s signature fragrances to deliver a pleasant aroma without overpowering your senses. Use it on lingerie, cashmere or even your bed linens, with either one to two capfuls if you’re washing by hand or four to five capfuls in the machine.


5. Woolite Extra Delicates Laundry Detergent

Not only is this go-to formula less than $5, but it’s also highly praised for its gentle, hypoallergenic ingredients that won’t irritate skin or damage delicates. The best part: It won’t cause fading, shrinking or stretching even on fabrics like wool, silk, cashmere, cotton, satin and polyester, so your garments stay just as good as new after 30+ washes (just be sure not to put them in the dryer afterwards).

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