Hand washing vs machine washing.....which is cleaner?

@lumenmom (1997)
United States
August 5, 2009 11:33am CST
I saw another discussion about whether people use a washing machine or do they wash clothes by hand. I was surprised at the number that not only wash by hand but believe their clothes are cleaner than using a washing machine. I find that hard to believe, not because I think they are not truthful, but because it seems it would take an awful lot of arm power to get clothes that clean doing it by hand. Maybe I am missing out on some of the techniques or products they may be using, but I would be curious to know....1)is there anyone here that thinks washing by hand is cleaner than using a machine 2)if you do wash your clothes by hand, do you use a washboard or some other device? 3) what products do you use to clean your laundry?
3 people like this
8 responses
@saundyl (9698)
• Canada
5 Aug 09
I wash some things by hand - the ones that say do not machine wash. I honestly find though that my water stains clothes so i'm more likley to drive to my parents and do laundry because their washer ...and water gets my clothes cleaner without staining. I can not have white clothing if i wash at home becuase they turn orange!
@peavey (14933)
• United States
12 Aug 09
Have you tried putting vinegar in the rinse water for your clothes? That will usually remove mineral stains.
1 person likes this
@lumenmom (1997)
• United States
14 Aug 09
I did not know about using vinegar in the rinse. Is that only good for removing mineral stains or does it help the clothing look cleaner in general?
1 person likes this
@saundyl (9698)
• Canada
20 Aug 09
I'll have to try that sometime! I hadnt heard of that before - thank you.
@UK_Shree (3605)
9 Aug 09
I think the reason people might feel their clothes are cleaner by handwashing is because they get to see the dirty clothes get clean and are a part of the process. I personally see no difference unless there is a specific mark on an item of clothing which I will usually just rub some detergent onto before putting it in the washing machine. Using a washing machine is just so convenient.
@lumenmom (1997)
• United States
13 Aug 09
That could be the case because some things that I do wash by hand because I see a specific stain that I think needs immediate attention, I keep washing that part until I am sure the stain is gone and even then I wash the garment again just to be doubly sure. I agree the machine is very convenient and since I wear large size clothing I don't know if I could manipulate them fully when they are wet and heavy like the machine can.
@UK_Shree (3605)
14 Aug 09
That is a really valid point - handling large items of clothing when they are wet is not easy - as they do get very heavy. Machine washing in that case if alot easier.
@bunnybon7 (25991)
• Holiday, Florida
30 Aug 09
there have been times i've had to wash by hand. back when i could not afford a washer or to go to the laundry mat either also i've used a wash board some but not having that have thrown them in the tub and stomped them. that works. some may think they are cleaner because they can see if theres any dirt or stains needing special scrubbing.
@lumenmom (1997)
• United States
31 Aug 09
Boy, I could just see me stomping on my clothes! That would be an interesting experience not to mention how that would look to the kids!
• United States
20 Aug 09
When we are camping which we do a lot I wash a lot of clothes by hand. I feel like I am getting them just as clean as when they are washed in the washer and it is not that hard. I only do a few things at a time so it isnt that hard. I think if I were to try and wash all of our clothes it would be to hard for me to do. A few things is a little work and a big load is so much harder to get everything clean. I admire the people that are willing to do that work, but for me I like my machine better.
@lumenmom (1997)
• United States
20 Aug 09
I think if I had to do it I would only be able to do a few at a time. If I did them everyday they would not pile up so it may not be so bad to do. That would work out great for my daughter's clothes but my clothes are so big and very heavy when wet, there would only be a few pierces I could wash by hand. I still would have to rely on the machine, especially to wring things out.
@se7enthbird (8330)
• Philippines
15 Aug 09
when we aare just starting with our life as living together with my wife, we dont have a washing machine so me nad my wife wash our clothes using our hands. my wife is good at this, using a washboard and a laundry brush she can really clean any clothes in and out. on pants and shorts she can really brush the parts that are not easily get cleaned by the washing machine. but it consumes time and it is really very tiring. now we have washing machine already, using it for 5 years and we also have a three year old son so it is no longer very good to wash clothes using hands for it consumes a lot of time. i think it is cleaner when we use the washboard and the laundry brush, but we can not squeeze the clothes manually very well. not like the washing machine when you put the clothes at the dryer it squeezes out all the dirt the clothes has.
@lumenmom (1997)
• United States
31 Aug 09
Thanks for your reply. You bring out the positive and negative of both methods.
@peavey (14933)
• United States
12 Aug 09
I think clothes get cleaner when they're washed by hand. When I wash clothes by hand, I don't need to soak them in stain remover or use a lot of "helpers" or bleach or whatever. I use a plunger to work the soapy water through the clothes, but I wish I had a washboard and may get one soon. A washboard makes the scrubbing part much easier. Automatic washing machines do not get clothes clean even compared to the old wringer washers.
@lumenmom (1997)
• United States
13 Aug 09
That is interesting to know. I know sometimes I am not satisfied with how clean my clothes come out in the automatic machine but I just assumed that was the best that could be done for them. I'll have to try washing by hand and see if it works out better. I'll probably start with my daughter's clothing since hers are so much smaller than mine and easier to work with.
@ladym33 (11012)
• United States
9 Aug 09
I think when it comes to stain removal doing it by hand will guarantee the stain will come out as you are standing right making sure it goes away. You can't guarantee a stain will go away in the wash you spray the stain, throw it in the wash and hope for the best. Maybe it will come out maybe it won't, and maybe you will have to wash the item again. So for stain removal it might be more cost effective to remove stains by hand. Also some things like panty hose, some sweaters and other lingerie items are best washed by hand.
@lumenmom (1997)
• United States
14 Aug 09
You can't guarantee what will happen when your clothes are in the machine. Some things may not get agitated enough and dirt that you expect to see gone still lingers and makes the garment look dingy. If I do see a stain I specifcally want to remove and I do it by hand I will keep at it until it is gone, whereas the machine will only go through it's normal cycle and then it's done with it.
• Philippines
3 Oct 09
I think hand washing is still the best way to clean your clothes. I don't trust the washing machine to remove all the stain, you still need to hand wash it. Though using washing machine is less stressful and less time consuming because you can still do other chores while the washing machine is working. Use detergents that smells good and will not cause irritation to your hands.