Some people will only do laundry with their washing machine, while others prefer to hand wash clothes. Which one is better? It's an age-old debate that continues to this day.
Our verdict is that both methods have their pros and cons. You need to decide when to opt for hand washing clothes over using a washing machine and vice versa, with factors like convenience, fabric type, time, stain stubbornness, and cost being carefully considered.
Below, we discuss when it's suitable to hand wash clothes and when you need to start the washer. Let's get started.
5 Benefits of Hand Washing
There are plenty of benefits of hand washing clothes, ranging from eco-friendliness to pocket-friendliness. Let's discuss them in detail.
Are your sweaters starting to fray at the hem? Maybe your lingerie is losing its color. Your bra may have gotten tangled with your jeans, resulting in worn-out elastic and hooks.
These are all common issues of machine washing that can easily be avoided by hand washing your clothes. You don't have to worry about items getting caught or snagged on other garments, reducing the risk of damage.
When you're hand washing clothes, you're in full control of how much or how little to agitate your garment. You can be gentle and easy with delicate fabrics or give a good scrub to heavily soiled items.
Precise Stain Removal
Sometimes, you just need to get a wine spill out. Instead of throwing the whole garment in the wash, you can quickly spot-clean the spill.
In contrast, the washing machine has no rule that every bit of every garment will get washed evenly. Fortunately, hand washing allows you to focus on specific areas that are prone to stains, like collars, cuffs, hems, and underarms.
If you're doing a small load with your little one's clothes or just an outfit or two, hand washing is a major energy saver.
Washing machines are designed for larger loads than we might need. It can seem wasteful to run them for a small number of items.
Reduces Detergent Use
Whether you go to a laundromat or wash your clothes at home, you know there's a compartment in the washing machine for detergent. You fill this up, but often, the amount is more than needed.
Over time, you end up using a lot more detergent than necessary. On the contrary, handwashing gives you more control here, reducing detergent use.
Allows Delicate Fabric Care
As mentioned above, delicates like underwear, lingerie, and silk can get ruined in the washing machine. Similarly, your wool or cashmere sweaters need special care.
Hand washing lets you provide care for your delicates. All you need to do is soak the fabric for 15 minutes, apply some laundry detergent to it, and hand wash it in cold water with gentle agitation.
You can also be more gentle with the drying process. Just wring the excess water out and put your delicates on a drying rack.
Alternatively, you can dry clean your expensive clothing items. At Rinse, we offer Green Dry Cleaning, an initiative to provide environmentally friendly dry cleaning services. Our dry cleaning processes do not involve solvents like perchloroethylene, which are known to be carcinogenic.
5 Benefits of Machine Washing
Yes, hand washing is a great way to save on energy and care for delicates. But that doesn't mean machine washing doesn't have its benefits.
The reason many of us consider laundry a chore that requires a whole day is because of the time it takes to wash clothes. Now, imagine doing that by hand. You'll need hours to do that.
Instead, a washing machine takes care of your laundry while you do other productive things. Simply put, it saves time.
Has More Capacity
It's just not practical to hand wash large quantities of clothes, especially if you have bedding and towels in the load. A washing machine is better equipped to handle larger loads in one go.
Gives a Thorough Clean
Hand washing may work better for spot-cleaning delicate fabrics, but when it comes to deep cleaning clothes, a machine is more efficient.
Detergents used in machines are also formulated to clean better and remove tough stains. Plus, the agitation and rinsing processes in machines ensure a more thorough cleaning compared to hand washing. You can also add a fabric softener (or make your own) to make your clothes feel extra fresh.
Is More Convenient
There's no denying the convenience of throwing your clothes into a washing machine, setting it on a cycle, and forgetting about it until it's done. Unlike hand washing, where you have to constantly monitor and wash each item individually, machines allow you to multitask or relax while they do the work for you.
Not to mention, many machines come with additional features such as timers and delayed start options. You can adjust everything from the water temperature to the drying cycle based on the fabric or your personal preference.
Also, hand washing is physically demanding and can strain your hands. A washing machine takes away the physical labor. It's also an accessible option for the elderly or people with physical limitations.
Allows for Faster Drying Times
If you hand wash a towel, wring it out, and then put it on a clothesline, it will take hours to dry. However, a washing machine's spin cycle will remove more water than wringing, speeding up the drying process. The same applies to other clothes, too.
Some machines have a built-in dryer. You just have to choose the washing machine settings and take your clothes out when they're clean and dry — no more wetting the floor or carrying heavy baskets of wet clothes.
Here are some frequently asked questions about using washing machines compared to hand washing:
Which Method Is Better for the Environment?
Washing your clothes by hand uses less electricity and water compared to a washing machine. So, it's a more eco-friendly way to wash clothes.
What Clothes Need To Be Hand-Washed?
Delicate fabrics like silk, wool, and cashmere require hand washing to prevent damage. It's also recommended to hand wash clothes with intricate details or beading.
Can Washing Machines Ruin Clothes?
It depends on the fabric and how you use the machine. If you don't follow the instructions on the care label, your clothes may shrink, fade, fray, or get damaged. Sometimes, it's not the washing machine but the type of detergent or the water temperature that's the culprit.
Which Method Is More Practical?
Larger families or households with frequent laundry needs may find it more practical to use a washing machine. It saves time and effort, especially when dealing with bulky items. But if you live alone or have a small amount of laundry, hand washing could be a budget-friendly option.
Which Clothes Should Not be Hand-Washed?
It's better to wash heavy and bulky items like blankets, comforters, bedding, and towels in a machine. As for coats, jackets, and suits, you should dry clean them for better results.
Make Rinse Your Laundry Care Partner
Do you struggle with laundry, especially for special-care items? Maybe you end up with too many suds during your loads. Or you don't know which stain remover to use for your suede jacket. Take the guesswork out of the laundry and let Rinse handle it for you.
Our team of experts knows how to care for different fabrics, remove tough stains, and make your clothes as good as new, all while being mindful of the environment. We use cool water and eco-friendly methods to wash your clothes.
The best part? You don't even have to come drop your dirty laundry at our doorstep. We offer pickup and delivery to make your life easier. Just schedule a pickup through our website, and we'll be there. Or, learn more about our other services.
Contact us at Rinse today to see our skill in action.