clothes in basin

How to Dry Hand-Washed Clothes

Clothes that require hand-washing are usually items that are more fragile, delicate, or made of materials that could be damaged in the washing machine, such as wool, silk or cashmere.

These items require extra care while washing, and it’s important to continue this level of care in the drying process. 

There are three important steps when going about the process of drying the items that you have washed by hand. 


Step One: Squeeze Out Excess Water

squeezing out excess water from clothes

Clothes that have been hand-washed are usually still soaking wet when they come out of the sink or bucket that you have washed them in. 

Without the spin cycle that happens in a washing machine, clothes will be much wetter and heavier and will take a fair amount longer to dry. 

These items are usually too delicate for a tumble dryer and will require a careful drying process. 

The first step involves gently squeezing the excess water out of the garment and trying to get it to a point where it is no longer dripping wet. 

If the item is made from a delicate material such as wool, be careful not to twist or wring it, as this might damage it. 


Step Two: Lay Clothes on a Flat Surface

Next, you will need to find a flat, dry and clean surface in an area that you do not mind getting wet. 

It can be beneficial to put a towel down on this surface to help soak up some of the excess water. Make sure the towel is clean and lint-free!

Lay the wet hand-washed items on the surface, making sure there is a sufficient amount of space between each item. 

You can also try placing another towel on top of each item and pressing down hard to allow any excess water to soak into the towel. 


Step Three: Leave Clothes to Air Dry

air drying handwashed clothes

Once you have the items all laid out a fair distance from each other, all you can do is leave them to air-dry on their own. If the clothes are safe to leave in direct sunlight, then this will speed the process up considerably. 

If you are trying to speed the process up even more you can try flipping the clothes over after a couple of hours, and even change out the towels that are underneath the items, adding more dry ones. 



Drying hand-washed items can be a tiresome and difficult process, especially if you are short on space, but it is a necessary procedure if you want to be sure that your items will be clean and undamaged when they have dried. 

Be sure not to hang up any of the items while they are wet as the extra weight from the water could cause the garments to stretch and be permanently damaged. 

Following the three steps from this list is the best way to ensure the most ideal results!