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How to Wash T-Shirts by Hand – Best Way

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Are you looking for a safe way to wash t-shirt without damaging them? Hand washing your t-shirts is the best ways to preserve the fabric and increase a tees longevity. 

Whether the t-shirt is graphic or white tees, hand washing prevents from stains setting into the fabric and damage being done to the fabric or seams. In fact, hand washing has been proven to be the best method of cleaning clothing.

How do you wash t-shirts by hand? Check the instructions on the t-shirt label, then fill your sink with cold water and a small amount of mild detergent. Using too much detergents is not advisable as most detergents tend to be harsh against delicate fibers that can damage the shirt. 

It is advisable to drain all soapy water before rinsing, allow clean cold water to run through the clothes until free from soaps. Squeeze out the excess water gently, but do not wring tightly as this can stretch or deform the shirt. 

The last step while hand washing is drying. Put the t-shirt on a drying rack in a well ventilated area, but don’t expose it to direct sunlight. 

Compared to washing t-shirt in washing machine, hand washing can save you money and avoid from destroying the garment. Hand washing is the most gentle method and does not damage the surface of the shirt. 

In this article, you will learn proper hand washing techniques that will save your shirt and keep it in good condition for a long time. Answered below are frequently asked questions about hand washing t-shirts and the best ways to get the job done.

Is Hand Washing T-Shirt Effective?

Both yes or no, hand washing clothes is often one of the most enjoyable domestic chores. It gives a sense of satisfaction but when not done correctly it may not be as effective as using a washing machine. 

Hand washing is quite easy, especially when you are using a no-rinse detergent. All you need is to dip the tees in cold water and swirl them around in a detergent solution while gently massaging the spots where debris or smell usually accumulate. 

Allow the t-shirts to soak for 15 minutes, then press them gently and hang to air dry. 

However, hand washing may not be effective for all your laundry, especially the heavy-duty and large volume batches. It works best when you are washing a couple shirts at a time. 

It will make you have fewer visits to the laundromat and save a little travel time during the process.

Using hands to wash your t-shirts is eco-friendly, unlike using a washing machine that consumes a lot of water and electricity. The impact to the environment is negatively felt by the household appliance.

What Detergent Is Best for Hand Washing T-Shirts

When hand washing clothes, opting for a no-rinse detergent that is gentle on the fabric, such as Soakwash or using homemade laundry detergent is also a great idea. Soak detergent tends to evaporate off the tee when drying, leaving no spots behind with a fresh and clean feeling.. 

Also, it uses an all-purpose formula that is gentle and great for your t-shirts. With a good soaking, you will likely use less water and do less work protecting your t-shirts from damage caused by too much handling.

There are clear dosage guidelines for detergents that a specifically made for hand washing. However, avoid puncturing a detergent pack or pod for hand washing because it has a high concentration, causing a risk of contact to your eyes, mouth or skin.

How Can I Wash My T-Shirt Without a Machine

Whether you don’t have access to laundromats, the washing machine isn’t operating, or you want to take extra care of your t-shirts, here is exactly how to hand wash t-shirts:

  • Decide where your washing will take place. Prepare a clean, spacious container to be able to submerge your tees in cleaning water. The kitchen sink is usually the best for hand washing, but you can also use the bathroom sink, utility sink, washing basin, or bathtub. Clean the basin or sink you will be using with all-purpose detergent and fill it with cold water, making sure to leave enough space for your hands and clothes to move around while mixing. 
  • Add a no-rinse detergent specifically made for hand washing. Also, put a spoon of regular detergent if you don’t have hand washing detergent. Ensure not to use too much of it as it can prolong the rinsing process or stick to the fabric, which is irritating when it comes in contact with your body.
  • Fully submerge the t-shirt in the soapy solution. Use your hands to move the tees around as you swish and swirl in the soapy solution like agitation of the washing machine. Swirling helps the detergent to penetrate the fabric and loosen the dirty and grime.
  • After completely submerging the tees, allow them to soak in the detergent solution for 15-30 minutes. The soaking time depends on how dirty your shirts really are.
  • Drain all the soapy solution and clean the sink from soap residual. After cleaning, refill the sink with clean water and start rinsing. Use your hands to agitate the tees to help release detergents. Keep on draining the water and refilling until the t-shirts are fully cleaned. Gently press down each t-shirt to drain excess water from the fabric, then allow it to air dry in a well ventilated area.

Tips to Hand Wash T-Shirts

Hand washing t-shirt is great way to keep garment looking new and fresh for a long time. Hand washing a small batch is desirable as it is super efficient. 

Use these clothing cleaning tips to hand wash t-shirts properly:

  • Wash in small batches. Working on a few t-shirts at a time will make the cleaning quite easier for you to handle.
  • Observe the weather. If you hang your tees outside, wash them on a dry day with a slight breeze to help your t-shirts dry faster.
  • Always spot clean and pretreat stains before hand washing. Once the stain sets in, it is nearly impossible to remove.
  • Double check the care label to see if the product recommends hand washing. 
  • Use a mild plain detergent to prevent t-shirts from getting soap stains.

If you are washing one t-shirt in a sink, use a gallon or 3.8 liter of water. And if you have two separate sinks, fill one with clean water and the other with soapy water to make it easier.

Best Way to Wash T-Shirts by Hand

Washing t-shirt by hand can be tedious and take time to clean few pieces at a time. To save time and effort, here are the best ways of hand washing t-shirts:

  • Pre-treat the tees with stain fighting solution and turn them inside out.
  • Fill a large basin or sink with cold water. 
  • Add gentle detergent or soap, the mix vigorously.
  • Put your tees in the mixture and turn them using your hands, then allow them to soak for 15-30 minutes. 
  • Rinse the t-shirt thoroughly using cold water until no detergent is left on the fabric.
  • Using hands, press the tees against the basin or sink to get rid of excess water. Always avoid twisting or wringing the tees as this can crease, distort or stretch out the wet tees.

Hand washing t-shirts helps to extend their life expectancy compared to machine washing. Even though t-shirts are not always an expensive garment, hand washing is helpful to prevent from discoloring and cracking graphic t-shirt causing them to lose their attraction.

How to wash t-shirts by hand

Hand Washing T-Shirts: Conclusion

Cleaning clothes using hands is not as easy as placing a load in the washing machine. However, it’s the safest way to wash delicate clothing without damaging the garment. 

In order to properly wash t-shirts by hand, always double check the washing instructions on the t-shirt label. 

Pretreat stains accordingly before hand washing as stains stick on fabric and may become permanent stain mark if not fully addressed. 

Fill a sink or basin with cold water and add a tablespoon of mild plain detergent. 

Soak one t-shirt at a time to the soapy solution. Move the t-shirt around and swirl them so the detergent easily penetrates the fabric.

Rinse away the soapy solution and refill with clean cold water to cleanse the t-shirt. Agitate the t-shirt to release and remove any detergent left on the garment until there is no longer soap solution coming out.

Gently press or use clean dry towel to pat and drain excess water, then hang t-shirt to air dry in a ventilated area.

Washing t-shirts by hand can take bit more time compared to washing machine, however it can make t-shirt last longer and smell good every time. Use these clothing cleaning tips and follow the steps to hand wash your favorite t-shirt so it is even more wearable everyday.

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